Amongst the many reasons I've grown to love and respect Jay so much is how he has maintained his friendships with so many people from the start of his career, till the present where he is a megastar and King of Mandopop. Being an only child probably accounts for why he treasures his friends so much and treats them as part of an extended family.
Jay also likes to rope them in to act in his numerous music videos and movies (especially Secret).
There are his buddies and staff from his early days in Alfa Music; and they kept with him when he set up JVR Music with Vincent and JR Yang. They include his recording engineer, Gary Yang and makeup artiste, Du Guochang aka Du Ge. And of course, his best friend forever, Wil Liu Genghong.
Moonlight, written by Gary and performed here with Jay:
MV of Wandering Poet, written by Jay:
Jay and Gary singing Love's Flight Diary (written by Jay) at The Era concert:
This is Du Ge, Jay's makeup artiste, friend and actor in many of his MVs and most notably, as the disabled janitor in Secret. He also co-hosted Jay's talkshow, Mr J Channel, together with another three, who'll be mentioned later.
Jay and Wil have collaborated on many projects in music, movies and business ventures. One of his more prominent roles was in the MV for Maple, for which he also wrote a follow-up song.
Their latest venture is Wil's gym, where Jay has been working out to prepare himself for filming and directing Secret 2.
From the Jay Chou Studio archives in 2009, here is an insightful and heartwarming interview where Wil talks about his friendship with Jay, his first impressions of Jay's singing ("not good") and how basketball bonded them. Also how Jay has matured and from here, we can also see that it was Wil who advised Jay about being more discreet about his 'girlfriends' so as not to affect the girls' reputations:
Now we come to Nan Quan Ma Ma, a group which Jay formed and made up of his good friends. Members have changed over the years. (Thank you to havamahal from multistars forums for the info and pics of NQMM)
MV for Childhood, a poignant song, featuring Jay:
MV for Li Jia Bu Yuan, with subs:
Another good friend is Huang Junlang, who has written lyrics for some of Jay's cute songs, notably Cowboy Very Busy and Sailors Afraid Of Water., amongst others. He also played the part of the overaged rugby captain in Secret. That's him below next to Vincent:
Interview with Huang Junlang from JCS Archives:
Observant fans will also recognise Yuhao and Devon from their roles in Secret and Pandamen.
Devon has also written lyrics for some of Jay's songs,
Yuhao frequently duets with Jay on piano at concerts and their most recent venture has, most appropriately, been a music school and custom-made pianos!
Lara has sung duets with Jay on his albums (Twilight's Chapter Seven, Snake Dance and Coral Sea) and also guests at his concerts too, together with the other NQMM members.
Now we come to The Drifters aka Lang Hua Xiong Di, consisting of Darren and Yannick (aka Chang Qing). Chang Qing was Jay's friend from school and they are frequent guests at his concerts. Darren is also often in Jay's MVs and is likely to be in Secret 2.
Here is a link to a very good write-up about them:
One of my fave songs by The Drifters, it's a remake of a Japanese song, featuring Jay and Elly (from Mr J Channel), with very meaningful and encouraging lyrics:
This is also very nice...If I Think Of You, I'll Write A Letter:
Now we come to Jay's two choreographers, Xiao Mai and Xue Gao (Ice cream), who have appeared in Secret and his MVs. They also co-hosted Mr J Channel with him, Du Ge and Elly (more on this show in another post).
And if I'm not mistaken, Jay has also helped them set up a dance school.
Another very important person in Jay's life is, however, not male. She has worked for Jay for at least seven years and as Jay often says, she was a fan who became his assistant. You'll see her in many of his MVs and behind-the-scenes vids at concerts, talkshows, and even when Jay was in America filming The Green Hornet.
Yup, that (some say) lucky lady is Danni, his indispensable personal assistant, credit card holder and go-to person for cute roles in his MVs...Cowboy Very Busy, Time Machine, Free Instructional Video and most recently and funnily as the 'scary' shark in Sailors Afraid Of Water...lol!
There are many other regulars in Jay's life, including all the JVR staff, band musicians, dancers, backup singers, etc. It's beyond me to mention them all but suffice to say, Mr Chou is known as a good friend who does not hesitate to help any member of his team when needed.
They have all been instrumental in providing an extensive network of support for him, without which he would not have gotten to where he is today too.