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Indie Musician Serrini: Composing a Legacy of Happiness


Legacy has always been a proposition in singer-songwriter Serrini's heart; ultimately, for her, legacy is not about money, but about happiness. “I want to hand down happiness.  Making a lot of money doesn’t mean that you can stay away from pain.  But when you embrace happiness, you will see the true beauty and kindness in our lives.  I just have to be myself like I always do to pass on happiness.  You are fine!”

How did she transform from an indie niche artist to an everyday alien in the eyes of the public?   She happily laughed, looking confident, comfortable and carefree.  “This one-line description is too short to cover everything about me!”  Frankly, it’s difficult for this local lady-singer to define herself from an array of identities.

Serrini, a local independent singer-songwriter and musician, who humorously claimed herself “weird and refreshing” in the early days of her debut.  Her songs “Sophia’s Boba Milk Tea” and “Kowloon Blondie Ling” with down-to-earth and playful lyrics, in fun and whimsical style earned her great popularity.  She then presented “Let Us Go Then You and I” in a therapeutic way, warmly reminding everyone to drink more water, read more and stay healthy.  Subsequent to her success, her award-winning electro-folk album “Songs of Experience” showcased a brand-new dark queen character, who stated that girls can be terrifyingly powerful when they want to fight back.  A powerful musician indeed, she alone is responsible for music composition, lyrics writing, song edition and the production.   

Contrary to most of the romantic Cantopops, her music comes in various styles echoes urban people's emotions and current issues.  The artist believes in Empowerment, especially in her music.  She has been doubtful and asking questions: Why girl has to be slim?  Why female singers have to be judged by their looks?  Why we have to please others instead of oneself?  Convinced that everybody, not limited to those who are rich or famous, can be self-empowered; Serrini firmly holds that all of us have rights, not only women.  The citizen consciousness of the entire city should be strengthened.  

Embracing such a strong belief, she transformed from a niche artist to a well-known singer-songwriter who positively dealt with the negative criticism with her knowledge and techniques.  She was recognised by the music industry and earned the Female Singer Bronze Award of Chik Chak 903 Music Awards.  Navigating in the showbusiness world for more than a decade, Serrini remains her true self, though sometimes a bit silly and nonsensical.  Behind her playfulness and glamorous look, she has found her own way in music creation and academic research.  What she always bears in mind is to pass on her music, expertise and the most important, happiness.

"I felt insecure, worrying that I didn’t do well.  But at certain age or reaching a certain rank in your career, you will understand that you don’t have to push for more.  Sometimes, it would be better if you just take things as they are.  I began to share my experience with more independent musicians, to pass on my knowledge.”  From generation to generation, this spiritual legacy transcends time and material.

Affirming her legacy of knowledge,  Serrini said, "Some people regard legacy as material things like parents' assets, but I would say library is the most important inheritance."  She enjoys reading in the library to understand what our ancestors saw or thought a hundred years ago; she then associated the experiences passed down and evolutions involved with our current situation.  So passionate about reading and learning, she even wants to open a library!

A rare scholar-turned popstar, Serrini received a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Hong Kong with her doctoral thesis studying pop music from a cultural perspective.  Interviewing her at her alma mater further highlights the significance of knowledge legacy.    Touring the team around, she said, “the main teaching building of the University of Hong Kong is my favourite historical building where that arts students are very familiar with.  It might not be the most convenient location or with the latest facilities, but I can feel / learn what they have explored, read and experienced, it’s inspiring for literature students.”  

Benefited by numerous scholarships when she was a student, Serrini is determined to give back to the society and set up her own scholarship in University of Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong to pass on her passion of learning.  Talking at different schools also gives her opportunities to pass on knowledge and happiness.  

"We now have different meanings for legacy in society.  I might pass on my assets to fan clubs or pets, my favourite groups or charities, or any organization or company that I can think of or execute my ideas.  How can an entrepreneur like myself with various companies or shops pass my business to the next generation or my employees?  How can it be passed on as a business?”  On a personal level, Serrini believes that she can pass on different assets to various people.  Single with no kids at the moment, she always thinks about whether she should make her younger sister or somebody else the beneficiary of her insurance policy?  Do they deserve it?  How to deal with the assets?  “Perhaps I should donate everything to a cat rescue centre or a local fashion designer?  So they can design more beautiful costumes for my shows!” she smiled jokingly.

In the lyrics of her song “Kiki mami” ,  it says, “remember it by heart, the beginning of true beauty”.  “I believe in true beauty.  I am seeking my own rhythm and following my heart to look for the inner light.  With an open heart to adopt  to different ideas, things and energies, it is an endless heritage.”  Constantly thinking about how to promote knowledge, she hopes to expand her influence from people around her to different cultures and topics.  “I want to turn money into a form I like, such as a Leung Ka-yan library!”  Everybody there laughed happily.  Serrini, once again, passed on her happiness.



Interview by:Ivy Cheung and Alice Lee

Photography:Charles Wan

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