Huang Zitao at the Ports 1961 Opening Ceremony in Shanghai in 2015
|Pinyin||Huáng Zǐtāo (Mandarin)|
May 2, 1993 |
Qingdao, Shandong, China
|Alma mater||Qingdao Foreign Service Vocational School|
Huang Zitao (Chinese: 黄子韬; pinyin: Huáng Zǐtāo; born May 2, 1993), better known as Tao, is a Chinese rapper, singer-songwriter, actor, and martial artist. He is a former member of the K-pop boyband EXO and its Mandarin language sub-unit EXO-M, having filed a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment and left the group in 2015. That year, he made his solo debut with the three-track, digitally released mini-album T.A.O, under the new stage name Z.Tao. This debut album proceeded to break digital sales records by selling a total of 670,000 copies within its first week of release.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Artistry and musical style
- 3 Acting
- 4 Martial arts
- 5 Television
- 6 Endorsements
- 7 Discography
- 8 Videography
- 9 Concerts
- 10 Filmography
- 11 Awards and nominations
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Early life and career beginnings
Huang Zitao was born in Qingdao, Shandong, China. As a child, he undertook Wushu training, and became a student athlete. In late 2010, he reluctantly accompanied a friend to an MBC Star Audition which was hosting a global talent search and was immediately scouted by a representative from S.M. Entertainment.
On December 27, 2011, Zitao was formally introduced as the third member of Exo, with the stage name Tao, through a teaser posted on S.M. Entertainment's official YouTube channel. He made his first appearance at the SBS Gayo Daejeon event on December 29. In the following years, EXO was met with global success as a group.
In late 2013, Zitao took part in filming for MBC's celebrity diving program Splash!. However, after a run of four episodes, the show was cancelled when a number of celebrities (including Zitao) were reportedly injured. The series aired from August 23, 2013 to September 13, 2013.
In 2014, Zitao appeared in the music videos for Zhang Liyin's singles "Agape" (released August 5) and "Not Alone" (released September 22). During the two videos, Zitao played the main protagonist of a continuous storyline alongside Victoria Song. He also featured on two songs from Zhou Mi's album Rewind, the title song "Rewind" and "Love Tonight", for both of which he penned the rap lyrics; and appeared as a cast member of the Solomon Islands edition of the SBS reality television program Laws of the Jungle. He left the show early due to a foot injury on a coral reef during filming. The episodes aired from October 17, 2014 to October 31, 2014.
2015: Lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment, T.A.O, and Z.TAO
In June 2015, Zitao set up an official Chinese agency, 黄子韬Z.TAO Studio. On August 24, he filed a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment to terminate his contract. The principal cause of Zitao's exit stemmed from health concerns, mainly the aggravation of an ankle injury sustained at the Idol Star Athletics Championships. During his years as an Exo member, Zitao sustained multiple injuries.
The album was followed up with a second EP, Z.TAO, which was released for free on August 19 with the title track "Crown" after being postponed due to the Tianjin explosions. Two concert performances were also cancelled. Zitao's first solo concert performance was held at the Beijing Exhibition Center Theater on August 23, as a charity concert for those affected by the Tianjin explosions. A total of eight tracks were performed at the concert, including those from T.A.O.
The music video for "Crown" was presented in the style of a 7-minute short film, directed by Nick Lentz. Zitao performed the stunts and martial arts sequences for the action scenes. Australian model/actress Jessica Gomes and actor Jeff Kobler co-starred in the video.
On October 15, Zitao released the single "Reluctantly", an emotional ballad about a past love composed by himself and Grammy award winner Andros Rodriguez. At the 2015 Migu Music Awards, Zitao won his first award for Best Stage Performance and performed "Reluctantly".
As part of an endorsement deal with the game I'm the Sovereign (我是大主宰), Zitao composed and released the single "I'm the Sovereign". The song was number one on China's Billboard chart for the week of December 5, 2015.
2016: The Road
On January 12, 2016, Zitao won the Most Influential Male Singer award at the 2016 Mobile Video Festival (Miopai Awards), where he performed the song "Alone". He was later invited to perform as a headliner for the SoYoung 2016 Live Concert Tour on January 29, which featured the most popular rising musicians in China. There he performed five of his songs- "Reluctantly", "Crown", "M.O.M", "I'm the Sovereign", and "Feel Awake"- and won the Most Popular Performer award.
In March, Zitao announced that he was working on a new album, The Road, and had traveled to Los Angeles to complete recording and collaborate again with American director Nick Lentz. The album was set to contain four songs, each accompanied by a music video. The lead single "The Road" was written and composed by Zitao over a six-month process, and was released on April 22, with the music video release on April 29.
On May 1, Zitao commenced a concert tour for the album in Nanjing and released a music video for the single "Hello, Hello", featuring Wiz Khalifa. He also announced that he would be performing an Asia tour in November.
Artistry and musical style
"I'm the Sovereign" combines rap, EDM, and Chinese musical instruments.
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Following his departure from Exo and return to China, Zitao stated that he made a decision to pursue his career in the ailing Chinese music industry, rather than an acting career, in the spirit of perseverance. He is involved in songwriting and composition, drawing inspiration from his experiences; he claims that creating music is for him a cathartic experience. He worked on the single "I'm the Sovereign", which contains lyrics addressing ambition and resilience.
Writing music isn’t just a process of wanting to write it and being able to. I tend to rely on my past and personal experiences to inspire me. I’ll remember and reflect on the instances that have happened and include them in my songs, as well as to add substance to the flow and the melody. I write my own stories in my music through the emotions I feel.— Huang Zitao, Singapore Men's Folio, February 2016, Passion issue
Although he is primarily a rapper, he has also performed Mandopop ballad songs. His music combines elements of hip hop, EDM, and Chinese musical instruments. He cites Jay Chou as his musical inspiration, having listened to his music growing up. He has expressed a desire to continue as an artist with the goal of seeing C-pop receive global recognition.
He has been cast for roles in numerous upcoming films, including the male lead role in Edge of Innocence (slated for release on July 8, 2016) alongside Yang Caiyu as the female lead. It was filmed in Taiwan and based upon a novel by Japanese mystery writer Soji Shimada, Summer, portrait of a 19 year old. He is also expected to appear in a supporting role in Jackie Chan's upcoming movie Railroad Tigers, directed by Ding Sheng, and as the lead in martial arts movie The Game Changer, directed by Gao Xixi and inspired by the Chinese television series The Bund. The Game Changer will be Zitao's first leading role as a martial arts actor. Zitao will also take part in the drama adaption of Journey to the West as the Monkey King, Sun Wukong and in the movie adaptation of the Famen temple code novels, directed by Tsui Hark, as the character Zhao Ye.
He has also expressed his desire to become a martial arts and action movie star. During his time in South Korea, he trained under Bruce Khan, who has choreographed action scenes in films such as The Medallion, starring Jackie Chan. Zitao performs Wushu Taolu routines on stage during concerts and as a guest in variety shows often. Michelle Yeoh, martial arts actress who guest starred along with Zitao in the variety show The Negotiator, complimented him for his Wushu skill and wished for him to successfully pass down Chinese martial arts to the next generations. Zitao has expressed the desire to follow in the footsteps of Jackie Chan in promoting martial arts.
On 7 September 2015, Zitao attended the press conference of his first reality-variety show Charming Daddy which was aired on SZTV from November 28, 2015 - February 20, 2016. The show documented him and three other celebrities as they experienced parenthood by raising children of various ages for a month.
On March 2, 2016 it was confirmed that Zitao would appear in the first season of the Chinese version of Law of the Jungle that was recorded in Madagascar and Vanuatu with a guest appearance from Kim Byung-man, who he collaborated with in the Korean version in Solomon's Island. The show will be aired on Anhui TV in May.
On June 3, 2015, Zitao was introduced as the celebrity endorser for the mobile game Almighty Team. Zitao, who is known to be an avid player of video games, has two major characters modeled after him and they display his own unique martial arts movements.
In October 2015, Zitao along with Yang-Mi was announced as one of the celebrity endorser of the online game I'm the Sovereign. He assumed the role of the game's main character Mu Chen in the advertising campaign. Along with being the celebrity endorser for the game, Zitao was chosen to be the singer-songwriter and producer of the game's theme song, and music director for the game.
On September 19, 2015, Zitao attended the London Fashion Week after being invited by Versus Versace. Prior to the show, Zitao had been the brand's Chinese ambassador for its SS16 collection's street style photoshoot.
Zitao was one of the many celebrity guests to attend the October 13, 2015 grand opening of the Ports 1961 boutique in Shanghai. He sat front row at their Fall-Winter 2016 fashion show and attended the after party, as a brand ambassador. He also participated in their #Follow Me campaign by doing a photo shoot and several interviews wearing Ports 1961's latest collection.
On November 5, 2015, he attended the opening of outerwear brand Moncler's first boutique in Singapore at the Ion Orchard, where he was greeted by over 600 fans, and appeared in Men's Folio magazine wearing pieces from Moncler's collection.
|Year||Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Ref.|
Billboard V Chart
|"-" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album||Remarks||Ref.|
Billboard V Chart
CCTV Music Chart
|"M.O.M"||-||-||Digital single||Free release||-|
|"Intro (Vox Up)"|
(featuring Wiz Khalifa)
|Black White (AB)||2|
|"-" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
As a featured artist
|2014||Zhou Mi||Rewind||"Love Tonight"||Rap Lyrics|
|"Rewind (Chinese Version)"|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album||Note||Ref.|
Billboard V Chart
Baidu King Chart
|2015||"第一课 (The First Lesson)"||-||-||-||First Class||Theme song for the show 2015年《开学第一课》 (First Lesson of School 2015)|||
|"我是大主宰 (I'm the Sovereign)"||1||-||-||–||Theme song for the 3D Game 《我是大主宰》 (I'm the Sovereign)|||
|2016||"十九岁 (19)"||3||1||3||TBA||OST for the movie 《夏天十九岁的肖像》 (Edge of Innocence)|||
|"-" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
As lead artist
|"皇冠 (Imperial Crown)"||Z.TAO||Nick Lentz|
|"舍不得 (Reluctantly)"||-||Nick Asgill|
|"我是大主宰 (I'm the Sovereign)"||Kwang Sheng|
|2016||"The Road"||TBA||Nick Lentz|
(featuring Wiz Khalifa)
|"Black White (AB)"|
As featured artist
|2014||"Rewind (Chinese Version)"||Zhou Mi||Rewind|
Z.Tao First Concert
- August 23, 2015: Beijing Exhibition Center Theater
Z.Tao The Road
- May 1, 2016: Nanjing
|2015||You Are My Sunshine||William||Huang Bin|
|2016||Edge of Innocence||Kang Qiao||Jung-chi Chang|
|Railroad Tigers||Dai Ha||Ding Sheng|
|2017||The Game Changer||TBA||Gao Xixi|
|Famen Temple Code||Zhao Ye||Tsui Hark|
|TBA||A Chinese Odyssey||TBA|
|2013||Aug 23||Splash!||Main cast||MBC||Ep. 1-4|
|2014||Oct 17 - Oct 31
||Laws of the Jungle: Solomon Islands||Cast||SBS||Ep. 126-136|
|2015||Jan 24||With You All the Way||Guest||ZRTG: Zhejiang Television||Ep.3|
|Jul 11||New Generation Sound of China 3 (Let's Sing Kids)||Mentor||HBS: Aniworld||Ep. 3|
|Aug 21 - Sep 18||The Real Hero||Guest||JSBC: Jiangsu Television||Ep. 4-7|
|Aug 14||Day Day Up||Guest||HBS: Hunan Television||Ep.|
|Aug 9||Challenge the Impossible||Guest||CCTV: CCTV-1||Ep.|
|Aug 20,27||Kugou Interview||Guest||Kugou Music||–|
|Aug 24||See You Monday||Guest||HBS: Hunan Television||–|
|Sept 4||The First Lesson 2015||Guest||CCTV: CCTV-1||Ep.|
|Oct 10||Muse Dress||Guest Judge||SMG: Dragon Television||Ep.|
|Nov 7||People in News Interview||Guest||HBS: Hunan Television||Ep.|
|Nov 28 - Feb 13||Charming Daddy||Cast||SZMG: Shenzhen Television||Ep.1-12|
|Feb 5||Ace vs Ace/The Negotiator||Guest||ZRTG: Zhejiang Television||Ep. 2|
|June 4||Super Show||Guest||with ROOO cast|
|June 11 - TBA||Rules Of Our Own||Cast||AHBC: Anhui Television||Post-production|
|TBA||Heroes of Remix||Contestant||JSTV|
Awards and nominations
|2015||Migu Music Awards||Best Stage Performance||Himself||Won|
|2016||Mobile Video Festival (Miopai Awards)||Most Influential Male Singer||Himself||Won|
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- "[黄子韬][新闻]160107 《丛林的法则》发布会黄子韬消息全记录" (in Chinese). 2016-01-07.
- "[HD]151205 ZTAO "Migu Music Award" full cut - performance+award+interview" (in Chinese). 0502 Lunchbox. 2015-12-05.
- "[eng subbed]151205 - Z.Tao at Migu Music Awards (Acceptance speech and "Reluctantly" perf)" (in Chinese). lingzy. 2015-12-05.
- "[eng subbed]160112 - Z.Tao acceptance speech for Most Influential Male Singer" (in Chinese). lingzy. 2016-01-12.
- "160112- Z.Tao 'Alone' performance at 2015 The Mobile Video Festival" (in Chinese). lingzy. 2016-01-12.
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