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Rock 'n' roll godfather aims to spread the music

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

09:20, May 09, 2013

China's rock 'n' roll godfather Cui Jian will release the first movie he directed this year. (file photo)

Cui Jian, one of the first people in China to sing rock 'n' roll, has been in the profession for more than 20 years but he is as passionate about the business as ever.

The 52-year-old continues to promote rock music in the country "to set a good example to the younger generation that they can lead a decent life even if they choose rock 'n' roll as a profession".

This summer, he will release a 3-D concert documentary on his 2011 New Year's Concert of Rock Symphony, in which he worked with conductor Tan Lihua and the Beijing Symphony Orchestra.

Blue Bone, Cui's debut as a movie director, which was inspired by his song of the same name, is set to be released later this year.

Cui was recently in Beijing to launch a customized smartphone, Blue Bone, after the name of his movie. Cui's songs, videos and photos have been preloaded into the phone. Updates about Cui will be posted online, to allow his fans to sync the information onto their Blue Bone mobile phones.

"Rock 'n' roll is beyond music," says Cui, in his trademark white cap with a red star in the front and a black coat designed by himself. "But rock music hasn't achieved commercial success in China yet."

"I believe good art and fortune could go hand in hand. I've seen many young talented people with rock dreams living in poor conditions. I hope I can do something to make a change," he adds.

He points out that the title "Godfather of China's Rock 'n' Roll" doesn't mean as much to him as people think. In fact, he considers it a burden as it sometimes creates a gap between himself and young rock musicians.

"I don't want to become an obstacle to young rock musicians. We are from different generations and I want to cooperate with them," he says.

Since Cui's debut in the music scene more than two decades ago with Nothing to My Name, which received overwhelming response, he has become an icon in the country.

He says the overnight success of the song was because that was the period when young people were eager to express themselves.

"It's like archery. I was lucky to hit the bull's eye with my arrow, which was the song," he says.

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