See Canadian-Chinese Cantopop Star Fred Cheng's New Video, Tour Dates

Billboard Radio China
Canadian-Chinese singer Fred Cheng at the Billboard Radio China studio in Hong Kong. 

Fred Cheng is a big name in the Cantopop industry, and Billboard Radio China sat down with him at our studio in Hong Kong to hear the rising star share the story of his bumpy road to success.

Born and bred in Canada, Fred developed his love for music at a tender age, but he said it was just a fluke for him to really grow his career in this profession. "After I graduated from high school in Canada, I came to Hong Kong for summer vacation with no friends at all," he shared. "My mum saw an ad for a singing competition, and asked me to join since I was bored out of my mind. So I went through the audition, got into the final 10 and finished second. After that, I got a record deal."

Unfortunately, the record company went bankrupt, and Fred fell immediately from the top of the world to the rock bottom. One day, he got a call from local TV station TVB, asking him to join the actor training class, and he decided to give it a shot.

This paved his way for becoming who we see on TV now. It was not until 2013 when TVB held their own singing competition and Fred became the champion that his singing talent was discovered. "I was then signed to The Voice Entertainment Group," he said. "That's why I am here today."

Since then, Fred has gotten his own songs instead of all those covers that he did for the competition, and many of them have become top hits. But his latest single, "The Starting Line," is quite different from all of his previous songs.

Watch "The Starting Line" music video:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

"It's my own composition. It's a really personal song," he explains. "The past year has been tough, but it is also my best year. Lyricist Sandy decided to write about how I feel, but I was like, do I want to sing about my feelings? It's like being naked in front of everyone, but sometimes you just have to face the music. It's a really raw and true song, which is really close to my heart. Every time when I perform it, it's just me. I am not trying to portrait another story; it's just me standing in front of you, telling you my story."

As Fred shared, the past year has been tough for him. As a celebrity, everything he did was put under the limelight for examination, which caused him some struggles publicly. How does he manage to live his personal life in the public eye? "Sometimes, it's really hard," he admits. "I remember there was a time people [paparazzi] just kept waiting outside my home, although I was in my home with curtains shut, I could still feel the pressure. But after I go through this, I got to know myself better. I kind of have a better relationship with myself."

He also has some advice for people who are having similar struggles: "You have to open up to your family, friends or seek professional help. Then find a hobby. I'm so lucky that I have music in my life. I can just go jam with my friends, rock it on the guitar, write songs or start screaming. Just know that the pain is temporary and after you get rid of this, you can be much better and stronger and wiser. Living with gratitude is the key."

In 2018, Fred will release his third studio album and bring his tour to the U.S. and Canada in the spring: March 10 in Vancouver, Canada; March 12 in Richmond, Canada; and March 18 in Yonkers, N.Y.

For more information, listen to the full interview on <a href="" target="_blank">Billboard Radio China</a>.