As a result of the pandemic, Taiwanese singer-songwriter Rene Liu has not been overseas for one-and-a-half years.
Neither has her husband, Chinese businessman Zhong Shi. They married in 2011 and have a six-year-old son.
“Seeing each other 24 hours a day for one-and-a-half years, let’s call it the greatest test of a relationship,” the 51-year-old said in an interview from Taipei recently.
Perhaps the title of her latest studio album, Each Well, is an indication that they have both passed this test. It is her first since Wish You Well (2015).
She made her music debut with the 1995 album Rene’s Selected Theme Songs, and is also known for acting in films such as dramas Siao Yu (1995) and 20 30 40 (2004).
Here are five more things to know about the artiste with more than 25 years’ experience in show business.
Singers are usually concerned about sales and critics’ response to their albums.
But Liu is past that. “At my age, being able to sing and release an album is already something great. The rest does not matter.”
Nowadays, she is also more relaxed and laid-back in her singing.
“In the past, I was more aggressive and direct, and would exert myself more when delivering the songs.”
Some parts of Happy Birthday, her new record’s final number, came from one such letter.
“I sort of do this every year, although not always very seriously. Often, it is a very long letter, with lots of useless information. Over the years, the things I write about are also more or less the same.”
Anything special about that particular letter? “That year, I think I wrote particularly well.”
Addressing herself in the song, she sings: “When you were young and vigorous, you vowed to grow old righteously and gracefully.”
These days, she gets tired more easily and her body takes longer to recover after a long day.
Growing older is an issue, she said frankly.
“But what is more important is having a curious attitude to the world and passion for what I am doing. As for wrinkles, they are there whether I look at them or not. So let’s not look at them.”
During karaoke sessions, Liu sometimes sings the works of Taiwanese singer-songwriter Lala Hsu. She said: “After singing many of her songs, I think they are more suited to her than me. But I still love her songs, so I invited her to write something for me.”
Hsu composed the melody for Aside on Liu’s album.
The track As Time Goes By is about coming to terms with growing older.
Liu said: “Sometimes, I feel that the best times of my life are over. Of course, we keep saying every moment is part of our ‘golden era’. But the truth is, things such as our looks, health and wealth potential are limited to certain stages of life.
“I feel my best is slowly moving further away, so I wanted to sing a song as a form of remembrance to that.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network