City News catches up with popular Taiwanese band F.I.R. for a quick chat about living out their faith in the entertainment circle.
Contributed by Sun Aizhen and Chiong Xiao Ting
We just ended our promotional events in Singapore and there’s an upcoming concert in Hong Kong on July 5, and Singapore on July 9. We’ve been doing our rehearsals here in Singapore.
CN: What motivates your music?
We’re motivated by how we can influence others. We started the band to bring beautiful things into the world. F.I.R stands for each of our names, and its also an abbreviation for “fairyland in reality.” Fairyland is like heaven. Reality is cruel at times, but through our music we want people to feel that this world is beautiful and they can be lifted out of their despair.
This new album has a song entitled 让我们一起微笑 (Let Us Smile Together). Many people are not smiling anymore, for whatever burden they are carrying on the inside. We hope that when people listen to our songs, they can smile.
CN: Tell us more about the album.
For the previous albums, we sang about the stories of others, but for this album, there’s more of our personal stories. There are also a few of Faye’s songs in it. One of them is “Hero,” a song she wrote to God.
CN: What is the biggest challenge you face as a band, be it in terms of creativity, relationship or other aspects?
Sometimes at the workplace when we stick to godly principles, people around us will feel that we are trying to act high and mighty. As such, tension does arise at times, and when this happens we will find ways to be more flexible without compromising on our values.
A while ago, we had a new group of co-workers who were very resistant to our faith. So we decided not to talk about our faith directly, instead, we talked about the power of positive thinking, which is a godly principle. So when we embarked on any promotional activities, instead of praying, we would declare that it would be a victorious or wonderful day. After one or two weeks, they found that there was greater productivity at work, and realized that what our faith teaches us is actually good. Putting the doctrine aside, we engage others with something more practical first.
CN: What are some of the values that you personally feel can be found in God that this world cannot offer? Conversely, what are some of the things you feel that Christians can learn from the world?
In our course of work, we come across many talented professionals who work with very high standards. We’re talking about large scale events for 10,000 people or more. These professionals include directors, animators, fashion stylists as well as the lighting and sound crew. God has put us in this position not just to influence others, but to learn from their professionalism and diligence as well.
But what we realize is that these professionals are usually not very happy. They are intense all the time and tend to rely on themselves. Christians have the joy of the Lord, which is our strength.
CN: What is the difference in engaging celebrities as compared to engaging people who are not in the entertainment circle?
The most important thing is to have a genuine interest in the person you are engaging. In the entertainment circle, celebrities tend to have a stronger shell of self-protection. We have been through that phase as well. The process of reaching out to an artiste takes a long time. You have to keep building relationships by spending time with them, and often, it is outside of the church setting that they slowly open up their hearts.
CN: How will the upcoming concert be different from what you guys have done in the past?
There are many changes, but mainly in terms of music arrangement. We’ll be singing songs from our first to the most recent album released last December, but the old songs will be arranged differently. We are working with a Singaporean musician and his team—we really like their work, and they have great chemistry among one another. Our image will be different as well. It will be more dramatic and impressive. We’ll be taking on different personalities—Faye is air, I (Ah Qin) am sunshine and Jian Ning is water.
F.I.R will be performing in Singapore on July 9 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets are available at all Sistic counters.