Creativity sparked by passion, impulse, curiosity and music
Singer, producer and actor, Lay Zhang, says that creativity – and music in particular – helps him and his fans to explore the world
How would you define creativity – is it a process, an idea, a talent?
To me, creativity is more like a combination of the above: an instant, wonderful moment of inspiration that triggers certain creative impulses that become a process. In music, for example, my creativity is often triggered by a story, a feeling, or an impressive scene. Inspired by what I have seen, heard, and felt, the impulse comes together with talent to prompt the creation process, and finally becomes a piece of work.
What difference does being creative make to the way in which you approach opportunities/problems?
Being creative makes me think outside the box. Instead of sticking to the conventional way of doing things, I think in multiple dimensions, thereby becoming more inspired.
How did being creative enable you to deliver something positive – something that has made a difference to people's lives?
More broadly, creativity is the driving force for social development, making our lives more convenient and progressive. From my perspective, creativity keeps motivating me to explore, experiment and integrate all possibilities related to my field – which is music. I love the infinite fusion of pop music with other genres, as well as the magical instruments, wonderful sounds and mysterious legends I have inherited through my Chinese culture. Creativity keeps driving me to bring all of this together, so that more people around the world can hear it. I really enjoy this process of creation, and I am also delighted that more young people are exposed to this music and have had the opportunity to learn about, for example, Xiang Yu, Flying Apsaras, dragons, as well as Chinese musical instruments such as Suona and Erhu.
Who has inspired you creatively?
Passion, impulse, curiosity, and music itself – I am passionate about music. It helps me find a better way to communicate with the world. Composing music helps me explore the world and delivers further opportunities to be creative.
How important is it to surround yourself with other creative thinkers, perhaps people that think differently from you?
It absolutely matters a lot. Being alone can be helpful – it allows you to create something that reflects your thoughts, attitudes and experience.
But when people sit together, you can see ideas being exchanged, merging, conflicting or even exploding. There will be a mutual exchange through this process and ideas will be found. This is how you will discover the sparkle in your work.
20 June 2022