Interview with Wang “Rollin” Rong: Of Course I Want to be Famous4 min read

Thanks to posts like this and this, Wang “Rollin” Wong’s “Chick Chick” has been viewed over 11 million times in the 7 weeks since it was first posted to YouTube on October 22, 2014. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s worth a few minutes of your time to contemplate in all of it’s bat-shit crazy glory:

Victor Mair has written about the use of animal sound in the song on Language Log and Boing Boing and others have suggested that it could become the “song of the year,” or “the next Gangnam Style.” While Wang’s success is nothing to scoff at, as a point of comparison, Psy’s hypnotic ballad clocked over 10 times as many hits in the first two months after being posted on YouTube, meaning that “Cluck Cluck” is literally an order of magnitude less viral than the Korean megahit.

Still, for China nerds, anything that gets China in the news for wackiness is a cause for celebration:


In China, however, the fact Wang Rong is appearing on the websites of Time magazine and major other American media outlets seems to be causing a certain amount of hand-wringing on the part Chinese netizens and journalists, who are seem embarrassed that a cheesy song like this is attracting so much attention. One newspaper, The Mirror, managed to track her down for an interview, which I’ve translated below:

The Mirror 11/17 The singer Wang Rong, who first rose to fame with her 2007 song “I’m not Huang Rong” but has since fallen off the radar, is attracting attention again with her latest ‘viral tune’ “Chick Chick.” The song, which is entirely made up of lines like “chicken cluck cluck day,” “little chick cluck cluck day,” “rooster whoa whoa whoa” has attracted both both attention and scorn. Yesterday, Wang Rong agreed to an interview with The Mirror in Beijing.

法制晚报11月17日讯 因《我不是黄蓉》走红的歌手王蓉,沉寂多时,最近“神曲”《小鸡小鸡》再度备受关注。全篇都是“母鸡咕咕day”、“小鸡咕咕day”、“公鸡喔喔喔”的这首歌,引来关注的同时也招来了骂声。昨日王蓉在北京接受了《法制晚报》记者的专访。

I don’t care about the critics, my ‘viral tune’ came from a dream

The Mirror: How did you come up with this song?

Wang Rong: This song originally came from a dream I had. It was a really happy dream, where kittens, chicks, and ducklings looked like they were having a meeting, talking about really trivial stuff, like oh, today I laid an egg, and then I lost something, clucking and quacking away in disagreement. It was really cute. I could understand what they were saying though, just like in fairy tales. So when I woke up I decided I wanted to turn my dream into a song.

不在意骂声 “神曲”源自一个梦



The Mirror: There aren’t any lyrics in the whole song, just “cluck cluck day,” do you think people can handle this?

Wang Rong: If you want to hear a song with lyrics, there are plenty of those, and I could easily have written lyrics too. When I first started, I want to write out a conversation between the animals, but it didn’t really work with the music, so I just used “cluck cluck day” so I would have time to think about they were saying. Anyways, it’s successful as entertainment, because it’s fun.



The Mirror: There’s a lot of criticism online, have you read any of it?

Wang Rong: If it’s not too objective, or mistaken, then I can handle it, but I have to ignore personal attacks. It’s totally normal for people to have different opinions, and if they criticize me, then probably it’s helping them blow off steam, so that’s okay.



It’s normal to want to be famous

The Mirror: You’ve written several popular songs before, but a lot of people think you’ve gone too far this time, by choosing to write a ‘viral tune.’

Wang Rong: I’ve done viral songs, but I’ve also done down-tempo ‘healing’ songs too. But to be completely honest, we’re not some big corporation, with a bunch of capital investment and not enough time to spend it all. Given our situation, we have to use strategies and tactics to create the most kick-ass things we can. It’s survival of the fittest out there, so our hands are tied, but it’s also a positive situation, too. If this music let’s us get big, then I will have more energy, more optimism, and more money to invest in the kind of music I really want to make.

Making music is also like doing business, so if people say, Wang Rong, you’re just doing this to become famous, to be a hit, then I’ll say, of course I want to be famous, don’t we all need money to live? – Interview by Shou Penghuan



王蓉:我有神曲,但也有治愈系的。但说实话我们不是大财团,或者有很多资金投入,没时间耗了,这种情况我们只能采取战略和策略,推出最牛的东西。这是一 种适者生存的无奈,但这也是一个积极的状态。如果因为这个娱乐产品让我们的局面打开,我就可以有更多精力、积极性和金钱可以投入到我们真正想做的音乐中 去。

做音乐也是在做生意,有人说王蓉你就是为了出名,你就是为了红,我说当然了,我就是想红,活着不得赚钱么?文/记者 寿鹏寰


Nick Stember
Nick Stember is a translator and historian of Chinese comics and science fiction, currently working on his PhD in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. In 2016 he completed his Master of Arts in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia with his (very readable and not at all obscure) thesis on the formation of the Shanghai Manhua Society in the mid-1920s.