Although Lee does not make a point of distinguishing Siu Ming from David Lee Ka-yan the man, he is keen to draw a line between the artiste and the doctor, “Dr. Lee Ka-yan is a doctor; he should not be a singer. He should spend all his time looking after his patient,” Lee says.
His fame has not brought more patients to the clinic and those who do come say they do so because he is reliable and professional. Regina Tso, who brought her fourth-month old child to visit Lee, says she did so not because of Lee’s popularity, but his expertise in paediatrics.
That is not to say Lee’s TV appearances have gone unnoticed among his patients. Lee says one child began to hit the TV when he saw Lee on the screen, because he was scared of seeing the doctor. Lee is also amused by the case of a three-year-old patient who wanted to talk about Siu Ming during a consultation.
When the parent asked him where Siu Ming was going to, the child answered “Guangzhou”. “This is quite fun and enjoyable,” Lee says.
Although Lee is basking in his popularity, he jokes that there are downsides to fame, “I cannot meet young girls and older ladies in public places because the media can create stories like ‘Lee Ka-yan’s new girlfriend’ or ‘Lee ka-yan loves rich woman’,” he says laughing. “I haven’t eaten fish-balls at street stalls for several years. This is the cost of fame.”
None of this deters Lee from singing. He pays for all the song arrangements, recordings, music video production and CD releases himself, and has no intention of stopping. “Singing is really what I like to do,” he says.
Lee believes everyone should do their best and persist when they have found their interest. Even if they do not achieve success, it is still worth the pursuit, “Don’t think too far ahead, as there are too many unpredictable factors,” Lee explains.
Persistence can also bring unpredictable rewards. For instance, Lee’s relationship with his 17-year-old son has grown closer since he released Siu Ming Visits Guangzhou. Lee says that his son is proud of the positive response his dad has got from the song. Lee extends his easy-going view of fate to his parenting style. “I won’t force him to do anything,” he says when asked whether he has any hopes for his son’s future career.
He may not be the one to decide his son’s future but he does play a decisive role in the future of Siu Ming. He says more Siu Ming songs are in the pipeline although he is not announcing Siu Ming’s coming itinerary. He does mention London and Australia, and more mainland destinations are likely. One thing he will confirm is that Siu Ming will remain an innocent. “Siu Ming is not going to date anyone, he is not going to lead kids astray, he is not going to take ketamine.”
Beyond China, Lee also wants to reach an international market and has already produced an English version of Siu Ming Visits Guangzhou. He promises to publish a CD as soon as possible. Siu Ming’s trip to Guangzhou may just be the beginning of a long journey.