Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. In our weekly 27 Questions column, we get up close and personal with the city’s notable personalities, learning about their whims and aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes and dreams — all in roughly the same amount of time it takes to sit through a casual speed date. This week, we speak to Agatha Kong, aka AGA.
If you’ve kept an eye on the Cantopop scene in the last few years, AGA (real name Agatha Kong) would not be unfamiliar to you.
Discovered by veteran Hong Kong producer Chuman Lee, she eventually signed on with Universal Music in 2012, releasing her first single, “Hello”, in 2013. AGA went on to win the Best Newcomer Award Gold Prize at the Ultimate Song Chart Awards that year. She’s gone from strength to strength since, and in October last year, was nominated for Most Popular Artist in Greater China at the 2020 MTV European Music Awards – the only Hong Kong singer shortlisted that year.
In defiance of the pandemic, AGA has soldiered on, releasing two new songs this past weekend. Her new English single, “What are we gonna do”, speaks of a couple feeling their love fade while being uncertain of how to let go. She describes her Chinese single “3rd is the charm” as her most exaggerated song yet, saying, “I [was] completely exhausted after each recording session. I often break down when I sing the whole song from start to finish.”
This week also saw her triumphant return to the stage in a collaboration concert with local band Dear Jane. Having not performed for almost two years, the songstress was visibly emotional, bursting into tears after the set.
We caught up with AGA for a quick-fire 27 Questions to learn more about everything from her favourite scent to her unique party trick.
Name: Agatha Kong
Occupation: Singer and songwriter
1. What is your life motto?
Find the fun in every situation.
2. Have you ever experienced love at first sight? Tell us about it.
I’ve had love at first listen! I fell in love with jazz the first time I heard Nina Simone.
3. What is your typical Sunday like?
Trying out different restaurants with my friends.
4. What makes someone a real Hongkonger?
When you walk fast, talk fast and eat fast.
5. What is one thing you’ve never revealed to your parents?
I went to band shows almost every night when was 17, but they thought I was at my summer job.
6. What was your first job?
In a fashion retailer.
7. What is your drink of choice?
8. When was the last time you drove a car?
About half a year ago.
9. What is the best thing in or about your apartment?
My dogs, my cat and my plants.
10. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I’m trying to be a morning person.
11. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
12. What do you hate most about living in Hong Kong?
Having to queue for everything.
13. What is the top destination on your bucket list?
14. What is your greatest fear?
15. When did you last ride the Star Ferry? What were you doing/where did you go?
Yesterday – I was trying to get to a meeting in the most relaxing way.
16. What is one movie everyone should see?
Meet Joe Black.
17. If you could invite any five people in the world to your dream dinner party, who would they be?
Chris Martin, Ryan Gosling, Michel Gondry, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Amy Winehouse.
18. What is one song you know all the lyrics to?
“Why Try to Change Me Now?” by Frank Sinatra.
19. Where do you go when you want to be alone?
Anywhere near the sea.
20. If you had to describe Hong Kong in one word, what would it be?
21. What’s your favourite childhood memory?
Playing on my vintage piano.
22. What is your favourite scent in the whole world?
The skin of oranges.
23. Are you a good cook? What is your best dish?
No, I’m not a good cook so my best dish is a simple spaghetti.
24. What would you do if you won the lottery?
I’d build a music studio.
25. What is your unique party trick?
Setting a good playlist for the crowd.
26. What is the last dream you remember waking up to?
I was being chased by a zombie.
27. Would you rather never be alone for a single moment, or be alone for the rest of your life? Why?
I’d rather never be alone. Love is about sharing.