Legend Tito Jackson, Chinese star Ayi Jihu and Brazilian Star Edu Casanova
Before Chinese star Ayi Jihu could speak English, she could speak ‘Jackson’. Like millions of Chinese kids Ayi Jihu, also known as ‘The Chinese Madonna‘ grew up singing and dancing to Michael Jackson. In her own words ‘We did not know what we were singing but we sang it anyway because we loved it’. Ayi Jihu has carved out a historic career for herself becoming the first true-born Chinese RnB artist to transition successfully to the West. All that and independently too. She credits Michael Jackson and the Jacksons themselves for her inspiration. When asked about the Tag ‘Chinese Madonna’ She tells us it’s more about her business than her music. “Because I am independent and seen as a strong woman not part of the system who does my own thing in China, they compared me to Madonna in that respect, not because of my music or style which is very different. Obviously just like Madonna there are some out there who are not Ayi Jihu fans and seem to be on a mission to discredit me at every turn, but just like Madonna I continue to improve and move forward and I do not pay the ‘Haters’ any attention. I just keep working hard and doing my thing.”
Fast forward to the 19th of January 2014 from the small village in Leibo, Sichuan, China where she grew up and Ayi Jihu finds herself working with the Legendary Tito Jackson on track by Brazilian star Edu Casanova at Shlepp Studios in London. The Jackson’s are the biggest most well-known brand and name in show business. For Ayi Jihu they are the most important name, the inspirational name behind most she has done and now she has come full circle to realise one of her greatest dreams.
Tito Jackson flew in from Brazil having never met Ayi Jihu or Edu Casanova. Ayi Jihu and Edu Casanova have already collaborated on a track due for release later this year. Tito Jackson was introduced to the song ‘Bola Vez’, Edu Casanova and Ayi Jihu by his management. In Tito’s own words ‘I Checked out her [Ayi Jihu] website, music and story and I thought she was beautiful, talented and compelling. I also thought she is an important artist, someone who is in the right place at the right time in history,’ I loved the song and what I saw from Edu Casanova also. He is a passionate singer and songwriter. For me it was something I felt I had to get involved with for many reasons, not just the music.”
For an artist like Tito Jackson, the very corner-stone of the Jackson’s getting back to music must be something to relish. With the press and media always hungry for all things Michael and his family in constant legal battles enjoying the simple pleasure of making music and being an artist must be a godsend for Tito. His sons (Who have a group of their own 3T) are also in London for the TV show The Big Reunion and Tito himself is working on a brand new album which he says is simply ‘Tito’. This gentle articulate gentleman is hungry to put the Jackson brand and focus firmly back onto music. Just like his brother Michael, Tito’s gentle manner complete disappears once he gets on stage or behind the mic. It’s an almost 360 degree turn into a Showbiz Monster.
Tito flew in from Japan and headed straight for the studio. With the Jackson’s back on tour in the USA there was not much time in the UK. The press and media had also already got wind of his arrival and were laying in wait to speak to Tito and Ayi Jihu about their collaboration on this song with Edu Casanova. Not only did Tito and Ayi have to record in one day, they also had to shoot the promo video for the song. After a 16 hour flight, and no real rest Tito Jackson hit the studio and within a few minutes he was on the mic. When you have been brought up in music like Tito Jackson, the old school way, things like this are taken in ones stride. None of the extras, histrionics, moaning or ludicrous request of the so-called stars of today. Just in the studio and straight down to work. Old school, Professional, real.
Unfortunately Brazilian Singer songwriter Edu Casanova (and yes that is his real name) could not make it to London in time. Edu had just finished a live show in Bahia Brazil where hundreds of thousands of people turned up. Unlike many Western stars, Brazilian performers cannot perform for a few minutes and disappear. Three sometimes , four hour shows are common in Brazil. It was impossible to fly him to London in time. Edu Casanova is the writer and main artist on the song Bola Vez. The song Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu are both featured on. The song is a fusion of Portuguese and English. A funky, almost Cool and the Gang ‘Get down on it’ type joint that makes it hard for you not to start moving. Produced by Peter (Doc B) Bielig in Brazil it could go all the way, especially when you think of the line up!
The Uk side of the music and video production and also the director of the video: Stevie Eagle E and his Shlepp Entertainment team.
The producer of Bola Vez and is Peter Doc Bielig. Stevie Eagle E and Peter Doc B have worked together for over 20 years forming a successful Artist and production team from which Shlepp Entertainment Ltd was created. EEDB (Eagle and Doc B) produced and wrote for Viola Billups and the Flirtations. Viola Billups is now the manager of Tito Jackson. Viola Billups who grew up with Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder and was herself a successful Decca recording artist was introduced to Ayi Jihu and Edu Casanova through Peter Doc B and that is how this whole collaboration came to be.
This collaboration as big as it is part of an even bigger picture. When one considers the fusion of music, cultures and artists and who they all reach, you begin to get an idea of just how big this could be. The biggest stars in the West are limited in China, due to language, culture and lets say Chinese Swag. The same can be said of the biggest stars in China. Music alone is not enough to cross over. You need to be accepted as a person and understood by the people you are singing to. This understanding does not always have to be language but it has to be something communicated which allows you to reach people who do not understand you. Perhaps thus far only Michael Jackson had mastered this conundrum. Now however Ayi Jihu seems to have this magical formula of being accepted and understood by both East and West, in fact by everyone! This allows her to open up the whole of China to other artist who collaborate and work with her bringing artist like Edu Casanova and Tito Jackson not just to the 200 million Chinese that may be able to understand them, but to Billions of Chinese everywhere.
This is reciprocated in Brazil and also the USA and Europe as Edu Casanova helps Ayi transition to Brazil and Tito Jackson helps her transition to the USA and the West. So what you have here is not just a musical collaboration, but a well thought out strategic and cultural collaboration that could signal a real change in the music industry over the next several years.
Masterminding all of this are several people Stevie Eagle E (Shlepp Entertainment Ltd ) Bernhard Storz (Storz Media GMBH) and Peter Doc Bielig. It is their vision and energy that has brought all these artists together and put this grand plan in place. Something individually and collectively they have been working on for over 10 years!
Peter Doc Bielig has almost completed the Edu Casanova album, working at the world-famous WR Bahia studios in Bahia Brazil. Ayi Jihu has already collaborated with Edu Casanova on Ilumina. She flew to Brazil late last year to record the song and also shoot the video with Edu. She also recorded and shot a video with another Brazilian rising star Maristela Muller. Another important part of this international puzzle.
The song Ayi Jihu recorded with Brazilian ‘Pop Princess’ Maristela Muller is called Xiboom and this is also due for release in 2014. All the artists are signed to Storz Media GMBH/Shlepp Entertainment Ltd. The constant theme throughout all of these collaborations is Ayi Jihu.
This international line up is preparing to tour the world taking their unique blend of music, culture and vibe to China, Europe, North America and beyond.
While the rest of the music industry tries to find its way in a changing world with shrinking domestic markets. This group of artists and mavericks are blazing a trail that leaves them way ahead of the competition. A combination of artists that cover practically all demographics with a huge global fan base and international cultural mix. Blending the roots of popular music with the future of popular music fusing languages and using social media to break down new markets.
We also have it on good authority that this global movement is not just about music but about social change and consciousness. The forthcoming tour will have a strong Anti-bullying and Cyber-bullying message, which will also include internet trolling (which is just another form of Cyber bullying) Something which Ayi Jihu and Tito Jackson have experienced first hand. The aim is to reach out to people especially the kids worldwide and change their perceptions about what is acceptable behavior to others no matter what race, culture, gender or persuasion they may be. This is something that Ayi Jihu has been advocating and preaching for several years now using her FearChaser alter ego as an example. With an established young audience of over 25 million kids who played her online Fearchaser™ Game she has a solid foundation for which to take her campaign global working with others like Tito Jackson and Edu Casanova.
So as the girl they call ‘The Chinese Madonna and the Legend that is Tito Jackson do the press and media round in the UK, speculation grows as to the future of this collaboration. A Collaboration that will include Edu Casanova in Brazil. Bola Vez maybe the first product of this Collaboration but it will not be the last.
There is a lot more to come from the Legend, The Madonna and the Casanova.
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