THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

Hotel lounge singers are not exactly my plat du jour- never have been and never will- as nine times outta ten, they are mediocre talent with nothing much going for them in music other than to warble some half-baked covers to mainly businessmen far more interested in getting laid.

At least that’s how it’s always been in Hong Kong- a formulaic and lazy approach to providing entertainment without any thought of even trying to be different.

Unlike the creativity and importance placed on the ‘live’ music at, for example, the W Hotel in New York, this formulaic baton has been passed in Hong Kong from one F&B director to the next who take that well-traveled route of going to that same old well of the city’s tiny pool of booking agents with their even smaller roster of artists.

The end result is musical chairs where the same old chanteuses take their Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Oletta Adams Songbooks and try to “jazz it up” with a double bassist and keyboard player from the days of Methuselah. The end result is unadulterated schlock.

WHY JESSICA EDMUNDS SHOULD BE HEARD 1

Once in a while, however, one finds themselves in one of these hotel lounges and hears someone who makes you sit up, take notice, and think, she deserves better.

American Jessica Edmunds, below, the resident singer at the Champagne Bar of the Grand Hyatt is one such singer- and singer and performer are two very different things.

WHY JESSICA EDMUNDS SHOULD BE HEARD 2

Danny Diaz is a performer. Jennifer Palor is a singer. So is Jessica Edmunds. Here’s a girl who has a brilliant sense of timing, phrasing and a vocal style that can’t really be compared to anyone around- certainly not in Hong Kong.

WHY JESSICA EDMUNDS SHOULD BE HEARD 3b

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SClawa71tc

What’s bewildering/baffling/stupid is that she’s been singing at this venue for over eight months and has been kept on the “down low” for so long while far less talent doing hotel gigs have an almost rabid need to be big fish in a small pond while making barking noises to be seen and heard.

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One hopes this post will have those who share my fear and loathing of lounge singers check this girl out. She’s much more than that.

Give her a tight 4-5 piece backing group, and a more contemporary repertoire and Jessica Edmunds can be a game changer in the tedious and creatively stifling role of The Hotel Lounge Singer, something as depressing as being a wedding singer.

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Hans Ebert
Chairman and CEO
We-Enhance Inc and Fast Track Global Ltd
www.fasttrack.hk