The four members of Hong Kong boy band Mirror seated before me were soft spoken and, almost, shy.
Quite a contrast from the energetic, outgoing persona they exude on stage.
The four lads – Jer Lau, 30; Anson Lo, 27; Edan Lui, 26; and Keung To, 24 – were in Malaysia recently to perform at the One Love Music Festival in Sunway Lagoon alongside other Chinese stars such as David Tao, Hebe Tien, Pakho Chau and Show Lo.
Some fans were seen waiting for the Mirror members at the hotel lobby last week during StarLifestyle’s interview, enough to have several security personnel guarding the doors to the venue.
But this scene is unlike the mobs of fans the guys are used to in Hong Kong.
In 2021, a Facebook group in Hong Kong calling itself “My Wife Married Mirror And Left My Marriage In Ruins Concern Group” was set up by men sharing stories (in jest, we hope) of their wives being obsessed with the band.
The Facebook “concern” group recruited more than 200,000 members in its first three days.
“I don’t hate Mirror, but I just feel that fellow men need a group to share our thoughts and feelings,” AFP quoted the group’s administrator and moderator, whose username is Tcr Ch.
While Mirror has been around for five years and is wildly popular in its home city, the band knows outside of Hong Kong, it is still at an infancy stage.
“We are still a baby,” Lui told The Star in an exclusive interview.
In order to reach out to more audience, especially in the non-Chinese speaking market, Mirror released its debut English single, Rumours, in March.
At our interview, the members made it clear that the main intention behind the release of Rumours was not to break into the elusive American market, ala K-pop juggernaut BTS, although that would be a bonus if it did.
“The goal of releasing Rumours is not that we really want to go into the US market, or that we can become international. We are not at that level yet,” Lui said.
“The reason we are releasing an English single is because we hope that since it is a language that everyone understands, we will have the opportunity for audience from different regions to listen to our songs.
“Maybe then, they will be willing to learn more about Mirror because of this song,” Lui continued to explain.
The 12-member Mirror was established through a reality talent show called Good Night Show – King Maker in 2018.
Apart from the aforementioned guys, other members in the group include Ian Chan, Jeremy Lee, Anson “AK” Kong, Stanley Yau, Alton Wong, Tiger Yau, Frankie Chan and group leader, Lokman Yeung, all aged between 20s and early 30s.
Just like in K-pop groups, the members of Mirror have also branched out in pursuit of other artistic endeavours.
Some have released solo singles, others host variety shows, while members like Lui and Lo have gone into acting.
Lui and Lo acted opposite one another in the hit BL drama Ossan’s Love in 2021.
Their pairing was so popular that they are partnering up again for the Hong Kong remake of the K-drama Business Proposal, which will begin shooting next month according to Lo.
Mirror’s meteoric rise to fame, however, was halted last year when a tragedy befell the group.
In one of its 12-show concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum in July, a giant LED screen fell in the midst of the group’s performance, injuring two of Mirror’s back-up dancers.
One of them, Mo Lee Kai Yin, suffered a severe spinal injury and is still in recovery. The accident made international headlines. The band immediately went on a hiatus.
“2022 was a really a tough year for us... and also for Hong Kong citizens. And to be honest, it’s really hard to imagine something like that would happen,” Lui said when asked about the tragedy.
“It took us a lot of time and a lot of help to get through it. Luckily, we have each other (to rely on), our fans and families (also) gave us much support.”
After regrouping and taking time to heal, Mirror felt it was time to get back to what it does best.
“We knew that we are ready to perform and to bring happiness to our fans and to society, that’s why we chose to be in the public eye again,” Lui said, adding that from the incident, he learnt that he should not take things for granted and to live for the moment.
Watch out for Part II of this exclusive interview on May 29.