Hong Kong pop stars Mirror step out of their comfort zone on new single ‘Day 0’ featuring Dame D.O.L.L.A, aka Damian Lillard

Hong Kong boyband-based Mirror continue their global march with new single ‘Day 0’, featuring a surprise collaboration with Dame D.O.L.L.A., the rap alter ego of NBA star Damian Lillard – watch the brand-new music video and read the Cantonese pop group’s interview with NME below.

Released last Friday, ‘Day 0’ marks the group’s second English-language release, almost a year after they made their international debut with ‘Rumours’. Today (April 10), the group have followed up with its flashy, neon-streaked music video, which unites Mirror with Milwaukee Bucks star Lillard.

Coinciding with Mirror’s fifth anniversary, the single is the group’s thank you to the “fans who have been supporting us from day zero”. It also landed as Mirror kicked off the North American leg of their first world tour, continuing the group’s proper introduction to the world (two years ago, an accident at a Mirror concert in Hong Kong made international headlines when it left two of their backing dancers with major injuries).

Discussing the new release ahead of their London concert at the O2 Arena, NME found Mirror in an ebullient mood. Asked what they like to do in their downtime, Keung To flung himself into frame, screamed “Eat!” and dipped out for the rest of the chat.

The rest of Mirror’s 12 members remembered how ‘Day 0’ forced them to evolve as an act. “The choreography was one of the most challenging parts for us,” Anson Lo said, recalling how they struggled with choreographer Jawn Ha of dance crew Kinjaz. “We all thought that it was the most difficult one in our history. It took us six sessions to complete the whole choreography.”

‘Day 0’ is a hip-hop track, a genre the group had not had much experience with – further making it a “new start for MIRROR,” as Lo put it. “We first heard the demo last year in April, and Dame wanted something more hip-hop. So we decided to step out of our zone and try hip-hop because apart from ‘Rumours,’ we’ve never tried this genre,” Lo explained. This English-language track was also far more challenging than the previous one. “We’ve never tried this amount of rapping – I think 70 per cent of the song is rap.” They “knew it would be difficult”, but the desire to surprise their fans and diversify their sound was motivation enough.

“We are not quite hip-hop. We are just a boy-band from Hong Kong doing our own [version] of Cantopop” – Ian Chan

“We are not quite hip-hop. We are just a boy-band from Hong Kong doing our own [version] of Cantopop. I think this song is a good mesh of hip-hop and Cantopop,” Ian Chan added. Mirror have been hailed as leaders of a Cantopop revival movement ever since they burst onto the scene, but they’ve referred to their music as ‘Hong Kong pop’ more than anything else.

Chan gamely teased out the difference for NME. “Cantopop has a taste of its own. It’s mostly on the brighter side as a genre. People focus on the lyrics more than the melody. For me, songs from the West focus on melody and the music arrangement,” he said. On the other hand, “Hong Kong doesn’t really have a specific style. It’s a very diverse place with a lot of different cultures. So, the uniqueness is that we can accept different genres of music, movies, and different styles of art.”

Even as they take on the global stage, Hong Kong remains their home base and primary influence. “We are very grateful that we have our friends and fans,” Chan said, adding more humbly: “We’re not saying that we are powerful enough or strong enough to promote in the US, but we are trying our best to bring more focus to Hong Kong pop culture.”

The post Hong Kong pop stars Mirror step out of their comfort zone on new single ‘Day 0’ featuring Dame D.O.L.L.A, aka Damian Lillard appeared first on NME.

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