Possibly the first-ever made-in-Hong Kong Gospel album which features an all-star cast will be released this month with the aim of sharing the best of HK musicians with the rest of the world.
According to its latest press release, the album titled “The Chimes” Henry and Roger Chung can be called the “HK’s Buena Vista Social Club”, which features the gospel as the main ingredient combined with music genres such as jazz, bossa nova, R&B, blues, folk, flamenco, and hip-hop, etc. All of the songs are written by the Chung brothers, Henry and Roger.
Roger and Henry Chung recently spoke with The Gospel Herald about their faith and the album.
1. Can you share with us how you two came to faith in Christ?
Henry: We're one of the lucky ones. Roger and I grew up in a Christian family. We started going to church with our family at a very tender age. We grew up in the church family. In a way, we were lucky because we were exposed to God early on. But our faith in Christ grew with time. Now we're more faithful than ever. Hallelujah!
Roger: When you actually grew up in the church since birth, there're many questions that you would not be afraid to voice out... and it's really because of the constant challenges and doubts that I had for this religion that get me thinking more and more about the teachings of the Bible. And when I get to understand the more and more, my faith grows.
2. What inspired you to write and compose this gospel album?
Henry: We wanted to do something different from the Canto-Gospel out there in the market. We wanted to explore different genres of music and involved the creme of the crop of HK musicians. We believe music is God's gift to humanity and we shall give the best to God in return.We want to re-introduce Gospel music from its bare roots to Hong Kong listeners.
Roger: 1. Thomas A Dorsey, the father of Gospel Music, who was a former blues artist and coined the first ever gospel tune "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" in the 1930s when his beloved wife passed away. 2. ACM in Hong Kong who was really the pioneer of Canto-CCM back in the 1980s. 3. The Bible who told us to "sing unto Him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise." (Psalm 33:3)
3. In addition to the market in Hong Kong, will you consider reaching the market in China? (Which would mean you will need to produce an album in Mandarin)
Henry: We have 2 songs in Mandarin in "The Chimes." Yes, we'd love to reach more people with our songs and touch more people's hearts.
Roger: We will not stop writing in Mandarin. When we think that a song will work better with Mandarin, we will write it in Mandarin. We wanna spread the good news to Chinese-speaking communities all around the world!
4. In addition to the influence that your music will have on your listeners, how do you think your lives can influence others in your same profession among the Chinese-speaking world?
Henry: Yes, I am a lawyers in a socially conscious law firm. I always have the motto of "To Do Justly, To Love Mercy, and to Walk Humbly with God." I think I'm douiing just that. Our dream is that one day the world will be as one, which is reflected in our song "I have a Dream," inspired by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech.
Roger: As Henry has already preciously put it, "to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God." I believe that people can see the work of God from our actions and behaviors because we're created from the image of God.
5. What are your hopes in the release of "The Chimes"?
Henry: We hope to touch non-Christians' hearts with songs that are hip and close to the society. We also hope to move Christians by exposing them to different genres of Gospel music.
Roger: We wanna create an album that not only would leave a permanent mark on the history of Hong Kong's gospel music, but also on the history of Hong Kong's music. But most importantly, we wanna touch people (Christians and non-Chrisitans alike) all around the world with the messages behind our music... and we'll start from the music first... because we truly believe that good music (even just pure music without lyrics) can touch people's hearts and bridge differences between people of different backgrounds, different cultures, different ethnicities, etc. This also explains why we write our gospel tunes using different musical styles.
6. Where can people buy the album?
Henry: HMV, HK Records, all major record stores, and all Christian bookstores in HK.
Roger: And if you're not currently living in HK... you can get it from our website www.hkchimes.com or www.hmv.com.hk
7. What would you like for us to pray for?
Henry: World peace, love, the kingdom of God here on earth, and "The Chimes" touching people's hearts.
Roger: Our music ministry, Hong Kong, and China.
"The Chimes" Music Video: