Asian Polymath is the biggest project Namewee has ever put on, the wholly self-written album transcends the concepts of time and dimensions, it reimagines the afterlife and bestows a whole new meaning for life and death. Asian Polymath is a cognition collectives of all the previous albums, it congregates the essence from the last generation’s works. Asian Polymath is a wish from the author to honor the greats.
From 10,000 Reasons To Make Me Happy, Stop Clubbing, Our Love Is Over, Beyond The Edge and Five Hundred. These very Namewee-ish song titles have definitely got people to burst into laughters and their interest piqued. However when it comes to ‘Honoring’, the word has put Namewee into serious thoughts. To hammer the album into perfection, Namewee has had a few excursions to countries and places such as Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and India’s Bollywood. Through his research and mid-night grinding, he discovered the musical element which could have an ever-lasting impact on a culture’s growth. By utilizing the historical sampling and referencing techniques, Namewee inducted the element into his most recent works to woo the industry once again.
As the opening title, China Reggaeton fuses the Chinese sound with Reggae to create a unique blend of flavours yet what attracts most is the fact that Anthony Perry, the HKFA laureate being invited to feature in the song. Beyond The Edge is a song which the Hong Kong people love the most, Fu Jiu from China has a voice that strongly resembles the legendary rock band main vocals from Hong Kong – Beyond, hats off to the legends! Canon Rock 2020 is blessed to feature the song’s original creator – JerryC, the song commemorates the first wave YouTube content creators and a backstory of how Namewee rose to prominence. I Shot You shows that Namewee has limitless creativity, he wants to honour the Adult Video actresses and particularly JAV for accompanying him during his loneliest hours. Besides that, the appearance of Yua Mikami has garnered the music video a lot of unwanted attention. Do you still remember the 90s retro disco music? Stop Clubbing is a song that discourages young adults to go to such places. Head figure of Taiwan’s EDM, DJ Jerry collaborates with Namewee to rewind time back to the 90s happiest hours.
To complete the Asian Polymath formula, the finale of the ‘Asia’ albums. Unprecedented guest invitations and collaborations in the album far exceeds the industry’s common standard, in addition to the vast music genres such as Rock,R&B, Rap, Reggae, Ancient Chinese, Hindustani, Modern Pop, EDM and Disco. Nonetheless, sampling techniques, piano, guitars and strings, ancient instruments, Kompang, Sitar, Sape and countless instruments were used. Namewee greatly expanded the instrument capabilities and infused them with his creativity. During each stage of the process, the artiste was always brimming with ideas, the artist even exclaimed: ‘This project has my brain wrenched! My most time-consuming project ever!’
As a perfectionist, Namewee would always need to delve into his massive sound libraries to rummage a voicing that could match the corresponding time period, sometimes it could take weeks to filter a suitable candidate. Namewee would even go to the extreme by attempting to contact the original song producer to locate the most accurate sound but that’s just the first baby footsteps. Then, he would discuss with his arranger for ways to make the sound more modern, to fit the old blood in a new body. Asian Polymath is amazing for its preservation of the retro elements but still modern sounding aspect.
To differ ‘Honouring’ and ‘Imitating’ has its difficulties, the fine line between the 2 is ambivalent and blurry. Hence, Namewee has his own answer to such a question, he believes that by paying homage to the classics, their people and legacies would be the huge difference maker. Long story short, Namewee was already a backpacker in his college years, while he was travelling with a very tight budget in Asia, it was the classics that kept reminding him to be diligent and stoic.
The Corona-pandemic has ravaged 2020 into pieces, many were despair and despondent but Namewee persevered, thus giving birth to Asian Polymath. The word ‘Polymath’ means a person who possesses wide knowledge and talent, Namewee believes that everyone is born with talent yet true success is only granted to the most hardworking genius. Asian Polymath is Namewee’s desire for working with every talented person he came across in Asia, with burning passion comes unparalleled talent, that’s the last calling of Asian Polymath.