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Wu Mochou: Maverick musician

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

15:16, February 06, 2013

Above center: Wu Mochou sings with Taiwan veteran singer-songwriter Harlem Yu. Top, left and right: Wu wears different costumes with heavy makeup. (China Daily)

Wu Mochou, a 20-year-old singer who rose to fame after participating in The Voice of China, is controversial: You either love or hate her. Chen Nan tells you why.

Some call her China's Lady Gaga and the future of the country's music scene, while others say she is just a flash in the pan. Ever since Wu Mochou appeared on the stage of The Voice of China, the Chinese version of the Dutch TV singing contest, the 20-year-old has fueled controversy with her deviance from the traditional mass appeal looks. Her heavy makeup, unconventional singing style, aggressive attitude and exaggerated facial expressions have raised eyebrows.

There are two extreme opinions: Some audiences have frowned at her image and considered her heavy makeup ugly. There was even a little boy who burst into tears after seeing her photo in subway. But in a recent online vote, she was championed as one of the "50 most beautiful newcomers in the world in 2012".

She sang Jessie J's Price Tag and Lady Gaga's Bad Romance, which won support from Harlem Yu, veteran Taiwan singer-songwriter who was one of the four judges in the contest. Her performances also raised eyebrows and won her fans from across the country.

"Her singing causes goose pimples, which feels great," Yu describes Wu's singing. "Her voice and singing skill are unique."

But Liu Huan, another judge and a famous singer-songwriter, once said that he couldn't understand Wu's performance and interpretation of songs.

The divergent opinions do not seem to disturb Wu, who is a sophomore studying pop singing at Shenyang Conservatory of Music.

"But that's me. I don't want to pretend to be humble or conservative," she says in her signature big voice during an interview.

"When I look at the mirror, I feel beautiful," she adds with a laugh.

She always wears her trademark red lipstick, thick false eyelashes, smoky eye makeup and even front bangs.

In the last seven months since she first performed in The Voice of China, Wu has been exposed to various shows, starred in films and modeled for fashion magazines.

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