Jonathan Wong

Jonathan Wong

Singer-songwriter, dancer-choreographer and actor

Tell us about yourself.
I was born in San Francisco but moved to Hong Kong before my first birthday. It was here that I picked up music and I began to play the piano and violin at the age of six. I returned to the US for university and graduated with a double major in psychology and modern dance from Cornell University in 2008, before making my musical debut in Hong Kong a year later.

What’s one thing people might not know about you?
I’m a giant man child. I like toys and comic books, and I like to crack jokes when it’s totally inappropriate. People tend to hire me to do sensible things, which is great, but it would be cool to play around with my fun side, too.

Which of your accomplishments are you particularly proud of?
I’ve competed in a major singer-songwriter competition alongside Taiwanese R&B artist David Tao, and composed songs for pop divas Karen Mok and Sammi Cheng, and the Mainland Chinese boy band X Nine. I’ve had the good fortune to have received more than 50 major awards in various categories. In 2019 I had the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event, and since then I’ve been giving talks in schools and universities. This has given me access to an a wider audience, through webinars for example, which have allowed me to communicate and touch base with my fans, even during the pandemic.

What was it like starting off in this business?
As an indie artist, I struggled to find finance. Unlike other artists with labels, I worked alone. I soon realised that I couldn’t afford to make it just by doing music, so I switched gears into acting as well. Now, having worked on a number of television dramas, movies, theatrical musicals and talk shows, I’ve dabbled in screenwriting too.

What exciting things can we expect from you?
I’ve started to develop TV and film projects in Los Angeles. There’s something to be said about Asians in Hollywood, or Western film culture. You can’t expect people to write the stories you want to be told. And if you wait, it may never happen. So I thought, why don’t I start doing that? I’ve also launched an e-shop concept YRMS — or Your Rhythm, My Soul — where I collaborate with Hong Kong artists across all platforms to create products inspired by my music, which are sold online.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
You need to be hard working and serious — but not too serious — and, above all, be tough enough to fail and embrace failure.

Location: Mont Rouge, Kerry Properties