Chinese-Canadian musician Kris Wu recently become the first Chinese artist to make the Billboard Hot 100 when his new single “Like That” reached number 73.
Before that milestone, the song, which was released on May 18, had topped iTunes overall and its hip-hop charts for 93 hours as of the end of last month.
The young artist, who spent over two years preparing for his new album, told Nylon Radio recently that he wants to become the “Jackie Chan of music” and “to bridge the East and West” with his music.'
In the past two years, Wu has released several singles, including “July, “Juice” and “Deserve,” with which he cooperated with US musician Travis Scott and which topped the iTunes chart within two hours of its release.
Wu said earlier that he usually works for months in the studio with the world’s top musicians while preparing for a new album.
“There are already enough songs to make an album, but I have been trying to refresh the list in the hope that every song could be of the same quality with the title track,” he once said in an interview.
After making the Billboard Hot 100 entry, the 27-year-old artist spoke about his Chinese heritage on his official Weibo account.
“I’m very proud as a Chinese,” he said. “I have Chinese blood in my veins and will have the whole world hear Chinese music. That’s what I’ve been doing all the time.”
In fact, Wu has always cited his Chinese identity while promoting his new songs overseas.
While talking about the differences between Chinese and US hip-hop music, Wu said he wanted to keep it real, instead of sticking to one of the typical themes of drugs and such like.
“I come from a different culture. I didn’t grow up on the streets or anything, so just keeping it real,” he told Nylon Radio. “I think being humble is really one of the greatest parts of Chinese culture.”
Wu made his debut as a member of South Korean boy band EXO, but later dropped out to become a solo singer in China. Besides music, he has also been working with the world’s top directors and actors in movies.
His first Hollywood film “The Return of Xander Cage” debuted in 2017, directed by D.J. Caruso and starring Van Diesel. In another film “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” he worked with director Luc Besson, actor Dane Dehaan and Cara Delevingne.
The young musician has also made his appearance in the realms of fashion and sports. He has collaborated with several luxury brands including Burberry and Bvlgari. He was also invited to the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game for three consecutive years from 2016.
Being a hip-hop music addict himself, Wu also joined a hit variety show “The Rap of China” last year. The show has attracted more attention to the Chinese hip-hop music and has helped to bring the genre from “underground” to the public, according to media outlets.
With all those efforts, Wu said he believes he is already on the way to bringing more exchanges and communications between the East and the West in music.
“Now you’re actually seeing more and more of these Asian artists putting out music globally, whereas before, they would just keep it in the Chinese market,” he said.