Elva Hsiao, also known as Elva Siu, is a Taiwanese Mandarin pop singer.
She speaks and writes some English, due to having lived for a year or two during her high school years in Vancouver, British Columbia. While in Vancouver, she entered the New Talent Singing Awards Vancouver Audition 1998 with her birth name of Hsiao Ya-chih (蕭雅之). She became one of the 12 finalists but did not place in the top 5. The song she sang was CoCo Lee's "Love Me A While Longer 愛我久一點". Also in the competition that year were 3 other Taiwanese celebrities, 183 Club member Jacky Chu 祝釩剛 (who was the winner), DJ Ruby Lu 盧春如 (1st Runner-Up) and 蜜雪薇琪 (Michelle*Vickie) member Michelle Hsu (now known as Mimi or Michelle).
Elva was originally signed to Virgin Records Taiwan, a sub-label of EMI, which created the stage name of 蕭亞軒 for her. Her self-titled début album in 1999 sold over 1 million copies in Asia and cemented her status in the Chinese music industry.
Elva Hsiao sang the song "U Make Me Wanna", which appeared on her album Love's Theme Song, Kiss (2002), with British boy band Blue. Virgin Records and Elva parted ways in summer of 2004.
For a year, Elva rested as record companies fought over her next contract. It ended up becoming a battle between Warner Music Taiwan and Sony BMG, with Warner Music winning the battle in the end. Elva signed into Warner Music on March 23rd, 2005, making her Warner Taiwan's "fifth diva" (after Sammi Cheng, A-Mei Chang, Na Ying, and Stefanie Sun). Fans were overjoyed at this, and waited for the coming of a new album, which Warner had promised would be released in June 2005.
However, Warner Music Taiwan faced some serious issues during this time, including executives resigning and a change of staff members. Many other Warner artists (including Stefanie Sun, Machi, A-Mei, and F.I.R.) were affected and did not see much promotion. However, none faced as much trouble as Elva, whose album was delayed until September, then October, then November, December, until Warner announced that the album would be delayed indefinitely. This angered the fans, who had been waiting patiently. Their protests spammed the forums of Warner Music Taiwan, causing the entire website to be out of service for a week.
In February 2006, however, a Warner representative promised in an interview that the album would be released around late March/early April. It was only a few weeks later that magazine articles reported another change of staff members and the possibilities of the album being delayed into late April/early May.
In June 2006, she released a new single, entitled "The World I Want" [我要的世界].
In October 2006, the delayed album still had not been released, although Elva announced that it would be released in December. At that time she was in Los Angeles working on dance choreography. In addition, she released another new promotion single entitled "Elva Is Back", a fast catchy song featuring electro beats and raps.
Elva and Warner Music announced in November that her newest album would be released on 22 December. The album is entitled , signifying the number of days Elva had been absent from the Mandopop scene.
She released the music video for her single called "Confession" in mid-2007. Her second single is called "L.o.V.E". Her third single is called "Not Far Away". Her fourth single is called "The Ambassador. Her fifth single is called "Honey Honey Honey". Her sixth single is called "My Boyfriend".
Back to EMI
After the contact with Warner Music, Elva decided to switch back to EMI Virgin Records in 2008. She described the switch as "going back home" as she was among the first few artists signed by Virgin Music Chinese in 1999 when the division was first established. Some critics also commented Elva was avoiding the back of Warner's original General Manager Sam Chen who has a bad name in Chinese music industry in controlling and creating fake stats for his artists. The rumored contract cost EMI over NT$250 million which is over HKD 60 million or about USD 0.8 million. Johanna Wang, President of EMI Music Taiwan commented that the action of signing Elva was proving they (EMI) are not going to quit the Chinese music scene. Instead, they would create a new entertainment empire spanning over film productions, artist management, concert production, publishing and both digital and traditional music industries.
Elva's first album back with EMI was originally set to be released in late May 2008. But due to the delay in production and of China's approval due to the Olympic Games, the album is pushed back and to be released in early-to-mid-June 2008.
Elva's first album back with EMI, 3-Faced Elva, is set to be released on June 13. The new offering is said to portray three different facets of this dancing queen. The pre-release is opened for public since June 2. EMI has been described as "burning money" because they used about NT$ 5,000,000 for one of the Elva's MV "More More More" and about another NT$ 4,000,000 for a ballad song from the album. The album has also teamed with Puma, with the first single off the "I'll Be There". Huge billboards, print ads and TVCs are created for the partnership of Puma and EMI Virgin. Rumor has it that there will be a total of three versions of the albums which feature different styles and photos.
However, ex-EMI's and now-Warner's Taiwan President, Sam Chen, signed a new act Jam Hsiao from the talent show Super Million Stars. The debut album from Jam Hsiao is set to be in the original date which EMI originally planned to release Elva's album. Due to the popularity of Jam Hsiao, EMI therefore adopted the ideas from Elva's fans that is to give away any three of the previous Elva's albums if one pre-order the album in the period of June 2 - June 12. EMI has pulled Elva's album forward from June 16 to June 13 to prevent direct conflicts with Warner Music's Jam Hsiao.
Film and other media work
In Taiwan, she has done television commercials for a wide diversity of products, ranging from cellular phones to jewelry to makeup, for major brands such as Avon, De Beers, Motorola, Pantene, and Sprite.
She has had film roles in two movies: Infernal Affairs (2002) and The Butterfly Lovers (2004). She is longer participating in Fresh Tomato For Sauce (Announced 2007). However, she is currently in talks to play a role in the TV series Less Than Zero, a retake on Bret Easton Ellis' famous novel that will be set in Taipei.
And by joining EMI Virgin Records, the EMI's Gold Label Records which is seen as a inter-industrial agency is starting to find scripts and tailor-made contexts for Elva as she is planned to have more participations in movies under EMI as this is one of the strategic plans of EMI changes in Asia.
The first cross-media work is the co-partnership with Puma which Elva would become the spokesperson of Puma and Puma would buy media place including TVCs, print ads, billboards for the label and Elva's album. Puma would also sponsor Elva's music video "I'll Be There".
Links with Edison Chen
During February 2008, Hsiao was drawn into the Edison Chen photo scandal. There was speculation following police revelations of more compromising photographs of unnamed celebrities. In an effort to contain the damage to her reputation, Hsiao issued a statement through her agent that she had "never been involved with Chen". She issued a "reward" of TWD100 million defying anyone to come forward with legally authenticated photographs, and also threatened to seek full redress from any parties for the "smears".