Dominican musician’s amazing connection with Hong Kong-Xinhua

Photo taken on September 16 shows Chris Polanco at his music studio in Hong Kong, southern China. (Xinhua)

“Everything is meant to be,” said Polanco, who has had his ups and downs in his roller coaster ride as a musician in Hong Kong.

by Xinhua writer Lu Yun

HONG KONG, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — When Dominican musician Chris Polanco arrived in Hong Kong 22 years ago, a sense of belonging mysteriously struck him.

“It’s kind of weird because when I got here, I immediately fell in love with the city. It felt like home,” Polanco said at a music production studio in the Central District of Hong Kong.

That sense of connection runs through her entire musical career, which is evidenced by high-profile partnerships with big-name singers such as Eason Chan as well as her unexpected popularity singing with fans on Instagram.

“Everything is meant to be,” Polanco likes to say. For the 44-year-old who has had his ups and downs on his rollercoaster ride as a musician in Hong Kong, life is full of magical connections.

LINK IN MUSIC

In the year 2000, Polanco took its first flight out of the Dominican Republic for contract work at Ocean Park in Hong Kong. For six months, he played Latin music before dolphin shows to warm up the crowds.

“In general, Latin music is very upbeat, entertaining and interactive. And Ocean Park has a tropical feel to it. It hooked up right away,” he said.

While introducing Latin music to Hong Kongers, Polanco began to learn from the local music industry, expanding his musical styles while learning new languages.

Now fluent in Cantonese, he alternated between Spanish, his native language, as well as English and Cantonese while chatting with friends around the world.

Despite the language differences, he thinks Cantonese pop music and Latin music have a lot in common.

“When people think of Latin music, they only think of fast music. But Latin music has a lot of different styles. It can be slow, which is very similar to Cantopop,” he said. , starting to sing a classic Spanish song to take stock.

In August, Polanco released his first Cantonese single, with a music video showing him playing instruments and singing with his signature sunglasses.

The song was well received by audiences from different cultural backgrounds. In Chinese, English and Spanish, his fans replied: what a beautiful song! Thanks Chris.

Photo taken on September 16 shows Chris Polanco at his music studio in Hong Kong, southern China. (Xinhua)

CONNECT PEOPLE

By nature, Polanco is an emotional man. When he plays a sad song, the inner corners of his eyebrows are angled up to show a sad look. When a fan resonates with their music, excitement creeps across their face.

The iconic sunglasses, which are already part of her public image, hide emotions such as joy and sadness.

His “low moment”, Polanco recalled, was when he quit his second job in Hong Kong, jobless and struggling to pay his rent.

“My mom called and said, come home. I was like, no, I feel like I’m connected to this place,” he said.

Music was his remedy at that time. He wrote songs during the day. When night fell, he watched Cantonese operas on television, which gave him peace and strength.

“I guess I was Chinese in my previous life,” he laughed.

Earlier this year, Hong Kong was hit hard by the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stayed at home, Polanco began producing Instagram posts that let people sing along.

Dressed in his T-shirt, seated in front of a keyboard, Polanco began with “Okay, sing it with me”, then it was a popular song, in Cantonese, English, Mandarin or Spanish.

The videos quickly went viral and Polanco gained over 80,000 fans within three months. He was happy to be able to inspire and bring positive energy to people in difficult times.

“It’s not just about us singing, it’s about people sharing their singing with the world. It’s really amazing,” he said.

With music, Polanco is able to connect with people all over the world.

“Music is my channel and my call to bring positive messages to people,” he said.

FIND A HOUSE

As a member of the group DUO, which tours with Eason Chan around the world, Polanco develops a connection with the other members, whom he considered his family.

“We were so attached to each other that music became a secondary thing,” he said.

He also convinced his son to move to Hong Kong five years ago, who was captivated by the bustling city and moved to his home.

Hong Kong has one of the best ecosystems in the world for musicians, and it takes advantage of this environment to preserve and develop Cantonese music.

“I hope new generations will go and listen to these Cantonese songs and understand how beautiful music can be,” he said.

To be a true Hong Konger, Polanco needs a Chinese name. One of his fans shouted the name “Chan Kit” in Cantonese during one of his performances, and he happily accepted it.

Like many other things in his life, things happened naturally.

“I arrived one day and couldn’t imagine that I would fall in love with this great city,” he sings in the clip, this time without his sunglasses, showing a big smile on his face.

“Finally the day had come for me to make the decision. I’m so happy, lucky to live here.”

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