Vale Joshua.

Joshua Wong, mastermind behind two beloved Hong Kong independent bands Whence He Came and Noughts and Exes, passed away on Christmas Day. We’ve definitely had enough of 2020 (Update: glad that 2020 is finally over.)

I’m more a distant, indifferent observer than a fan, but there are so much to learn from Josh, eventually making me a fan. As a frontman and singer-songwriter, there’s so much about Joshua that I admire (and envy at times). His charisma on the stage, his ingenious songwriting, and his passion in creative work are everything I wish to possess. But there’s only one Joshua we ever need — the one dancing with his Telecaster, or being so eloquent with his loop pedals (when he was Dear Scarborough) — he is the inspiration this generation, or simply everyone of us, needs in order to understand how to live, and influence others with positivity.

I don’t know a lot about him up close, but I still want to write a couple of beautiful things about him. I almost don’t have a picture with him except for a screenshot of Noughts and Exes’ Hearts on YouTube. This flash mob video is the one of the most beautiful live performances I witnessed and participated in.

He always thought about us local musicians whenever he had great ideas and projects. It’s a shame there were always reasons for turning him down, but I’m forever grateful he thought of me: he knew that I went to do my PhD in Australia, and asked me how we’ve been doing. So I aren’t just a fan? :)

Like I said, I’m not personally close to Joshua, but there were close personal moments we had together. In November 2011, Winnie “Bago” Lau (singer-songwriter, former violinist for Noughts and Exes & Modern Children) played a special solo show at a private event, with many of us musician friends in the audience. We weren’t willing to leave and stayed until late at night, especially because Josh also played a couple new songs just for us. Here we have “The Crime” in its earliest version:

He also talked about his favourite Beatle being Paul McCartney, and we sang Maybe I’m Amazed together, but unfortunately we didn’t have it recorded — it’ll be in my memory forever. Anyway, I’m glad we crossed path with each other.

It’s a great loss to the whole world with Josh’s passing. But I’m sure many of us would agree, we celebrate how much good energy he’s radiated, how many fantastic works he’s created, how many wonderful memories he’s shared with us. He’ll live in our hearts.

Vale Joshua.

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