Hua Chenyu (华晨宇 Huà Chényǔ; born February 7, 1990), also known as Hua Hua (Chinese: 花花), is a Chinese singer and songwriter. He rose to fame after winning the 2013 Super Boy singing contest produced by Hunan TV, China. Hua is well known for his powerful vocals, dramatic stage performance and talents in composing. He is often recognized as one of the most influential singer-songwriters under 30 in China.
Hua released his debut album Quasimodo’s Gift in September 2014, whose sales volume had ranked Top 1 in the Jingdong Top 100 Annual Sales Chart (Music). His second physical album Aliens was released in December 2015. His first personal branded concert, “Mars” Concert, was held in Beijing on 6 September 2014 even before his debut album was released. Over 10,000 tickets were sold out within two minutes, breaking several records and making him the first Mainland singer of his generation to hold concerts in a large arena. An additional concert on 7 September was then announced and sold out due to high demand. Since then, Hua has brought his “Mars” Concerts to other cities in China every year. On 7 March 2017, he released his third album “H”, which refers to his last name initial.
Hua Chenyu was born into a wealthy family on 7 February 1990 in the city of Shiyan. He lived with his father during his childhood, who remarried when he was 10 years old. He began playing the flute at the age of 6 and the piano in the fifth grade when he realized playing the flute was not enough to express his music vision. He wrote his first song at the age of twelve after mastering piano.
After finishing middle school, he moved to Wuhan alone to receive more professional music training. In 2010, he entered Wuhan Conservatory of Music, where he studied vocal performance and gained more stage experience as the vocalist of a college rock band, Conseer. At the end of his period in the conservatory, he made definitive steps in order to start his musical career.
In 2013, shortly before graduating from conservatory, Hua entered the casting for the Super Boy contest. During this show produced by Hunan TV, the young singer started his rise among the contestants. On his first appearance to the audience, he sang his original “Lyricless Song” that gave him the label of “Martian”. He was coached by Laure Shang, in the final round on 27 September 2013, Chenyu Hua won the championship of 2013 “Super Boy”.
After the competition, Hua was signed to EE-Media, the Mainland Chinese record label where the most of the Super Boy and Super Girl contestants are linked. His debut single “Me and Myself” was released in September 2013. Hua also took part in the Super Boy Tour with other contestants, in which they toured 11 major Chinese cities.
2013–2014 First Mars Concert and Debut Album Quasimodo’s Gift
Chenyu Hua went to Italy and Spain to film for the TVN reality show “Divas Hit the Road” in April 2014 and the show was broadcast starting from 25 April. The first episode had got the highest audience measurement within the same time period. This show, with its high popularity, attracted many attention on Hua among general audience. In June, he was invited by the popular Korean eyewear brand ALO as the first Chinese brand ambassador and went to Korea for the advertising photos shooting.
In less than a year since Hua’s debut, he announced the his first brand-named concert, Mars Concert in May 2014. On 28 June 2014, over 10,000 concert tickets for the first show on 6 September were sold out within 1 minute 32 seconds. Due to the heated response, the organizers announced to hold an extra show on 7 September. The press conference of the Mars Concert 2014 was held in Huiyuan Space of the Beijing Mastercard Center. This made him the first in the Chinese music industry to hold press conference in venue with thousand people’s capacity. Hua’s first solo concerts were held on 6 and 7 September 2014 at Beijing Mastercard Center (originally Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center and currently LeSports Center). The 6 September concert was unprecedentedly broadcast live through QQ Music and Hunantv, attracting more than 400,000 users watching the show online together. Over 120,000 E-tickets were sold. This new kind of technology and live broadcast created various records of the Chinese entertainment industry.
On the same day of his concert (6 September), the international jewelry brand, Pomellato, announced Chenyu Hua as the brand ambassador for the Dodo and Pomellato 67 series.
Not long after his concert, Hua released his first solo full-length album, Quasimodo’s Gift in 19 September 2014 both in Mainland and overseas. This atypical album has a variety of musical style, ranging from rock, indie and folk. Quasimodo’s Gift does not feature songs with the theme of love and relationship like other mainstream pop songs do, but it uses a first-person perspective to describe the world as seen from the eyes of Hua. The sense of loneliness and yet not daniel torres sorrow fills up the whole album. According to Hua, the major theme of this album is to be “small”: “At first I wanted to name it Size 40. 40 is my shoe size. I mean everyone doesn’t need a vast space to live, as one only have a pair of feet of size 40, and just standing here is enough… Because as long as you are standing here, you exist, and have a value of existence.” – Hua Chenyu. Later on November 11th, the short film Quasimodo’s Gift was released, with Hua being the main character. Two of his songs in this album, Quasimodo’s Gift and Ashes from the Fireworks, was included in the film, merging the music into the story. The music videos of this two songs were also cuts from this short film. The overseas version of this album ranked number one on the Taiwan Five Music Chart for several weeks. This album received several awards, including ERC Chinese Top Ten Awards for Best Album, Top Chinese Music Awards for 2014 Most Popular Album, Best Album Performance, and Best Album Production, Chinese Music Radio Awards for Best Composition, and Golden Song for Let You Go in this album.
In November, he was invited to the online variety show of Tencent, namely “Say Hi! The Hit of China” (Hi歌). In the programme, he chose to rearrange the song “Spring” and won the “Annual Hit Song of China” (年度Hi歌). On Christmas Eve, he performed the rearranged piano version “Shimmer” and “Quasimodo’s Gift” in pianist Langlang’s Beijing concert.
2015 Second Album Aliens and Mars Concert
On 1 January 2015, Chenyu Hua for the first time joined and performed in the Liaoning TV New Year Gala.
On 10 January, “Shimmer” was announced to be the interlude song of the Chinese TV drama “You Are My Sunshine” (何以笙箫默).
On 8 February (Los Angeles Time), Chenyu Hua was invited by Billboard as VIP spectator to the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. On 17 February, Chenyu Hua performed in the Liaoning TV Chinese New Year Gala.
On 27 April, Hua released his vocal experimental song “Cancer”.
On the Forbes China Celebrity 100 announced on May 11, Chenyu Hua was found on the chart for the first time with the integrated ranking of 91.
In early May, Hua’s Mars Concert was announced to hold on 1 August in Shanghai. Almost 10,000 tickets were sold out within 35 seconds while over 160,000 people were online. This once again broke the online ticketing record in the Mainland. Due to the heated response, his company announced two extra shows at the same venue, on 31 July and 2 August respectively. It made him the first Mainland singer to hold concert for three consecutive nights in the same venue. His concert on 1 August was broadcast online through Tencent and HunanTV (芒果TV). The Tencent online audience reached 2.64 million. This also renewed the record for online concert real-time broadcast.
On 27 September, Hua attended CCTV Mid Autumn Festival Gala and performed “Shimmer”.
On 28 October, his second album “Aliens” started pre-ordering on Jingdong. The limited 30,000 pieces almost sold out within a day. On 7 November, his first digital album as well started pre-ordering. Within 8 minutes, over 100,000 pieces were sold. It has attained sale volume of 350,000 on the first day of sale. On 18 December, “Aliens” was put on sale on overseas music platforms like iTunes while the overseas version of “Aliens” was also officially started selling on 22 December. The promotional video of “Aliens” was aired on the LED screen at New York Time Square for a week starting from 23 December. Hua composed 7 of the 11 songs, and for this album, he wanted to present himself as “big”, “domineering”, in contrast to his first album, This was also the first time he included rap songs in his album. This Album also won many awards, including ERC Chinese Top Ten Awards for Best Concept Album, Best Vocal Collaboration for Kings and Paupers, Top Chinese Music Awards for Best Album Performance, 2016 Ali Music Annual Awards for Best Pop Album, Most Popular Album, and Most Popular song for Mayfly.
On 13 November, the first-ever Chinese production music study tour reality show which Chenyu Hua has joined, “Be the Idol” (唱游天下) by Jiangsu TV, was on air.
On New Year’s Eve, Chenyu Hua for three consecutive years appeared in the Hunan TV New Year Countdown Concert.
2016 Tour Concerts, The Next
On January 8th, Hua performed in “Langlang’s Sky – Langlang and His Friends Spring Music Festival”. The show was broadcast through Liaoning TV on February 1.
On February 8th, he performed “For My Future Child” on Beijing TV Chinese New Year Gala.
On March 4th, Chenyu Hua appeared as a guest on the variety show “The Negotiator” (王牌对王牌) on ZhejiangTV. His rearrangement of the song “Boluo Boluo Mi” originally by Xie Na (菠萝菠萝蜜) gained widespread concern and positive comments.
On March 7th, the interlude song “The Rampage” for the movie Who Sleeps My Bro was released. On 7 April, he released the song “Mars Intelligence Agency” which is the theme song for the online talk show with the same title.
On April 9th, he participated in the 16th Annual Festival of Top Chinese Music as ambassador and received two awards: Annual Best Album Performance for his album Aliens and Annual Best Idol.
On July 8th, Chenyu Hua’s newly released song, “Here We Are”, was announced to be the theme song for movie Line Walker (film) (使徒行者). Another self-composed song, “To Be Free”, was released on August 3 and it is the promotional song for movie The Warriors Gate. On 16 August, Chenyu Hua released his second English song For Forever. This song was specially created for the Mars Concert.
This year Hua chose to hold tour concerts in three cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Beijing Concert was held on July 2nd in The Cadillac Arena (originally Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center).Shanghai Concerts were held on August 21 in Mercedes-Benz Arena. The finale of 2016 Mars Concert took place in Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre, with Khalil Fong as the special guest. The live online broadcast of the Shanghai and Shenzhen concerts, supported by LeEco, accumulated over 4.3 million viewers.
From October 2016 to January 2017, Hua participated as a celebrity mentor and judge in the first season of 天籁之战 (The Next) alongside Karen Mok, Fei Yu-Ching and Yang Kun. In this programme, aspiring singers have the opportunity to challenge a celebrity mentor. The celebrity mentor will then be assigned a song by the challenger and will only have 24 hours to prepare for the performance. Hua gained widespread recognition for his talent in rearrangement and performance, especially after his own arrangement of 我的滑板鞋 (My Skateboard Shoes), entitled 我的滑板鞋 2016. Other performances where he won a majority of audience votes include 流浪记, 故乡的云, Dear Friend, 齐天大圣 (Great Sage Equal to Heaven, translation may vary) and 易燃易爆炸 (Flammable and Explosive). Hua and contestant Juno Su performed 南屏晚钟 (Naping Evening Bells) in the semi-finals and 如果爱 (Perhaps Love) in the finals.
2017 Studying Abroad, TV Shows, Mars Concert
Right after filming The Next, Hua went to study in Berklee College of Music until end of March. He learned more singing and rapping skills, but finding that many of the techniques suits English songs more than Chinese ones. He also learned about how Pentatonic Scale was used in Western music (as it was also widely used in traditional Chinese music), which he found most useful, and would incorporate it into his own songs (e.g.his later rearrangement of Drinking Alone).
From October 2017 to January 2018, Hua continued his role as a celebrity mentor and judge in the second season of The Next alongside Karen Mok, Fei Yu-Ching, Yang Kun and Jason Zhang.
From February to April 2018, Chenyu Hua participated in the Chinese singing competition “Singer 2018” (歌手2018) alongside Jessie J, Wang Feng, Tengger, Angela Chang, James Li, Juno Su, KZ Tandingan and more. His rearrangements have earned him rising popularity in China. During the show, he won the first place in four episodes, and his average percentage of votes ranked 2nd among all the previous contestants in the 6 seasons of Singer (and I Am a Singer before it re-branded). In the finale episode, Hua’s performance of “Light Years Away”《光年之外》with G.E.M brought him to Top Four together with Jessie J, Wang Feng and Tengger. His final performance of Angela Chang’s song, “Shout”《呐喊》, earned him second place, after Jessie J.
On September 8th 2018, Chenyu Hua will hold his 2018 Mars Concert in Beijing National Stadium (“Bird Nest”).