Meet the Singaporean Musician Twin Brothers Who Discovered Mandopop Singer Stefanie Sun
For years, many have recognised twins Lee Wei Song and Lee Si Song as a joint act, whether as a Mandopop singing duo in the early 1990s or as songwriters and music producers later in their careers. But despite widely known as being a team, they admit that they are in fact, vastly different in their careers, music styles and characters.
“The only thing that we have in common is our love for music. I lean towards music production while Wei Song focuses largely on teaching and writing music,” shares Si Song, the younger of the two (by a mere five minutes). “But our differences are also our biggest strengths.”
Take the meteoric rise of Mandopop queen Stefanie Sun, for example. The brothers first discovered her unique voice while she was enrolled as a student at Wei Song’s namesake music school in 1998. “When we first heard her, I felt that she could try singing in various music styles,” shares Wei Song. “So my brother and I wrote a song each to explore her vocal ability and bring out the unique quality of her voice.”
Wei Song composed Leave Me Alone, while Si Song did Cloudy Sky (music video above). Both tracks varied vastly in style—the former features a mid-tempo beat with the singer’s vocals lending a rebellious yet emotional touch to the song, while the latter is a slow, melancholic ballad that incorporates the lyrics of an old Hokkien folk song—and yet were included in Sun’s award-winning debut album, Yan Zi.
“Different voices will inspire different styles of music composition. Sun’s voice reminded me of [Canadian-American singer-songwriter] Alanis Morissette’s, and there wasn’t a voice like that in the Mandopop industry then,” says Si Song.
Besides Sun, both brothers have also written songs for the who’s who of the music industry in Asia and till today, they still remain widely sought after for their compositions. But their music careers have also taken off on different focal points. Si Song manages Wise Entertainment, which consists of artiste management, music production and publishing arms, while Wei Song is the managing director of Lee Wei Song School of Music. The twins are, however, co-founders of both entities too.
I feel very fortunate having a twin brother. It’s impossible to do everything without him. You simply don’t have the time and energy” — Li Wei Song
Growing up and working with each other has also resulted in an undeniable rapport and chemistry between the two. “We’ve been building on that since we were kids!” Wei Song enthuses. “We’ve learned to help each other with our music and complement each other’s style.”
To the veteran music producers, the route to stardom isn’t always guaranteed and they will never promise fame even to the most promising of musicians they meet. In the case of Sun, apart from her talent for singing, many elements such as a remarkable marketing team had to come into play for her career to take off.
On top of that, the completion of a successful album takes a whole team to accomplish. Both brothers emphasise that each role—from the producer to the lyricist—is equally important, even if they work behind the scenes. Si Song sums it up: “Our success is only possible because of the team and talents that we get to work with. We’re eternally grateful to them and there’s no other way to describe it.”
- Art DirectionJana Tan
- PhotographyBenny Loh/Food and Shelter
- GroomingZoel Tee