Joanna Dong and Charlie Lim to unveil Mandarin remake of 'Definitely' this April

Joanna Dong and Charlie Lim to unveil Mandarin remake of 'Definitely' this April

A reimagined version of Charlie Lim, Linying, and Katz's 'Definitely' will arrive later this month.

Titled '底气', the Mandarin remake of the 2023 track will be a team-up between homegrown jazz pop singer Joanna Dong and Lim, the latter of whom will be making his debut in the language.

Set to be released alongside a music video on 18 April, '底气' began coming together after Dong sent a voice message to Lim, a long-time friend of hers, with Mandarin versions of the original track's verse and chorus.

The 42-year-old, who had previously teamed up with The Sam Willows for a Mandarin version of 'Say So', said of the unplanned collaboration: “My written Mandarin is honestly nowhere as good as my English, but for some reason when a song captures my imagination, my bilingual brain starts to make connections and the words present themselves. I don’t expect my friends to record my translations at all — it’s a very personal way for me to tell them how much I love their music.”

To ensure that '底气' would stay true to the original, Dong paid special attention to the nuances of the tonal Mandarin language while finding opportunities to "match consonants, vowel sounds, and rhyme schemes".

"I can’t translate songs at will though - I’ve had several friends ask me to try but mostly it just doesn’t work out. That’s why on the rare occasion it does, it’s so so special and satisfying for me," she shared.

Lim, who co-wrote and produced 'Definitely', called his collaborator a "good bridge between two worlds": "She sent us a sheet of the lyrics comparing both as well as her new interpretation of it — complete with pinyin (romanised Chinese spelling), and that just brought even more depth and dimension to the original."

Prior to teaming up for '底气', the two artists had served as mentors on The Great Singapore Replay, worked together on the theme song for the 2018 National Day Parade, and collaborated on the tracks '第一章' (Utopia Reimagined: Chapter One) and '等睡醒以后” (Deng Shui Xing Yi Hou)'.