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Chinese Uyghur rock star to perform in Singapore

by June 22, 2016 General

SINGAPORE, June 22 (Xinhua) — Chinese Uyghur pop-rock composer and musician Perhat Khaliq, who is best known for his performances on the television reality show The Voice Of China in 2014, will perform in Singapore as part of the Singapore International Festival of Arts'(SIFA) The OPEN event over the next two days.

34-year-old Perhat was born in Urumqi, the capital city of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This is his first time to perform in Singapore.

Talking about what brings him to the lion city, he said it all began with his award in the Netherlands last December. Perhat received the 2015 Prince Claus Award last year, where one of the judges, Ong Keng Sen, who’s also the director of SIFA, was very impressed with his performances, so he invited him to perform in Singapore.

Perhat is well recognized for his skilled, expressive vocals, poetic lyrics and outstanding musical performance. He, who writes rock songs in Uyghur language, often conquers the audiences with the excellent combination of western rock and traditional Uyghur musical forms.

One day ahead of his performance here, Perhat told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that his unique Uyghur rock music is something that’s quite natural, rather than artificial.

“I am not trying to express anything. I just love music, and Uyghur is my mother tongue, so I write more smoothly,” he said.

Although it’s hard to understand the lyrics, his music is well-accepted for audiences of every nationality. “People of other races or nationalities all love our music, the problem is not so many Uyghur musicians are doing things like us, and there exists a lot more room to explore.”

Despite his previous fame in Xinjiang, Perhat was widely known by the audiences after he stepped on the stage of The Voice Of China in 2014, when many were moved by his rich, deep yet soulful voice.

“Many musicians dislike reality shows, they think they’re too commercial. That’s also right, but I think this is a very good platform,” he said, adding that going over the whole process of the show is in fact very cruel.

“Many were happy when they passed the first round, but they were soon forgotten. Even some of those who enjoyed great popularity during the show were barely seen soon after, because a real singer still has a long way to go, to think why he sings, who he really is and what is art.”

“Then why do you sing?” When asked, Perhat thought for a while and said a word — “2006”.

“Before 2006, I was singing for the others, but during that year, I figured out that I should sing for myself,” he said. “Many people are singing because they want others to like them, this is not wrong, but those who sing to themselves, they have souls when they’re singing, which catches the audiences.”

Perhat’s concert will be the opening performance of “The OPEN event”, a public engagement initiative ahead of the main SIFA events.

This year, SIFA 2016 will present 20 productions for the main festival and 43 programs for The OPEN. The OPEN will kick off from Wednesday to July 9, while the main events will unveil from August 11 all the way to September 17.