Friday June 9, 2006
Singers Ivana Wong and Hins Cheung have been labelled an item. MICHAEL CHEANG tries to find some answers about their relationship.
THEY acted like lovers, teased each other like lovers, and even stared into each other’s eyes like lovers.
The two young singer-songwriters were in Kuala Lumpur recently to promote their respective new albums, and throughout the press conference, they were bombarded with questions about their “relationship”.
“We are just very good friends,” stressed Cheung and Wong repeatedly.
Despite their denials, the fact that they fawned over each other so much during the press conference didn’t help clear the air one bit.
“If we are really a couple, we would be even more afraid of being photographed together,” said Cheung, referring to the numerous photos of them taken by the Hong Kong paparazzi. They have been portrayed as one of the most couple-like non-couples since Sammi Cheng and Andy Hui’s “non-relationship” years ago.
The China-born, baby-faced Cheung has been in the music business for five years now, with five albums under his belt. His newest Mandarin album is Spring.Summer.Autumn.Winter. Singing in both Mandarin and Cantonese, he is now based in Hong Kong, after joining Universal Music.
Meanwhile, the doe-eyed and soft-spoken Wong, who sings primarily in Cantonese, is currently one of Hong Kong’s most promising singer-songwriters in recent years.
Besides writing hits for established singers like Jacky Cheung, Joey Yung, Kelly Chen, Andy Hui and Jolin Tsai, her 2005 debut album Ivana also won her numerous awards.
Her new album, I Love My Name, consists of all her own compositions, of which the most notable is a duet with Cheung.
“Ever since I saw him perform live a few years ago, I’ve always wanted to sing with Hins,” said Ivana shyly. “His ‘character’ in the song (Sao Mong, loosely translated as watchful eye) is that of a guardian spirit who looks after the girl. It is a very emotional song.”
As if singing together was not enough, Wong also wrote a couple of songs on Cheung’s new album, which Cheung is grateful for, and hopes to return the favour in the future.
“I will be on call 24 hours a day if ever she wants me to write any songs for her,” he quipped.
The two met after Cheung signed on to Universal Music last year. “When we first met on a cruise ship with other Universal artistes, we were the only new artistes there. So naturally, we became friends,” said Cheung.
“It was she who helped me out the most when I first moved to Hong Kong. It was good to have a close friend like her around to help me through the initial hard times.”
Wong was more gracious with her appraisal of Cheung. “My first impression of him was when I first saw him singing the song, Blessing, live on stage,” she recalled. “At the time, his performance plus the lighting made him look like Prince Charming! I was so moved that I’ve admired him ever since.”
Hmm, so there is a chance that the two could eventually become a couple huh?
“The chance has always been there, because we understand each other so well,” said Wong. “But we have never acted on that opportunity, and are happy with the way things are now.”