Henry Lau

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Henry Lau
225px
Henry Lau in 2019
Born (1989-10-11) October 11, 1989 (age 30)
NationalityCanadian
Occupation
Years active2007–present
Musical career
Also known as헨리 劉憲華 刘宪华
Genres
Instruments
Labels
Associated acts

Henry Lau (born October 11, 1989),[1] commonly referred to as Henry, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, composer, actor, entertainer and music producer mostly active in South Korea and China. He debuted in 2008 as a member of Super Junior-M.

In June 2013, Henry debuted as a solo artist with his first extended play, Trap. It peaked at #2 on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart and spawned the single with the same name, which peaked at #18 on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 Weekly singles.

In 2014 and 2017, Henry joined the award-winning television programs Real Man and I Live Alone respectively as regular cast member and received the Best Newcomer Award (2014) and Excellence Male Award (2017) at the MBC Entertainment Awards.

In March 2017, Henry released the self-composed single "Girlfriend", which peaked at #1 on multiple South Korean daily digital charts.[2] The original soundtrack "It's You" released the same year became the #1 top-streamed "Best of 2018: Korean OSTs" on Spotify.[3]

In April 2018, Henry left SM Entertainment following the expiration of his contract and effectively left Super Junior-M.[4] Later that year, he established his own studio, Henry Studio,[5] joined Monster Entertainment Group[6] and signed with Label AXIS.[7][8]

In May 2019, Henry made his Hollywood debut in the film A Dog's Journey produced by Amblin Entertainment, the sequel to the 2017 film A Dog's Purpose. [9]

Early life[edit]

Lau is of Hong Kong and Taiwanese descent. His father is from Hong Kong with Teochew ancestry[10] and his mother is from Pingtung, Taiwan (formerly part of Takao Prefecture).[11] He was raised in the middle-class neighborhood of Willowdale[12] located in the district of North York in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He attended Kenollie Public School in Port Credit, Mississauga, Steelesview Public School, Zion Heights Junior High School, then North Toronto Collegiate Institute in grade 9 and attended A.Y. Jackson Secondary School in Toronto for the rest of his high school years before being chosen at the 2006 SM Entertainment Global Audition in Toronto.[13] Only two out of three thousand applicants were recruited through the auditions, one of which was Henry.[14] He briefly attended the University of Toronto (Music Performance Major) in 2007.[15][16] On I Live Alone, Henry revealed that his younger sister, Whitney Lau, was born in 1993 and was a former Miss Toronto Chinese Pageant winner in 2013. His brother, Clinton, is also a classically-trained musician and co-founded Henry's current agency, Monster Entertainment Group.[17]

Henry possesses a diverse repertoire of musical talents. He plays the piano, violin and guitar and is well-versed in different dance forms. He is a polymath. Henry started learning how to play the piano from his mother at the age of five, and also started violin lessons at the age of six.[15] Henry later learned to play the electric violin in 2005.[16] Additionally, he learned a unique form of dancing called boogaloo popping while in high school. After only one year of dancing, he was competing in dance (popping) competitions and shows. He also received the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) Regional Gold Medal (formerly known as the Silver Medal) for Level 10 in both the violin[15] and piano.[18] He was heads of both the after-school violin club and the popping club, where he came up with the idea of simultaneously doing both after both clubs had conflicting times.[19]

He said he had planned to become a professional violinist, but never expected to become an idol star before being selected by S.M. Entertainment in 2006.[13] For his audition, Henry performed a Vivaldi piece on his violin while incorporating popping during the piece's fast passages, as well as a cappella singing; he was accepted by the company in the following week.[17] At the time, he applied for colleges for classical music, but ultimately decided to go "down the K-pop road", as he explains, "I'll be dancing and singing, but that doesn't mean I won't be able to play the violin anymore or piano. I decided that I had to go down this road because that was the only way I could do pretty much everything."[19] He initially declined the offer when his father wanted him to go to university. After he and his mother were impressed during a visit to the company in South Korea, she convinced his father for him to accept the offer.[17]

Henry is able to speak four languages. Aside from speaking native English, he is also fluent in Mandarin, Korean and Cantonese.[20]

Career[edit]

2007–2010: Career beginnings[edit]

Henry appeared as a violinist in South Korean group Super Junior's music video for "Don't Don" in September 2007.[21] The song includes a violin part, which is played by Lau.[22] SM Entertainment officially announced Lau to be a member of a new Super Junior sub-unit, causing controversy among fans. Previously, there were rumors stating that Henry was to be the fourteenth member of Super Junior, stemming from SM's statement regarding the controversy, which led fans to form an "Only 13" campaign.[23] Henry described the situation as "if Backstreet Boys wanted a new Boy," and he ended up "being on the sidelines for years."[23]

In October 2007, S.M. Entertainment announced that Henry would debut as a member of a Super Junior China sub-group, Super Junior-M, in 2008.[24][25] They debuted by releasing a promotional single U, a Mandarin remake of Super Junior's 2006 best-selling Korean single on April 8, 2008. They also debuted in China on the same day at the 8th Annual Music Chart Awards. Their debut album, Me was released on April 23 with lead single U.[26] Henry made a cameo appearance in the CCTV2 drama Stage of Youth in 2009.[27]

He returned to the music industry after a year-long break with the release of Super Junior-M's first mini-album, Super Girl, on September 23, 2009.[28] The mini-album won many awards and even earned the group a nomination for "Best Vocal Group" at the 21st Golden Melody Awards, the Chinese equivalent of the Grammy Awards.[29] He featured as a rapper on Zhang Li Yin's first single album, Moving On, which was released on October 29, 2009. He rapped on the track Love Me (Chinese: 愛我; pinyin: Ài wǒ).[30] He performed on Super Junior's second Asia tour, Super Show 2, as part of Super Junior-M, and also performed a self-composed English solo song, "Sick of Love", which remains unreleased.[31]

Due to the continuing backlash of his status as a member of Super Junior,[23] he went on hiatus to study music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts,[32][33][34][35] where he learned music production.[23]

He composed a song with Super Junior's leader Leeteuk called All My Heart (Korean: 진심; Revised Romanization: Jinsim) for Super Junior's 4th repackaged album, Bonamana. This was released on June 28, 2010.[21][36]

He was featured as a rapper in a Jonghyun and Jino R&B duet titled Don't Lie from SM the Ballad's first album Miss You, released on November 29, 2010.[37]

Henry rearranged Justin Bieber's "Baby" and performed his arrangement on the Super Show 3 Tour.[38]

2011–2012: Solo activities[edit]

He worked with Super Junior's leader Leeteuk again, and together they composed a song called "Andante" (Korean: 안단테; Revised Romanization: Andante) for Super Junior's 5th repackaged album, A-CHa, released on September 19, 2011.[21][39]

He toured with Super Junior as a member of Super Junior-M for their 4th tour, Super Show 4. He performed "Baby" by Justin Bieber once again during Super Show 4's opening stops in Seoul with another new arrangement. F(x)'s Amber performed alongside him as a featured rapper.[40] At Osaka, Japan, he performed a medley of songs by American singer Bruno Mars: he started by singing "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy with his guitar, then "the Lazy Song" with a band, and "Lighters" by Bad Meets Evil with the piano, and finished by playing the violin.[41] In Singapore, he also performed his solo song "Off My Mind".[42][43]

Super Junior with Lau and fellow Super Junior-M member Zhou Mi released the single "Santa U Are The One", taken from SMTown's eighth winter album, 2011 Winter SMTown – The Warmest Gift, released on December 13, 2011.[44]

Henry participated in the OST for Taiwanese drama series Skip Beat! by featuring as a rapper on the track "This is Love" (Chinese: 這是愛; pinyin: Zhè shì ài) sung by fellow Super Junior-M member Donghae. The OST was released on February 24, 2011.[45]

He featured on BoA's single "One Dream" with SHINee's Key.[46] The song was released on March 18, 2012, and serves as the opening song for the audition program K-pop Star on Seoul Broadcasting System. The single was included in BoA's 7th Korean studio album, Only One, released on July 22, 2012.[47][48]

Henry was cast as the main role for the movie Final Recipe (originally known as Cooktales) alongside Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, who also produced the film.[49] The film tells the story of young aspiring chef Mark, played by Lau, who participates in an international cooking contest to save his grandfather's restaurant from going out of business.[50]

He became a member of the project group Younique Unit with fellow Super Junior-M member Eunhyuk, SHINee's Taemin, EXO's Kai and Luhan, and Girls' Generation's Hyoyeon, for a collaboration between S.M. Entertainment and Hyundai.[21] Their single "Maxstep" was released on October 31, 2012.[51]

2013–2014: Solo debut[edit]

Henry Lau in 2013.

Lau featured on Girls' Generation's comeback performance Romantic Fantasy on MBC's Music Core. He performed "I Am" (Korean: 나는; Revised Romanization: Naneun) by Yoon Mi-rae with Yuri and Hyoyeon on January 1, 2013.[52]

Super Junior-M's second studio album, Break Down, was released on January 7, 2013, along with a lead single of the same name.[53] The album includes two songs produced and composed by Lau's music production team, Noize Bank, titled "Go" and "It's You".[21] The lyrics for both songs were written by fellow Super Junior-M member Zhou Mi. Noize Bank is a music production team comprising Lau, Gen Neo, Neil Nallas, and Isaac Han.[54] Their Korean version of Break Down was released on January 31.[55][56] On January 31, they made their official debut in Korea on Mnet's M! Countdown.[55][56]

On February 6, he was confirmed to be a contestant in O'live MasterChef Korea Celebrity, the celebrity version of MasterChef Korea.[57]

On May 30, 2013, it was announced that Henry would make his solo debut. He was SM Entertainment's first solo male artiste in 13 years since Kangta.[20][58] His first solo extended play, Trap was released on June 7, 2013.[59] The title track featured Super Junior's Kyuhyun and SHINee's Taemin.[60] The Chinese version of the Trap EP was released on August 14. Follow-up promotions for a re-release of his song "1-4-3 (I Love You)" from Trap as a digital single featuring label mate, Amber of f(x), commenced on August 23.[61][62]

In February 2014, Lau joined the cast of the Korean real-time military-variety show Real Men with fellow celebrities Chun Jung-myung, Park Gun-hyung, K.Will.[63][64] He quickly became the break-out star and variety favorite because of his natural optimism and eagerness to learn Korean culture, despite being Canadian-born and completely unfamiliar with the Korean military.[65][66] In addition, his appearance in Star King[67] along with his appearance in Real Men propelled his rising popularity. This led to more variety show and CF opportunities, such as being chosen as the first guest star in JTBC's Crime Scene,[68] his first solo endorsement opportunity with KFC Korea[69] and his second solo endorsement with Sprite Korea.[70] After almost seven months of production, his follow-up EP, Fantastic was released on July 14, 2014.[71] Henry made his Japanese debut with the single Fantastic on October 8. The single includes the Japanese version of Fantastic and Trap.

2015–2017: Television roles[edit]

In 2015, Henry guest starred on popular reality show, SBS's Roommate.[72] In March, SM Entertainment confirmed that Henry had joined the variety show We Got Married and his partner in that show was Yewon.[73] Henry released a single on March 20, titled "Love +" in collaboration with Persevere, Goo Haera star Yoo Sung Eun.[74] Henry was preparing for his third solo album to be released in 2015[75] but the project was delayed for an unstated reason.

On October 10, 2016, SM Entertainment announced that Henry will collaborate with Soyou (Sistar) for a song called "Runnin'" released on October 14 through SM Station.[76]

Henry helped to compose Se7en's latest title track, "Give It To Me", which was released on October 13, 2016.[77]

On October 26, 2016, Henry, alongside NCT's Mark released the OST "I Want To Enter Your Heart" for the upcoming television series Sweet Stranger and Me. The track was written and composed by Henry.[78]

In November 2016, Henry became a promotional embassador for Dubai Tourism, filming promotional videos in Chinese, Korean and English.

Early 2017, Henry released a self-written and self-composed digital single titled "Girlfriend." The track was briefly revealed during his first appearance on MBC's I Live Alone, then informally titled as "What should I do?". It gained attention for being an impromptu self-composed song. The track continues to receive favorable responses through You Hee-Yeol's Sketchbook appearance for its beautiful melody and its eccentric "revolutionary" lyrics.[79] It led to many requests for an official release.[80] "Girlfriend" was released on March 18, 2017 and was well received. The song peaked at #1 on multiple South Korean daily digital charts[81] and at #3 on the Gaon Download Chart. The track is a soulful R&B piece that incorporates the sound of strings and piano. The memorable lyrics delicately expressed the heartfelt sadness and longing for a dearly missed past lover, which correlates with the Korean title of the song "그리워요" (Missing you). His first appearance in I live Alone became a hot topic, and his cover of Uptown Funk trended on Naver TV and became the second most liked video on I Live Alone's channel. Soon, Henry became a fixed cast member.

In July 2017, Henry joined Snowball Project as a regular cast member. Since then, he has co-produced the song "Lemonade Love", which is sung by NCT's Mark and singer Parc Jae Jung. "Lemonade Love" was co-produced with Yoon Jong Shin, who is also the CEO of Mystic Story. He also rearranged a song released by Yoon Jong Shin in 1996, "Rebirth", for Red Velvet on the show for a competition between SM Entertainment and Mystic Entertainment.

2018-present: Departure from SM Entertainment[edit]

On April 30, 2018, it was announced that Henry had completed his contract with SM Entertainment and that he had decided to leave the agency.[82][83][84] He then set up his own studio called Henry's Workshop.[5] On May 4, 2018, Henry opened Xiao Zhan, a Chinese restaurant in Sinsa-dong, Gangnam.[85] On July 3, 2018, the restaurant was forced to temporarily close due to a fire in nearby units. No casualties were reported.[86] He has since opened a second branch.

Henry composed a rendition of the ost for the movie 西遊記女兒國 (Monkey King 3)

Henry joined second season of the music variety show Begin Again, which aired in May 2018.[87] He returned for the second season of Chinese variety show Back to Field, which aired from April to June 2018.[88] He also landed a role in the Chinese martial arts movie Double World (2018).[89] In August 2018, Henry was cast as Trent in A Dog's Journey, which was released in May 2019 and marks his first American film.[90] He was suggested to the filmmakers by Alibaba Pictures, which co-produced the film.[91]

In December, Henry became a judge and mentor on the Chinese survival show Super Vocal. In March 2019, Henry stated on Weibo that he decided to not take part in Back to Field season 3 due to his busy schedule.[citation needed]

In November 2018, Henry announced that he had joined Monster Entertainment Group, an agency based in South Korea founded by his brother, Clinton, to help build his brand globally.[17] Monster Entertainment is part of a global management team which includes Chinese film production company Filmko and other partners in the United States. Henry is its first global multi-faceted artist.[6] Later that month, he briefly signed with AXIS, a music label founded by former YG creative director SINXITY.[7] On May 9, 2019, he released "Untitled Love Song", his first solo single under Monster; he previously teased the song during an appearance in variety program Idol Room.[92] He will rejoin the cast of Begin Again for its third season, which will air in July 2019.[93]

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2004 Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) Regional Gold Medal[15] Level 10 violin and piano Won
2007 Jean Lumb AWARDS[18] 10th Anniversary Commemorative Awards for Outstanding Achievement Won
2013 2013 Mnet 20's Choice 20's Booming Star Male Nominated
Worlds Music Awards Worlds Best Male Artiste Nominated
Worlds Music Awards Worlds Best Live Act Nominated
Worlds Music Awards Worlds Best Entertainer of the Year Nominated
2014 Hong Kong IFPI Awards Korea-Japan Top Sales Album "Trap" Mini Album Won
Singapore Entertainment Awards Best New Artiste from Asia Won
Singapore Entertainment Awards Most Popular K-Pop Music Video "Trap" Won
HK Metro Radio Mandarin Hits Music Awards Best Male Dance Artist Won
HK Metro Radio Mandarin Hits Music Awards Best Popular Idol Won
MBC Entertainment Awards Rookie Male Award Won
2016-2017 Thailand Headlines Person of the year award Won
2017 Esquire China's Man At His Best Awards New Power of the Year Won
MBC Entertainment Awards Excellence Male Award Won
2019 MTN Ad Festival Awards Commercial Star Won

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