Joey Yung has called Happy Valley her home in one form or another for 20 years. The first time was when she lived in Friendship Court on Blue Pool Road, where she lived next door to Eason Chan. At the time, her record label had arranged singing lessons for her at Roman Tam’s home, which she attended at least two or three times a week. Outside of lessons, Tam would frequently invite her over for dinner, as well as to celebrate festivals – the more, the merrier.
Her fondest memories are of Tam taking her to the rooftop of his building where they would be able to see the racecourse. It was there that her first impressions of Happy Valley were made; of a neighbourhood that, while small, had a certain warmth and beauty to it. She later moved to the nearby Village Terrace, although in a stroke of bad luck the building caught fire in 2000, forcing about major repairs.
It was around this time that Joey began to feel a special affinity to the neighbourhood. For example, it was during those years that her label’s parent company ran a hotel in Happy Valley where Joey and her peers would be invited to host promotional events. She recalls that time as being like an artiste’s boot camp, where they had to quickly learn how to entertain guests and deal with criticism, not to mention all the singing they had to do. Looking back, Joey describes the experience as hard to get, and hard to forget.
Add to these the small, mundane experiences that made up the mosaic of her Happy Valley life – the potty-mouthed proprietor of the Lotus Garden congee restaurant with whom Joey had a love-hate relationship; and a since-closed noodle shop on King Kwong Street that she vowed to never visit again after watching a rat dart across the floor of the establishment.
Two decades have passed as such, and in August of this year Joey is set to host a concert commemorating 20 years since her industry debut, providing an opportunity to revisit the places of her youth. “The part I love most about being a singer is that each song is like a diary entry in my life. Long after I’ve gone, the lyrics I write will stay in people’s hearts,” she says. “Every time I pass by here, I always remember the love my teacher showed me. I miss him very much.”
Apart from music, Joey is a lifelong fashion enthusiast, and especially so when it comes to Japanese fashion. Indeed, her ritual at the hair salon is to read the newest Japanese fashion glossies from cover to cover. She also understands that different magazine editions in different countries are fundamentally different due to the unique creative minds behind them – to this end, she hopes for Vogue’s Hong Kong edition to surpass Japan’s to become the city’s preeminent style compass.
Photography: Stanley Wong @anothermountainman
Styling: Lois Leung
Hair artist: Heibie Mok
Makeup artist: Hubei Har
Wardrobe: Miu Miu; Earrings: Venna from On Pedder
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CreditTranslator: Gavin Yeung