With over 2.2 million Instagram followers, 17 million Sina Weibo admirers, 2.6 million Facebook fans, and legions of screaming devotees, Chinese pop singer G.E.M. (an acronym for “Get Everybody Moving”) has spent the past few years surrounded by those who adore her and her music. In the time since she released her self-titled 2008 debut album, she has released several LPs and concert tour DVDs, and has been deemed the “Taylor Swift of China.” But, alas, with fame comes its fair share of naysayers. After enduring cynical commentary, the Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter decided to pen the song “Heartbeat” about rising above all the negativity. And it seems like her efforts have come just in time.
Next year, G.E.M., née Tang Tsz-kei, will become the first Chinese performer to travel and perform in space. She’s also preparing for her first North American tour and the release of her first English song. Ahead, we catch up with the 24-year-old to talk about her music, growing up in the spotlight, her style and beauty, and her descent onto the American music scene.