Hong Kong’s music culture began in the 1920s as an amalgamation of western music such as swing, traditional Cantonese opera, and Mandarin songs that had popularized China through Shanghai.
There was a notion that genres sung in Cantonese beyond opera were considered uncouth and unfashionable. It wasn’t until the 1970s, thanks to the rise of broadcast media, that Cantonese pop music took over the scene in the form of television drama theme songs. The 1980s was the apex of Cantopop, and even to this very day, people of all generations still hark back to the Golden Years of Hong Kong.
Due to various factors such as the eclipse of fierce competition from Mainland China and Taiwan, Cantopop has been on the decline for more than a decade. Sentimental ballad has now become mainstream. Not saying that syrupy love songs are bad, but what if you crave something a little different? Wish fulfilled!
Without further ado, here are 4 Hong Kong rock bands that you should check out.
1 Supper Moment
A pop rock quartet who enjoys great popularity in Hong Kong, particularly among youths. They have won numerous awards, and one of their songs, 橙海, was played during Hong Kong's New Year's fireworks display.
2 Dear Jane
While it’s their ballads that have garnered the most attention among listeners, punk rock remains the quintessence of their music. “It was difficult getting our brand of rock ’n’ roll out because most Chinese people only knew [at that point] Beyond from the ’80s and ’90s. We were just considered white noise to them,” said Howie Yung the guitarist.
GDJYB is the Cantonese romanized acronym of the all-female band’s official name——鸡gai1蛋daan6蒸zing1肉juk6饼bing2, which literally translates to Steamed Pork Patty with Egg. Their genre of music is what they label as math-folk, a mix of math rock and folk. From music videos to lyrics, their social and political messages are hardly subtle. This catchy song, “Durian What What What”, describes the situation in Hong Kong after the 2014 Umbrella Revolution.
A unique indie rock band that genre-blends. In summary, “Those music critics, they talk [rubbish]. They make predictions, to make people think they know something, but they don’t know anything because they’re not making music. … as long as you are playing rock and roll, it will never die.”
What do you think? Let us know, and share with us your musical tastes!