Hong Kong boy band MIRROR faces ongoing vocal controversy and lack of recognition in Mainland China

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    20th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s popular boy band, MIRROR, has long been a subject of vocal controversy, with their singing abilities constantly under scrutiny. Recently, they received criticism from a renowned mainland Chinese internet celebrity and foreign vocal coach. The online influencer “JKAI” has over 1.56 million followers on a mainland Chinese video platform and regularly features reviews of popular singers from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, including Eason Chan and Jay Chou. In a recent video, JKAI chose to review four members of MIRROR: Anson Lo, Jer, Jeremy, and Keung To, based on their performance of the song “Rumours” on the Japanese music platform “The First Take.”

    Throughout the review video, the vocal coach appeared visibly frustrated, expressing dissatisfaction with Anson Lo’s pitch control. Even Jer, who has been praised for his singing abilities, was criticised for lacking proper vocal control. The coach stated that the members of MIRROR rely too heavily on physical expressions and lack true vocal substance. She suggested that they should seek guidance from music teachers to improve their skills.

    While highlighting their shortcomings, the coach also tried to acknowledge MIRROR’s positive aspects. She mentioned that they appeared dedicated and had a good command of the English language. However, she also suggested that perhaps the group’s concept was not focused on showcasing exceptional vocal talent like JJ Lin and Zhou Shen.

    The video sparked a flurry of comments from netizens, with many sympathising with the coach’s challenging task. In terms of ratings provided by online users, MIRROR received only 2 out of 5 points, indicating a significant gap between audience expectations and the group’s performance.

    In a separate evaluation, the same vocal coach had previously commented on Keung To’s distinctive performance of “Spiegel im Spiegel” at the Ultimate Song Chart Awards Presentation. She revealed that his performance mainly relied on pre-recorded tracks, with Keung To engaging in what seemed like angry self-talk. When Keung To reached the climax of the song and let out a loud scream, the coach removed her headphones and candidly expressed that it was a form of auditory torture. The online poll conducted by netizens ranked the discomfort caused by Keung To’s performance as maximum.

    MIRROR, despite being considered a top-tier group in Hong Kong, faces ongoing criticism regarding their vocal abilities and a lack of recognition in mainland China. The review by the mainland Chinese internet celebrity and vocal coach further highlights the need for the members to seek professional guidance to enhance their singing skills and overcome the perception of prioritising flamboyance over substance.