Chinese pop sensation, LAY (Lay Zhang) has released a new EP titled ‘West’, which is out now on all music platforms. The entirety of the five tracks shows LAY continuing to deliver an interesting cross-cultural blend of sounds in a way that is uniquely and authentically him. ‘West’ is sure to delight the international phenomenon’s plethora of fans with upbeat bops and impressive vocals over smooth modern hip-hop beats. The five tracks include an English and Mandarin version of lead single, ‘Veil’, accompanied by a visually stunning music video that was released on September 21.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of LAY’s debut as an artist, the superstar will be holding his “Grand Line 2: Infinite Lands” concerts in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand before a North America tour. Lay is expected to headline at MetaMoon, Live Nation’s Asian focused mega-festival taking place at Barclays Center in NYC on November 26.
The story of ‘West’ was developed last year when the project was introduced with the EP ‘East’ about M-POP’s new “universe”, focusing on the Eastern side of the world. In this vast musical territory, LAY took listeners through a fantastical eastward journey. With ‘West’, the Mando-Pop star’s musical “universe”, draws inspiration from the concept of “seeking the West Continent”, opening a new chapter after the musical journey of ‘East’.
I am extremely excited to celebrate my 10th anniversary with this brand new EP ‘West’. A lot of the sounds, lyrics, and content was inspired by the quote, “If the wind knows my intentions, blowing dreams to Xizhou.” I hope that everyone can enjoy the emotion and dreamlike quality I tried to provide in this EP and music video.– LAY
For the Chinese, the word “West” has always sparked imagination. The ancient fantasy of the West is like a mysterious veil that hides an exotic object. With psychedelic aspects, the dream maker continues to use the forward thinking of “M-POP” to present the fusion of ancient, modern, and real dreams. In ‘West’, the oriental musical instruments, symbols, and expressions radiate unexpected sounds, images, and meanings all the while creating another collision between China and the West, and another integration of the ancient and modern.
On the lead single, ‘Veil’, LAY acts as a dream maker by using music as an illusion. The deformed erhu and the restless trap rhythm creates a bursting dance atmosphere with an exotic hook that keeps listeners constantly surprised, much like a dream. Now if LAY gave you an Aladdin lamp, what would you wish for? On single ‘3 Wishes’, it describes the scorching beauty of selfless dedication between lovers in a way of reproducing mythology. The tender R&B track, ‘Understand’, expresses the complicated feelings between two parties in love, and expresses the sincerity of “I can take the initiative first”. In the Internet age, not only public figures, but anyone can become a victim of cyberbullying. As a public figure, the attitude in the track ‘I Don’t Care’ is to fight back against cyber bullying. Lyrics such as “I know I can’t escape the suffering that I should endure”, make it seem like you’re waking up from a dream.
Along with the EP, LAY drops an accompanying music video for ‘Veil’. The music video perfectly plays on the already dreamlike quality of the track, where the global star literally does ‘Illuminate the room’ as the visuals change with vibrant lights and stunning choreography.
LAY has been and continues to be a household name in Asia, and his career his been a whirlwind the last two years after joining forces with Steve Aoki and will.i.am for the 2020 hit cross-cultural collaboration ‘Love You More’. LAY’s most recent release was a global collaboration with American hip-hop artist 24kGoldn on the single ‘Dawn to Dusk’, which received over 2 million streams on Spotify alone. In 2021, he released an EP ‘EAST’, on his birthday that featured his renowned “M-POP” style telling a story of spiritual growth in his career using oriental elements and symbolic identities.
The Chinese icon is one of the most beloved stars in the region with a loyal and highly engaged 51 million followers on Weibo and over 14.1 million followers on Instagram. As a solo artist, LAY’s career has skyrocketed from tremendous success becoming the highest-ranked Mando-pop star on Billboard 200 chart and the first Chinese artist to enter the iTunes Top 60 in the U.S. with his third solo album ‘NAMANANA’. Outside of music, he is a powerhouse in the acting world of TV and film, hosted multiple top-rated reality shows in Asia, a strong advocate for street dance, and is one of the most awarded artists in China and Asia.