“To My Future Self” (给未来的自己 gěi wèilái de zìjǐ), sung by Malaysian-Chinese star Fish Leong 梁静茹 (Liáng Jìngrú) and composed by Huang Ting 黄婷, was released in 2007 in the album Worship (崇拜 chóngbài). It’s one of the most uplifting Chinese pop songs I’ve ever heard.
Perhaps it’s because the lyrics are imminently relatable for someone living in the bustle of New York City, a place where it’s possible to feel lonely amid millions of people. “Standing on a rooftop alone, surrounded by heavy wind, I look down on a lonely city. Find someone who cares about you. Seek a heart that treasures you. In this universe, I am unique.”
But the song isn’t about being lonely. It’s not self-pitying. It tells listeners to be true to oneself regardless of one’s surroundings.
In the starlight, forget yesterday’s hurt
Upon waking, I still have expectations
I won’t give up the courage to love
I don’t doubt there will be true love
I will hold on to a beautiful dream
For my future self.
Leong’s love songs have won her great popularity and success in China. Among her most representative works include “Warm,” “Courage,” “Love Song,” and “Sadly, It’s Not You.” She has released 12 albums and sold more than 18,000,000 records globally, and was the first Malaysian-Chinese singer to perform at the Lincoln Center in New York City in 2016.