Ding Wu

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Ding Wu
BornDecember 30, 1962
Beijing, China
GenresHeavy metal, progressive metal, folk metal, death metal, industrial metal
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, xiao, guqin
Years active1984–present

Ding Wu (Chinese: 丁武; pinyin: Dīng Wŭ) (born December 30, 1962) is a Chinese musician, best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the seminal progressive metal band Tang Dynasty. His distinct, wailing falsetto draws influences from Beijing Opera.[citation needed]

Early life and career[edit]

Ding Wu was born in Beijing. His father was a soldier in the People's Liberation Army, and his mother was a Party cadre. He took up drawing at age 3.[citation needed] In 1968, Ding and his family relocated to Manchuria, moving back to Beijing in 1972. As a result, he did not attend school until he was ten years old.[1][2]

Ding developed an interest in Beijing Opera at around age 8, and picked up the guitar in 1976.[citation needed] He was admitted to the Beijing School of Arts and Crafts in 1978, where he was first exposed to rock music, and formed his first bands with his peers.[2][3] Upon graduating in 1982 with a degree in fine arts, Ding took a job teaching basic art at Beijing's No. 132 Secondary School.[2] However, he resigned the following year after the school demanded he cut his hair.[4] It was during this time that Ding began to seriously pursue a musical career, spending most of his income on musical equipment and guitar textbooks.[5]

In 1984, Ding founded a band called Budaoweng (Chinese: 不倒瓮; pinyin: Bùdăowēng; lit. "roly-poly toy"). This short-lived band primarily played covers of Western and Japanese rock songs, and featured many musicians who would later become significant figures in the early Chinese rock scene.[6] In 1987, Ding founded hard rock/glam metal band Black Panther (Chinese: 黑豹; pinyin: Hēibào) and served as the group's lead vocalist through 1988, eventually quitting because the band did not provide a sufficient outlet for his artistic expression.[7] Black Panther would release their eponymous debut album in 1991, featuring the influential Dou Wei on lead vocals.[8]

Tang Dynasty (1988-present)[edit]

Ding Wu was still in Black Panther when he was introduced to Americans Kaiser Kuo and Sean Andrews in autumn 1988.[9] Kuo had been eager to start a distinctly Chinese-sounding metal band, and noticed Ding's potential as a frontman.[9][10] After several months of planning, Tang Dynasty was formally established in February 1989, with Ding and Kuo on guitars, Zhang Ju on bass, and Andrew Szabo on drums. This lineup lasted until June 1989, when the Tiananmen Square protests forced Kuo and Szabo out of the country.[9][10] With the band on hiatus, Ding Wu subsequently backpacked to Xinjiang for a few months. The journey inspired him to write what would eventually become one of Tang Dynasty's most famous songs, "The Sun".[3][5]

In October 1989, Ding Wu returned to Beijing with the intent of continuing the band. Together with Zhang Ju, the pair recruited drummer Zhao Nian and guitarist Liu Yijun.[9] The band signed with Magic Stone Records in May 1990. Tang Dynasty, released in December 1992, was an unprecedented success, selling 900,000 legal copies, and is considered to be China's first heavy metal record.[2] Tang Dynasty toured internationally over the next few years, playing in Germany, Japan, and Hong Kong. During this time, Ding and Zhang both developed serious heroin addictions.[9] In 1995, the band suffered a severe blow when Zhang was killed in a motorcycle accident. Ding contributed two tracks to the 1997 tribute album Goodbye Zhang Ju, and Tang Dynasty soldiered on with Gu Zhong taking over bass duties. Founding guitarist Kaiser Kuo returned to replace Liu, who quit the band in August 1996 over conflicts with Ding over musical direction.[9][10][11] Ding eventually kicked his addiction and Tang Dynasty subsequently released their second album, Epic, on Jingwen Records in December 1998.[10][11][12]

In May 1999, Kaiser left Tang Dynasty following an argument with Ding over the United States bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. He was subsequently replaced by Iron Kite frontman Yu Yang, who was in turn replaced by young guitar virtuoso Chen Lei.[11] In 2002, Liu Yijun rejoined the band. The band's third album, Romantic Knight, was not released until June 2008. After Liu left again in January 2009, Tang Dynasty continued as a four-piece. Their fourth album, Thorn, was released in November 2013, and was a radical departure from the band's usual folk-based sound. In 2014 the band toured internationally in New Zealand, Fiji, and Algeria.[citation needed] Tang Dynasty continues to tour and perform in China.

He is the band's only remaining original member.

Solo career (2018-present)[edit]

In late 2018, Ding announced a solo album entitled One Moment (Chinese: 一念; pinyin: Yī Niàn).[13] The album explores his dual identities as a musician and visual artist, and delves into death and industrial metal.[14] On October 18, the track "Two Sides" (Chinese: 二面; pinyin: Èr Miàn), was released on QQ Music.[15] A second track, "Three Words" (Chinese: 三言; pinyin: Sān Yán), was released on November 9.[16] On November 22, Ding released the audio and accompanying music video for the title track.[17] One Moment was released on December 5, 2018. This was accompanied by several national tours throughout 2019.[18][19]

Ding released his second solo album What (Chinese: 什么; pinyin: Shénme) on December 6, 2021.[14][20] Music videos for the title track and "Black Hole" (Chinese: 黑洞; pinyin: Hēidòng) were released ahead of time on November 15.

Personnel[edit]

[18]

Other work[edit]

Outside of Tang Dynasty, Ding Wu continues to paint, and has held exhibitions in both China and Japan.[21]

Ding Wu made a cameo appearance in the 2015 crime drama Mr. Six (Chinese: 老炮儿; pinyin: Lăo Pàoér, lit. "Old Cannon"), directed by Guan Hu.[citation needed]

In April 2016, Ding appeared on the Season 4 finale of I Am a Singer, joining fellow rock musicians Gao Qi, Wang Feng, Li Lianyang, Luan Shu, Ma Shangyou, Zhou Xiaoou, and Chen Jin for a performance of the song "Gift", a song written in 2005 to commemorate the passing of Tang Dynasty bassist Zhang Ju.[citation needed]

As of 2016, Ding Wu is endorsed by Orange amplifiers.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Ding Wu currently lives in Beijing with his wife, Yang Ting (Chinese: 杨婷; pinyin: Yáng Tíng), who he met in 2003 and married in 2006.[citation needed] Their daughter was born in 2011.[23] Ding and his daughter were featured in a short 2016 biopic called "Ding Wu's Choice" (Chinese: 丁武的选择; pinyin: Dīng Wŭ de Xuănzé).

Discography[edit]

With Tang Dynasty[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • 1990 – 90现代音乐会 ('90 Modern Music Concert) – "谁都希望", "粉雾"
  • 1994 – 摇滚中国乐势力 (Chinese Rock Forces: Live in Hong Kong) – "飞翔鸟", "选择"

EPs[edit]

  • 2010 – 沉浮 (Ups and Downs)

Compilations[edit]

  • 1995 – 告别的摇滚 (A Tribute to Teresa Teng) – "独上西楼"
  • 1997 – 再见张炬 (Goodbye Zhang Ju) – "月梦"
  • 2005 – 礼物 (Gift) – "礼物", "春蚕"

Solo[edit]

  • 1997 – "活在你的梦里" ("Living in Your Dream") – on Goodbye Zhang Ju
  • 2018 – 一念 (One Moment)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "丁武:我的性格是在东北形成 十岁前没上过学". 凤凰网娱乐. October 31, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "丁武画摇滚". 凤凰网资讯. May 31, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "唐朝乐队:保温杯里泡枸杞?我们装的是烈酒!". 知乎. August 22, 2017.
  4. ^ "Tang Dynasty Official Website – Member Bios". Tang Dynasty Official Website. 1983年,因蓄长发被校方认为有误人子弟之嫌,辞去美术老师一职。
  5. ^ a b "丁武: 唐朝愿作中国摇滚的铺路石". Qikan: National Human History.
  6. ^ "不倒翁乐队". Jammy FM. July 22, 2017.
  7. ^ de Kloet, Jeroen (2010). China with a Cut: Globalisation, Urban Youth, and Popular Music. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press. pp. 54. ISBN 9089641629.
  8. ^ "Biography of Dou Wei". CRI English. October 13, 2005.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Wallach, Jeremy; Berger, Harris M.; Greene, Paul D. (2011). Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music Around the World. Duke University Press. pp. 69–70. ISBN 0822347334.
  10. ^ a b c d Feola, Josh (January 18, 2013). "Sex, drugs, and Rush tapes: an extended conversation with musician, writer, Baidu.com evangelist Kaiser Kuo". Smart Beijing. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Schwankert, Stephen (May 1999). "ROCK OF AGES". CNN Asiaweek.
  12. ^ "The Jam Session That Changed Mainland Music History". South China Morning Post. December 7, 2003.
  13. ^ "丁武《一念》新专辑上线&个人画展 即将亮相摩登天空!". 搜弧. December 1, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "摇滚老炮丁武双单曲《什么&黑洞》今日上线 颠覆你的认知". 网易新闻. November 15, 2021. Archived from the original on November 23, 2021.
  15. ^ "二面". QQ音乐. October 18, 2018.
  16. ^ "丁武再發新單曲《三言》:混沌世界的毒藥與解藥". Xuehua News. November 9, 2018.
  17. ^ "丁武新专辑同名单曲携MV上线:世间诸相皆存《一念》之间". QQ Music. November 22, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "丁武2019全国巡演正式开票!". 搜狐新闻. March 7, 2019. Archived from the original on November 23, 2021.
  19. ^ "丁武2019全国巡演南方篇巡演开票,重构自身传递省思与进化". 亚洲娱乐. June 17, 2019. Archived from the original on February 28, 2021.
  20. ^ "丁武2021全新专辑《什么》发布 重审一切现实". December 6, 2021. Archived from the original on December 6, 2021.
  21. ^ 兰, 红超 (April 28, 2012). "唐朝乐队丁武办画展:"出事儿了"". 艺术中国.
  22. ^ "唐朝乐队主唱丁武成为Orange音箱代言人". Guitar China. August 16, 2016. Archived from the original on November 23, 2021.
  23. ^ 张, 琳 (June 24, 2013). "封面故事:丁武&杨婷——女儿让生命韵律更加动听". 新浪.