HONG KONG – To say that Josie Ho has been busy is an understatement.
The Hong Kong singer and actress is putting out new music, touring Asia and has shot a new travel show on TLC.
Together with her indie rock band, “Josie and the Uni Boys,” Ho is releasing seven new singles on vinyl records, one song at a time. She said her new music is inspired by the psycho thriller film “Split” starring James McAvoy, about three young girls kidnapped by a man who suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Fittingly, the first single is named “Skitzo.”
“I believe everyone has at least five personalities, like when you go home and face your parents, your lover, your friends, your colleagues, your boss and like, some PR friends,” Ho explained. “Some people have guilt trips about having different faces, like they feel like they’re two-faced, which I don’t think so. That’s why we need to put this concept out there, so when people really understand our lyrics and our music, I hope everyone feels that ‘We’re OK. We’re all OK. We’re fine.'”
Split might just be the way Ho, 42, feels about her life. The daughter of Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho, Ho defied her parents and refused to join the family business. Instead, she wanted to become an actress and singer.
In 1996, she released her first solo albums and also began acting in films. However, it wasn’t until she played a prostitute in the 2003 movie “Naked Ambition” that critics began to take her seriously as an actress. For that performance, Ho won the Best Supporting Actress award at the Hong Kong Film Awards. She also attempted to break into Hollywood, gaining a small part in Steven Soderbergh’s movie “Contagion” about the SARS epidemic.
This year, Ho is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her band. They will kick off a tour in Tokyo in October, and Ho could hardly contain her excitement.
“I’m going to be able to perform like a Japanese band at their live houses. Those are not just any live houses, those are scared rock and roll, hall of fame places. So I’m really honoured to play there,” Ho said.
After Japan, Josie and the Uni Boys head to China, the Philippines and Taiwan before returning home to Hong Kong next spring.
Until then, fans can catch Ho on TLC, “A Taste of Hong Kong with Josie Ho,” where she hosts other Asian celebrities in Hong Kong and shows them around town. Her favourite spot in Hong Kong? Surprisingly, the outdoors.
“A lot of countries have outdoor sports as well, but our outdoor sports are only 20 minutes away from the city. So I think we have the upper hand, compared to other cities in Asia. So you can go wakeboarding, take 45 minutes to shower and change, and go to work in central. So I think that’s a really important point to tell people,” she said.