Almost famous
    Photo by John Meguerian / North by Northwestern.

    Music seeps through the cracks. It’s everywhere all the time.

    That’s how it is in Felix Tsang’s life, anyway. His friends, future plans and daily life – they’re all about music.

    “I sing in the shower,” says the Communication junior. “When I go places I listen to music. It’s a huge part of my life.”

    On YouTube, Tsang is currently listed as the 13th most subscribed music account from Hong Kong. But he spent six months debating whether or not he should create one. Would he have time for it? Would it get in the way of his school work? Tsang’s friend Robynn Yip, who had already established herself as an Internet singer, finally convinced him to go for it in December 2009. He began uploading covers of Asian pop and American R&B songs.

    Tsang’s early songs on YouTube appear against blank black screens “so that you guys can fully enjoy the music.” In YouTube’s vast, niche-based society, Tsang’s choices of recent and catchy, yet melodic tunes that showcase his vocals easily found an audience. This audience reached for him, grabbed him and pulled him straight to the top. Now Tsang is performing in fully produced music videos and singing songs that consistently rack up the views — his cover of Tamia’s “Officially Missing You” has surpassed the 200,000 views.

    Tsang has always shared the spotlight, though. Friends and fellow singers have been a constant in his development as a musician and the evidence is all over his YouTube page. Through social media he reaches out to other Hong Kong singers and brings them together. Last year he even hosted a showcase for Hong Kong YouTube talent, using the Facebook fan page he created to gather the performers, display their talents and follow their progress. He asked musicians to post videos. The first 10 people to respond participated in a live show in Hong Kong that Tsang organized.

    A classically trained pianist for seven years, Tsang’s been around music all his life. He quit the piano at age 14 and discovered singing, which has “been my passion since,” Tsang says. Though it’s a musical outlet he’s never been formally trained in, the self-proclaimed amateur has been singing for years. He’s performed in musicals and done live charity shows, in addition to making himself known across the web as an artist.

    “Fame and success would be a bonus, but for me it’s really just an outlet […] to do something I love […] to put it out there for everyone to appreciate,” says Tsang. “It’s really up to the world to interpret it their own way.”

    Tsang says he finds that his Hong Kong music career and his life at Northwestern complement each other. He’s kept singing a big part of his Northwestern life through becoming part of the a cappella group Treblemakers, and planning the event he calls his “ultimate goal” at Northwestern. Tsang and Bienen junior Matthew Lee co-founded Quad A, the Asian American A Cappella Association, a group that participated in the first ever Quad A Show event. Groups from MIT, Yale, University of Pennsylvania and Washington University in St. Louis gathered together to celebrate their heritage and their talents.

    “It was just amazing, [the finale] was like a wall of sound […] and it’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced,” says Tsang. “And now that I have achieved this, I feel like I can move on to something bigger in my life.”

    Tsang plans to return to his homeland of Hong Kong after he graduates. He’ll pursue artist management and someday, if his mission goes according to plan, he’ll own his own record label and discover young Hong Kong artists like himself. Reaching out to other musicians will always be a main focus for Tsang. The connection he makes with them is as essential in life as his connection with the music.

    “I want to discover more people like me who love music and want to show the world,” he says. “I want to be the person behind it all.”


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