Jay Chou is child-like, says Lara Liang

By Noorsila Abd Majid

Rising pop chanteuse Lara Liang is counting her lucky stars.

Signed to Jay Chou's JVR Music label, the adequately talented singer/songwriter says she feels blessed to have the Taiwanese superstar singer-actor as her boss.

"Jay is the most relaxed boss. He's actually child-like," the 22-year-old dishes out. "But he's respectful of everyone's artistic space. So he's less business-like. Our work is very creative and we always have fun in creating our music."

Their friendship and working relationship began seven years ago when Lara was just 15. She caught his eye not just because of her musical talents, but also her Chinese, Russian and American roots.

Jay Chou World Tour 2010
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"I'm actually very Asian at heart," says the petite singer with a laugh. "But I don't look Chinese. Jay was initially worried that my 'Caucasian' looks might distance me from Asian music fans. So he asked me to join his group of musician friends,  Nan Quan Mama - all boys - as their female vocalist. It's a hip-hop band with a lot of variety."

The experiment with Nan Quan Mama worked. Their Meal No.2 album became of the top 5 albums in the Taiwanese charts in 2005. Together, the band has cut six well- received studio albums.

Fast forward six years and Lara is now out with her solo debut, Hello Lara. Comprising 11 good chill-out tracks penned by the able songsmith, it's expected to be a radio hit.

"It's more organic music," Lara enthuses. "It's soothing and relaxing. If you're stressed, just listen to my album and you won't think of anything."