Rex Wang – “Rexhits”


Born and raised in Shanghai, Rex Wang (Rexhits) shows a knack for cohesive hooks in his songwriting, which embraces the retro and modern aspects of pop and rock. Rex will release his debut album on January 22nd. It’s preceded by the track “Rexhits”, a suave rocker that moves from quaint verses – featuring subdued vocals and mostly led by the rhythm section – to a more front-and-center chorus, hook-y to the extreme upon revealing around 01:20. With personal lyrics emitting musical ambitions and continued determination, Rex lets his soaring voice and trickling melodies exude emotion, reminiscent in tone to a more accessible Shintaro Sakamoto.

Rex’s bio, below, gives further insight to his musical journey, which is chronicled to an extent lyrically throughout “Rexhits”:

Rex came across music when he was 5, his parents sent him to a preschool music training center to study Erhu (a traditional Chinese instrument). He had been there studying for 6 years, though he barely enjoyed. The turning point came when he was 12. Influenced by a friend who was a die-hard fan of rock, Rex picked up a crapy guitar, learned some basic chords, joined a band, and started his rock star dream. That was the start point of his musical life, his love for music just kept growing and growing. One day he was listening to the recording of the band’s rehearsal, all of a sudden he found out that the songs he wrote weren’t that good, they all sounded alike actually, and he never realized that. The frustration haunted him for several weeks, he tried but he just couldn’t come up with anything new. Finally, he figured that the self-learning could only take him to a certain point, he needs to find a way to learn more. That year he was 15, He began his traditional composition study with some of the top instructors in Shanghai Conservatory of Music. The professional training not only helped him broken the wall but also widen his vision.

Later on, Rex got his bachelor degree in Music Composition & Production from Shanghai Normal University and became a composer/producer. On one hand, he was so happy that he finally managed to transform music from his dream to his career, on the other hand, he realized that “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know”. So he made another bold move – came to Georgia Institute of Technology to further his study in Music Technology. As time went on, he earned himself a reputation as composer/producer, and he earned his master degree from Georgia Tech. Everything seemed worked out for him, except one question he started asking himself: is writing music for someone else really the thing I want to do for life? The answer turned out to be no, this time, he wanted to take music back to a dream – become an indie artist and let others hear his own music. And yet, here he is, living in his home studio in Atlanta, busy preparing his debut album.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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