Many of us in this region have fallen for it: We meet some International artist or “name” executive/producer/entrepreneurs etc, they all say they want to work with an Asian musician, you get very excited, said plonker returns home, there are a few emails, perhaps a few phone calls, even a press release, and then, despite our fawning at their feet, well then, nothing, nada, zilch.

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(Source: Mobile Shop)

Yet, after years- even a decade- of this one and that one “wanting” to do this and that in China, Thailand, India, Mongolia, Chungking Mansions etc, nothing ever happens.

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Sure, if in a music company, we might have recorded “East/West duets” which were simply getting an existing backtrack, split parts and having a local artist bung in their vocals.

So, yes, somewhere there are numerous “duets” with Enrique Iglesias and a number of Asian artists, Kylie and Taiwan’s Jolin, Sally Yeh and James Ingram, Brian McKnight and nearly everyone in Asia doing “Back At One” etc, all of which were vanity recordings produced to keep some mega Asian artist happy so they renew their contracts.

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(Source: Daily Mail)

Taiwan’s Jolin Tsai is a prime example of this kinda “blackmail” insisting on meeting Kylie, then recording a duet with her where the silly thing sang her part in English and not Mandarin which made the effort bad karaoke.

She still left EMI after releasing a F*** You record of English covers to fulfill contractual obligations.

Sorry, I’m starting to yawn thinking about all the bullshit we had to go through with the geographically-challenged at Head Office to have these pieces of fluff approved.

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Anyway, what about any REAL East/West collaborations other than the recent surreal pairing of Blush and Snoop Dogg?

Snoop must have been stoned outta his head to agree to get involved in this or owed someone a few favors.

What did this duet lead to? Nada. Is this manufactured embarrassment of five girls from around Asia even still around? Does anyone really care?

Moving quickly away from things that make even me blush, Damon Albarn came kinda close with East/West music with his work for The Monkey King, but the enthusiasm never matched the music whereas Peter Gabriel has done his part, but needs something new to remain relevant. There is so much of Biko one can take.

To date, ONLY the two One Giant Step recordings and accompanying documentaries have succeeded in bringing East/West musical worlds together and on a different note with someone hearing something special in reggae, a bloke named Bob Marley and financially investing in Jamaican music.

Not surprisingly, both projects became a reality because of the vision, ear and passion of the great Chris Blackwell and his Island Records.

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(Source: Flickr)

Where’s the “new” Chris Blackwell? Then again, the “old” Chris Blackwell is, thankfully, still around and from everything I know, he’s as relevant as ever and with far more knowledge and “worldliness” than most young pretenders.

What will it take for him to find something musical in Asia that would capture his interest. He certainly doesn’t need the money. Only the inspiration. If only…

And here’s where I have a problem.

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Someone like Hong Kong singer Coco Lee has the connections and financial clout to hire any “name” producer to record yet another record for her.

Will this make it more of a success than the other duds she’s recorded? Sorry, but she’s just not good enough to make it outside her own backyard and even that’s debatable.

The point is WHAT will it take for anyone, anywhere with any cred and a marquee value name want to drop everything, fly half-way round the world to work on something inspired by someone in Asia?

Where are those with not only the Big Ideas but also the business savvy so there is an ROI- Return On Interest?

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(Source: Bluinc)

Every few months, there are the usual requests from India and Sri Lanka for me to contact Management of Nicki Minaj, Nicole Sherzingher, Akon- he’s always available- will i am- I really don’t understand this guy’s “genius”- L’il Wayne etc.

For what? For some vague idea with no substance and which wastes my time, and after more vagueness about budgets for a duet with some Bollywood star or a possible show in Sri Lanka, it all fizzles out into just more la la talk where you’ve been given the runaround with nothing to show for it other than a huge phone bill.

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(Source: How To Experience)

While on this subject, show me the money ‘cos doing favors and the long days of the free lunches and free ideas are well and truly over. It’s nothing personal, it’s just tough love business.

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(Source: Theological Synergy)

Still, this craving to work with International names is kinda funny as very few have anything original where these people are really needed.

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Frankly, Asians working with other Asians on music-based projects for export could possibly pay off much greater dividends, but us Asians have been brought up to think that the grass is always greener somewhere else- namely the West.

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It’s like suffering from Small Dick Syndrome and believing that the talent in this region is sub-standard and inadequate.

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At least when at EMI, I tried and had Yoko Ono approve an Asian remix of Give Peace A Chance which Head Office in the UK managed to quickly kill along with three duets between Robbie Williams and Asha Bhosle. It was The Not Invented Here Syndrome.

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(Source: Side Wise Insights)

So, at the end of the day, there will be more fawning, more behaving like old groupies, believing more false promises and zero results other than someone like Wyclef Jean getting jiggy in China and recording some crap with a naive China Girl.

Bruce Lee, left for America where he was made to speak chop suey English as Kato in The Green Hornet and returned to Hong Kong with renewed Chinese Pride and Fists Of Fury.

The movies of Stephen Chao and Wong Kar-wai have great fans amongst many Hollywood A Listers. But when it comes to music and projects, Asia appears a very barren wasteland, Tonto.

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(Source: Retro Kimmer)