In 1995, then 12-year-old Wang Guan received a parting gift from his music teacher when he graduated from primary school. It was a cassette called Now That’s What I Call Music (Asia series), which was a compilation album comprising 16 English pop songs.
It was the first time that the Beijing native had heard songs by Western pop stars, such as Jon Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson and boy bands like Boyzone and Boyz II Men.
“At that time, I had no access to pop music from the United States and Europe. I enjoyed the beat of the songs even though I couldn’t understand a word,” says Wang, 36.