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Underground voices (3)

By Chen Nan  (China Daily)

13:15, November 13, 2012

But he stops when he sees passengers, who are reading, pregnant or sleeping, to avoid disturbing them.

The native of Hengshui, Hebei province, grew up with his grandmother since age 4, when his father passed away and his mother remarried. Poverty forced him to drop out of school at age 12.

He left his hometown and cultivated a love for music.

Xu had only 50 yuan ($8) in his pocket when he first arrived in Beijing in 2000.

He worked as a waiter and often waited outside the Beijing Film Academy for temporary acting jobs. He later made friends with some singers performing in subway tunnels and started studying guitar with them.

In 2000, veteran singer-songwriter Xu Wei walked into the mainstream spotlight after 10 years of playing in tunnels and small bars a development that greatly encouraged Xu Zhenfei and other independent singers.

Xu Zhenfei saved up after half a year of working as a plaza security guard, earning 550 yuan a month. He bought his first guitar the cheapest in the shop for 300 yuan and enrolled in proper lessons.

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