Global Star Lay Zhang Releases New ‘WEST’ EP with Stunning ‘VEIL’ Music Video
Chinese pop sensation LAY (Lay Zhang) has delivered a brand new project as he drops West, a new E.P. available now on all streaming 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 the lead single, Veilaccompanied by a visually stunning music video released on September 21.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of LAY’s debut as an artist, the superstar will do a series of concerts overseas before making his way to North America. Live shows in Malaysia and Singapore to be held next month were already announced as part of his global “Grand Line 2: Infinite Lands”. Also announced is an appearance as the headlining act at MetaMoon, Live Nation’s Asian-focused mega-festival at Barclays Center in NYC on November 26.
The story of West was developed last year when the project was introduced with the E.P. East about M-POP’s new “universe,” focusing on the Eastern side of the world. LAY took listeners through a fantastical eastward journey in this vast musical territory. 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 E.P. ‘West.’ A lot of the sounds, lyrics, and content were inspired by the quote, “If the wind knows my intentions, blowing dreams to Xizhou,” said LAY. I hope everyone can enjoy the emotion and dreamlike quality I tried to provide in this E.P. and music video.”
For the Chinese, the word “West” has always sparked the 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 create a bursting dance atmosphere with an exotic hook that keeps listeners constantly surprised, much like a dream. What would you wish for if LAY gave you an Aladdin lamp? 3 Wishes 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 represents the sincerity of “I can take the initiative first.” In the Internet age, public figures and anyone can become cyberbullying victims. As a public figure, the attitude in this track, I Don’t Care, is to fight back against cyberbullying. 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 E.P., LAY drops an accompanying music video for Veil. The music video perfectly plays on the already dreamlike quality of the track. It starts on a bustling street as the sounds of the erhu begin to permeate. Suddenly, the dancer appears, and as Mahjong pieces fly in the air, we are transported into a dream. Viewers are then greeted with the artist dancing lively to match the trap beat.
Eventually, the global star literally does ‘Illuminate the room’ as the visuals change with vibrant lights and stunning choreography. The colourful aspects remain as we jump between various scenes, including a brightly lit city street and a serene forest, until the video ends with a return to reality.
LAY has been and continues to be a household name in Asia. His career has 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, reaching #1 on the Q.Q. Music China chart. He then released a string of hits with an album, an E.P., cross-genre collaborations and solo singles overseas, further propelling his global star power.
LAY’s most recent release was an international collaboration with American hip-hop artist 24kGoldn on the single Dawn to Dusk, which received over 2 million streams on Spotify alone. With his hit 2020 album LIT, and its title track of the same name, the digital album made over 30 million yuan in just 7 minutes 19 seconds after its release on Q.Q. Music in China.
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 T.V. and film, hosted multiple top-rated reality shows in Asia and is one of the most awarded artists in China.
LAY (Lay Zhang) is a multi-talented Chinese artist, producer, singer-songwriter, actor, dancer, fashion muse, and philanthropist. He is China’s current top #1 idol becoming the highest-ranked Mandopop star on Billboard 200 chart and the first Chinese artist to enter the iTunes Top 60 in the U.S. with his third album, NAMANANA. His big screen debut was the romantic-comedy film Ex-Files 2, and he won the Best Movie Original Soundtrack at the 16th Top Chinese Music Awards for the film. His first solo single, What U Need? debuted at #4 on China V Chart and Billboard’s World Digital Songs.
His EP Lose Control stayed at #1 on Billboard’s China V Chart for six weeks in a row, reached #1 on the Gaon Album Chart, and reached #4 on Billboard’s U.S. World Albums Chart. His second album, Lay 02 Sheep, broke five records on Q.Q. Music, getting Diamond Record in 9 hours and 11 minutes. His third album NAMANANA debuted at #21 on Billboard 200, ranking first on World Albums and Independent Albums chart.
In 2019 he released a digital E.P. titled Honey and its title track of the same name in June. The E.P. reached over 1.87 million digital sales in just three minutes after its release on Q.Q. Music in China. In 2019, LAY was invited as China’s Promotional Ambassador to attend the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. He reached unprecedented success when tickets for the concert at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, had sold out in eight seconds, while the stop in Nanjing, China, had its tickets sold out in twenty-five seconds. He debuted in the music industry as a K-Pop idol with the best-selling group EXO.