WRITER, ARRANGER, PRODUCER
Making Denmark’s MLTR take a Mandarin trip
How to give a once successful Danish group in the region- Michael Learns To Rock- with something new to give their career a kickstart: This was one of the first challenges after leaving the artists rich roster of international talent at Universal Music and joining the Regional Office of the much smaller EMI Music in Hong Kong.
Unfamiliar with their music and not impressed with the new record they had delivered where we couldn’t hear a hit, it was suggested to MLTR that they take a massive hit in China for Chinese singer Jacky Cheung and sung Mandarin- and record the tune in English.
I was positive it would work. It did.
Apart from racking up some huge sales numbers for us at EMI, what became known in English as “Take Me To Your Heart”, is still one of the most popular karaoke hits in the region.
吻别 (wen bie) - 张学友 (jacky cheung)
It also opened the doors to a hugely successful tour throughout Asia for the soft rock sentimental pop of the group.
Taking things to the Maksim
First saw Croatia born crossover artist Maksim at a new talent showcase in Barcelona at an EMI Music worldwide marketing conference.
With his Rock goth ‘looks’ and wardrobe and performing classical crossover hits, he was, well, puzzling to most markets. I thought we could break him in Hong Kong and, more importantly, China. We did.
Maksim was a weird enough package to stand out from the crowd.
The success of his first record surprised even the hierarchy at EMI when it sold almost 400,000 units in Hong Kong alone and then became an immediate hit as a touring act in China.
Maksim remains one of the most in demand international touring acts in the country.