Wasn't he such a cute baby???
Jay was born on 18 January 1979, in Linkou, Taipei, to Ye Hui Mei, a teacher of fine arts and Zhou Yao Zhong, a biomedical researcher/teacher. He often joked later that it was quite stressful for him, having to face teachers in school AND deal with teacher-parents at home. :)
As he tells in his book, Grandeur de D Majeur, life at home was pretty typical, with outings to the beach and the like on weekends but piano practice was a must and schoolwork had to be completed. He was an only child but did not lack friends and neighbours to play with and keep him company.
He also had loving grandparents, being especially close to his maternal grandma who recounts how well-behaved and polite Jay was as a child.
However, that happy scenario changed when he was about 13, when his parents divorced and Jay went to live with his father for a few years.
Papa Zhou, however, made sure Jay continued his music education by enrolling him in Tamkang Senior High School, where he majored in piano and took cello as a minor.
Jay's parents' divorce affected him very much as he often told interviewers in later years but he eventually realised that it was probably for the best as relations between them had really degenerated to the extent of a cold war.
It is thus no surprise that Jay has often reiterated that when he gets married, divorce will not be an option as the effects on children can be really devastating.
It was to no avail, however and after sitting for the entrance exams twice and failing, Jay decided enough was enough. The academic life was just not his thing.
In spite of his parents' divorce however, Jay maintains a good relationship with his father, even as he is much closer to his Mum. He likes to joke about his Dad always wanting to make sure reporters know he is Jay's father at press conferences. And he even created a role for his Dad to act in his movie, Secret, playing a small part as a biology teacher in one scene.
There was one very important thing which Papa Chou did however and which I think fans should forever be grateful to him for:
When Jay first signed up with Alfa Music, Papa Chou made certain that his contract had a clause which ensured that Jay retained all the rights to his compositions. This was immense foresight on the elder Chou's part as that meant when Jay left Alfa in 2007 to set up his own company with Vincent and Yang Junrong, he did not lose any of his tremendous body of work.. If Papa Chou had not done what he did, there's no telling how things could have turned out for Jay.
Thank you, Papa Chou!
Pic is of Jay with his Dad and good friend, Will Liu
Jay with his Mum and Grandma
This is Jay's song, Grandmother aka Wai Po from his Album, Common Jasmine Orange.
Here's a link to Sunsun Jay's Facebook album showing Jay's metamorphosis through the years, with lots more photos!