Pengyou KTV Starter Kit: 2017 Remix

by Devin Nickell on February 14th, 2017   3207 views

No KTV experience is truly complete without whipping out your Chinese singing skills, so Project Pengyou’s Community Engagement Manager and Pengyou Intern Guantao Xu have teamed up to put together a list to get you started, from modern pop songs to tried and true classics.

This post was co-written by Project Pengyou Community Engagement Manager, Devin Nickell and Pengyou intern, Guantao Xu.


Ask any of my friends and they will tell you – I am a fan of KTV. I can think of nothing more fun on a weekend than rounding up a bunch of friends (ideally a few of them musically inclined,) and renting a room to rock out for a night. However, I will be the first to admit that its a good idea to build up a repertoire of Chinese songs so you can come prepared.

In 2014, we put together a Karaoke starter kit for Pengyous who want to have a few good options for Chinese songs in their arsenal. These days with the influence of globalization and the internet, being well versed in karaoke in China even includes the ability to sing Japanese, Korean, and English songs. Experienced KTV veterans will tell you that rather than battling it out for the microphone, the true art of a successful night of singing lies in picking crowd-pleasers.

Although a few well-timed disney or Taylor Swift songs are likely to do the trick, no KTV experience is truly complete without whipping out your Chinese singing skills. We’ve put together a list of eight good options to get you started, from modern C-pop songs to tried and true classics.

1. 有点儿意思 (That Good Good) -鹿晗(Luhan)

Chinese difficulty: ★★☆☆☆

Singing difficulty: ★★☆☆☆

Luhan is the baby-faced former member of the Korean boy band EXO, and his style and music certainly reflects the k-pop boy band feel. Surrounded by a bevy of beautiful girls and hip-hop dancers, there’s enough spray-paint and vaguely sexual upbeat lyrics for this song to be fun. The mixture of Chinese and English makes it accessible to a diverse crowd and the melody is not hard to sing. Get your dance on to this one! (Video)

2. 刚好遇见你(Just Met You) – 李玉刚(Li Yugang)

Chinese difficulty: ★★★☆☆

Singing difficulty: ★★★★★

李玉刚 was launched into stardom during his career as a male actor who plays only female roles in Peking Opera (known as “nan dan” (男旦)). The lyrics and style of this song demonstrate his decade-long struggle to balance modern and traditional Chinese music with the influence of western pop music. Because there are elements of Peking Opera in it, this song can be really difficult to sing (our intern Guantao says: in KTV parties, this song would most likely be used to punish the loser of a game). Despite that, the lyrics aren’t all that difficult and the song is quite lovely! (Video)

3. 默(Silent) – 那英(Na Ying)

Chinese difficulty: ★★☆☆☆

Singing difficulty: ★★★★☆

Releasing her first album in 1994, 那英 is one of the most beloved Chinese singers ever to grace the stage. This song, a hauntingly lovely ballad about the pain of losing love, comes after a long hiatus for the singer and is reminiscent of her early simple and clean style. It is also the theme song of one of the highly popular 2015 TV series, 何以笙箫默. This song is relatively easy in both lyrics and has a memorable but slightly challenging melody, making it a solid pick for KTV. (Video)

4. 平凡之路(The Ordinary Path)-朴树 (pù shù)

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 12.42.37 PM

Chinese difficulty: ★★☆☆☆

Singing difficulty: ★★☆☆☆

平凡之路 , or “The Ordinary Path” is the comeback song of 朴树, after leaving the world of the music 10 years before. The theme to a movie called 后会无期 “never see you again,” this song illustrates the bittersweet pride and longing of living an ordinary existence. This song is very popular due to it’s relatively easy lyrics and tune as well as accessible and relatable message. (Video)

5. 不潮不用花钱 (High Fashion)林俊杰 (JJ Lin)

Chinese difficulty: ★★★☆☆

Singing difficulty: ★★★★☆

Combining a boy band and hip-hop feel, JJ Lin is a Singaporean mandopop singer who rose to fame in the early 2000’s. This song is a fun and upbeat popsong that would prove to be a bit more challenging due to some tricky and tongue-twisting rhythms, but is certain to impress your friends. Also be sure to check out JJ Lin’s other music – he has written plenty of catchy songs that would all be excellent KTV choices. (Video)

6. 我爱你 (I Love You) – 卢广仲 (Crowd Lu)

Chinese difficulty: ★☆☆☆☆

Singing difficulty: ★★☆☆☆

Lu Guangzhong is an indie/acoustic singer from Taiwan with definite feel-good vibes. He began his career in the early 2000s and is still popular today. His song “I Love you” is easy enough in both lyrics and tune to be accessible to all levels of KTV fans, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser (no pun intended). (Video)

7. 春天里 (Spring) – 汪峰(Wang Feng)

Chinese difficulty: ★★☆☆☆

Singing difficulty: ★★★★☆

汪峰 Wang Feng is one of the most popular rock and roll singers in China, and is considered by some to have saved Chinese rock in the modern era. “Springtime” is a song that is wistfully nostalgic for simpler times. In it, Wang Feng wonders if people are happier now than they were decades ago. The lyrics are very easy to understand, and this song is a good start for the Rock enthusiasts. (Video)

8. 派对动物(Party Animal) - 五月天 (Mayday)

Chinese difficulty: ★★★☆☆

Singing difficulty: ★★★☆☆

A Taiwanese Rock Band that has been around since the 1990s, Mayday still enjoys a high level of popularity to this day. With a style of rock reminiscent of the Beatles, they are one of the most prolific C-pop bands still performing to this day. This song is a party anthem with fast-paced lyrics and a catchy beat. Be sure to check out other Mayday songs, as our Leadership Fellow Bree Pan assured me “They are one of the most requested artists for KTV”! (Video)

What is your go-to Chinese karaoke song? Leave a comment and let us know!

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