QU Wanting is an artiste of two worlds. Born in Habin, China, the singer-songwriter known simply as “Wanting” moved to Vancouver, Canada when she was 16, and today, she has come full circle, becoming the city’s first tourism ambassador to China, and with two hit Mandopop albums to her name.
“I feel accepted in both countries. It’s an honour for me to be an ambassador for Vancouver and they are very proud of me. They think of me as one of them,” said Qu in a pre-recorded interview.
With her face plastered all over billboards and television screens, it’s getting harder for Qu to go unrecognised in the streets these days. “I was recognised recently at the US consulate,” said the 30-year-old, who just released her second album, Say The Words.
Having studied piano since she was six, Qu attempted songwriting at a young age and was eventually discovered by Canadian record company Nettwerk, becoming the label’s first female Chinese artiste. In 2012, she released her first album, Everything In The World, to great success, garnering several Best Newcomer awards in the process. Despite understandably high expectations for her second album, Qu is feeling quite relaxed about it all.
“I don’t feel any pressure because I wasn’t trying to match the first album. I just want to stay true to myself and put my heart and soul in the music and songwriting, which, hopefully, will translate to others.”
Nevertheless, she reckons her second album is her best one so far. “I am confident that this second album is going to be great. We had more money and time, and I had more say in what I wanted to do.”
All 13 songs were written by Qu, and one even features American hip hop group Far East Movement (best known for the chart-topping Like A G6). According to her, this is a very different album from her debut.
“The songwriting is more mature. Based on the experience of my first album, I can sing better and have a better understanding of songwriting,” she explained. “But this is still Wanting, the Wanting that wants to write stories with her songs and share them with the world.”