Taiwanese group's visit with fans marred by weather

18 October 2012 / 4 years 6 days ago

Source: The New PaperThey had just one hour out of their tight work schedule to visit Universal Studios Singapore on Saturday afternoon with eight of their local fans.Taiwanese hip-hop group Da Mouth had already decided which rides they were going to take.Their choices? Transformers The Ride, followed by the Revenge Of The Mummy indoor roller coaster.The funky foursome - Japanese-Taiwanese DJ Sakamoto Chun Wha, Canadian-Taiwanese rapper Hsueh Shi Ling, Japanese vocalist Aisa Senda and Korean-Taiwanese vocalist Harry Chang - were in town to promote their fourth album, Influens.They strode into the theme park purposefully before stopping to whip out their mobile phones to take photos.But just before Da Mouth stepped out into the unsheltered part of the park, the rain poured down with a vengeance.Even with umbrellas, there was no way they could walk to Transformers The Ride without getting wet.By this time, the popular quartet - which won Best Pop Group at Taiwan's Golden Melody Awards last year - had attracted a steady following of visitors who trailed them and snapped photos.Some tourists were also overheard wondering aloud who the group was.'Singaporean stars'One man, speaking in Cantonese, told his friend that they must be Singaporean stars.While waiting for the rain to stop, Da Mouth posed for photos with the Kung Fu Panda mascot, walked around the merchandise shop and also waited at the theme park's VIP lounge.Precious time was ticking away, and it cost them.By the time the rain died to a drizzle about 20 minutes later, the group had only enough time to take Transformers The Ride, which they rode together with their supporters.But it was well worth the wait, judging from their raves.Sakamoto, 32, better known as DJ Chung Hua, told reporters: "I sat beside Aisa and she kept saying itte (Japanese for painful) throughout the ride."Later, pint-sized Senda, 29, explained to The New Paper in Mandarin: "I didn't mean it was actually painful. I said it because the ride was so realistic with things hurtling towards me. It was so exciting."Hsueh, 29, better known as MC 40, added: "Before the ride, I asked one of the fans how fun it is on a scale of one to 10. He said it was a '10', but I was sceptical. After taking the ride, I agree with him."We had wanted to take Revenge Of The Mummy too and it's a great pity we didn't have enough time because of the weather."But I'm happy nonetheless and I hope to come back here again another time."Student Pang Xue Yao, 20, was one of the eight fans who won the chance to mingle with Da Mouth after winning a recent contest.It was the first time he met his idols and he remarked how friendly and down-to-earth they were.He added: "(Hsueh) was really nice and made small talk with my friend and me as we walked around the theme park. During the ride, I heard Aisa screaming away. I could see that they enjoyed themselves."Coming here with Da Mouth was a very good experience. It's my first time in Universal Studios Singapore and it's a bonus that I came with them."Student Chong Pei Yi, 22, who's the president of the Da Mouth Singapore Fan Club, sat behind the group during the ride.He recalled that Hsueh turned his head often to look at them to see if they were also enjoying themselves.After leaving the theme park, Da Mouth headed to Bugis Junction for an autograph session-cum-performance attended by close to 1,000 fans.At the two-hour event, they sang their latest songs Open Your Mouth, Who Are You Afraid Of and R u KiDdiNg mE?, and also played charades with the crowd.The eventual winner got to take a Polaroid photo with Da Mouth.All four members also made sure they shook hands with every fan during the autograph session.The group returned to Taipei yesterday.Two years ago, if someone had angered Da Mouth's Sakamoto Chun Wha with a personal attack, he would have exploded into a rage.But not any more, he told The New Paper in an interview on Saturday."Back then, I would have hurled an object at the person and demanded to know why he talked about me like that," he said."Now, I would just ask the person why... (The other members of Da Mouth) have changed my temperament."Prior to joining the group, I would get angry easily. But the group is a very happy one and we share our thoughts and solve our problems without anyone getting angry."Sakamoto claims they have never quarrelled since coming together in 2007, and instead, have intense discussions.His change was gradual over the years but he doesn't know how or why it happened.Since their latest album is titled Influens, we wanted to know how all four members have changed and influenced each other.Aisa Senda said she has learnt to relax and have fun during work.Before joining Da Mouth, she was very solemn and wouldn't take the initiative to talk to other people, even if it was in a casual setting, like travelling to an assignment."I thought I had to focus on the work at hand. Then (Sakamoto) told me I'm too serious and that I have to learn to loosen up more," she said."I realised (the other members) are able to find the right balance between staying focused and still having fun."Now when we are in the car, I chat with them and eat tidbits together."Hsueh Shi Ling said Harry Chang influenced him to work out in the gym regularly.At a Taipei fan event in April, Da Mouth posed with a giant syringe to symbolise how they want to "inject" new trends into society and introduce what they think is fashionable to their supporters.But the influence they wield on impressionable fans does not end there.Da Mouth said they are aware they must watch what they say and do in public, but Hsueh doesn't consider themselves role models but public figures.The group does not swear.Said Hsueh: "Some of our younger fans may want to emulate us... If we swear when we are with them, some may think it's cool to do it."We cannot mislead them into thinking something is right when it's not."

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