Harlem Yu's latest album is about 'happiness through constant adjustments'

12 June 2013 / 3 years 4 months ago

Life is like recording an album.You relish the high notes, but keep changing the low ones till you're satisfied with the result.This is according to Taiwanese singer Harlem Yu, who recently released his first full-length album in seven years, The Moonlight That Can't Be Turned Off .When we met him in Taipei recently, his manager had requested us not to ask about his personal life.Yu, however, alluded to going through his lowest point in the last few years.He and Taiwanese singer Annie Yi divorced in 2009 . They have an 11-year-old son, Harrison .Yu said his latest album symbolises the hope that with constant "adjustments" comes happiness.Said the 51-year-old: "In life, you will have many ups and downs."When you are faced with a problem, you will have to solve it."If you can't solve it, then you have to keep changing tack, if not, you won't see a good result."I'm still at a lot of problem-solving stages at this moment."In the last few years, let's just say there wasn't just one bad situation that I've had to face."He said he had chanced upon creating his latest album when he had least expected it.Passing up homeworkBack in his heyday, making albums was like passing up homework, he said.The record companies expected him to deliver regularly, so he did as he was told.Since starting, his singing career in 1986, he has recorded a whopping 28 albums.Now, having achieved success, Yu said he can bide his time till he is in a creative state of mind."In the past, the market was doing well, so I was asked to produce albums fast."Now, for me, it's all about creating a piece of work that represents the best of you."It must also reflect the strongest feelings that you have."Without these fierce emotions, what would your intention of releasing an album be?"Fans will be surprised to find out how Yu got back into making music.His favourite sport now is cycling, which he does for two hours a week on a mountain.He was listening to some tunes in his car while driving from Taipei to a mountain to cycle last year. While going past beautiful scenery and watching the clouds whiz by, he was overcome with a "good feeling".Having not felt like this in six years, he started to pen songs.Before he knew it, he had come up with enough tracks to make a full-length album.He said he kept editing the songs till he was satisfied with all of them.In a bid to prove his point that life was all about adjusting, Yu spoke of how he didn't let a knee injury get him down.He said: "I love to exercise and in the past, I used to play basketball."The sport was such a good stress reliever, so whenever, I was in a bad mood or under pressure at work, I would go shoot some hoops and feel much better after that."But I busted my kneecap, so I had to give that up."I have switched to cycling and I have to say that I have fallen in love with it."

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