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11 December 2015, 14:39
Is she really China's answer to America's biggest pop star?
She's the 24 year old singer-songwriter taking taking China by storm. She is also the artist people are calling "the Chinese Taylor Swift". Whatever that means. i-D online have done a profile on the singer, which briefly highlights her rising popularity, not only in Asia, but in the West as well.
Unlike Swift, G.E.M. found her fame on a television program called I am a singer (great name), which was broadcast nationally in her native China. Since the start of 2015, people have predicted big things for the star but is she really the "Chinese Taylor Swift"?
Many of the songs I write are about my personal experiences. They are how I observe the world and how I truthfully express my feelings and stories.G.E.M.
It definitely doesn’t feel scary to me to write songs about my personal life. It actually feels like the only way I’ve ever processed emotions.Taylor Swift
G.E.M. is so powerful.— Poh Keat (@Keat_Bass) February 21, 2013
i feel like taylor swift is so powerful— mari christmas (@halseysariana) July 8, 2015
It's only after closely examining the music that it starts to become apparent that the two aren't necessarily coming from the same place. While Taylor has now fully ventured in the realm of modern pop (and done an amazing job of it), G.E.M.'s music seems firmly rooted in 00s style alt-pop (see Amy Lee, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson). Not to say she herself isn't killing the genre.
But it's obvious where the comparisons started. Westerners tend to understand things better when looking at it through a lens of their own creation (i.e. The Korean Migos, The Japanese Chief Keef, The Chinese Taylor Swift etc.). And, to be honest, G.E.M. is a darling. She's clean cut, put together, and really creative. Her power seemingly comes from her youth and ability to connect with her audience and that, in itself, is a very Taylor Swift-esque thing.