Cathryn Li is once again the talk of the town after a live session gone wrong — although a number of viewers have expressed their empathy for her this time.
The Malaysian influencer, who also plays classical piano, was a guest on music producer Andy Chan's Facebook live on Mar. 8, 2021.
However, the session that started out jovial ended poorly with 31-year-old Li throwing a tantrum and storming off camera, after viewers criticised her for playing poorly.
Impromptu jam with the hosts
The live session went smoothly enough until around the one-hour-47-minute mark, when Li was asked by the hosts to demonstrate her piano playing by jamming with them.
As Li did not have the advantage of rehearsing with the hosts beforehand, she was forced to improvise.
For context, a classical pianist is typically trained in instrumental technique, and not so much in improvisation.
Improvisation requires plenty of practice, as well as intimate knowledge of chords and chord progressions, among other things.
Li struggled to coordinate with the hosts, and unfortunately could not keep up with her playing.
However, she maintained relatively good spirits, and ended up filming her hosts while they jammed instead.
A little while on, Li started to use her phone while the four men were still playing, and her expression darkened noticeably.
Things start to go downhill some two hours and 17 minutes in, where Li addressed the criticisms against her in the live comments section.
The influencer said that she did not know she needed to play the keyboard during the live session, and was not told to prepare anything.
"But now people are scolding me. You asked me not to care about what people are saying, but they are not talking about you, they are talking about me."
Li also read out one of the comments that affected her the most:
Other detractors said that her playing was awkward, and faulted her for not knowing her chords.
Li then became increasingly agitated, and refused to be pacified when the hosts tried to calm her down.
At one point she removed herself from the scene, but her raised voice continued to be heard off-camera.
When she entered the frame again at the two-hour-22-minute mark, Li went into a tirade and gestured wildly while reiterating her point:
"They don’t understand the arrangements for this show. They don’t know that I’m invited here to chat, they don't know that I'm not informed that I need to play the keyboard or listen to you guys sing! And I'm sitting here, what can I do, I ask you! What can I do?!"
Although the hosts tried to calm her down again, Li still did not regain her composure, but shouted that she was a classical pianist, and not a keyboardist before forcefully exiting the scene once more.
Offscreen, Li said that she had already been traumatised after being scolded for a previous incident, possibly alluding to this:
The influencer declined to return on screen, and one of the hosts took her seat and persona.
At the end of the video, the hosts apologised for any discomfort they might have caused to the viewers.
Some felt that Li should work on her emotional quotient (EQ), while others argued that the hosts have done poorly for not making their guest comfortable, and disrespecting Li as a classical musician.
They also noted that it was not easy for Li to play something on the spot, especially if she had no prior training in this aspect.
You can watch the video here.
On Mar. 10, Li posted about the incident to her Instagram page.
Besides apologising for her outburst, she also acknowledged that her EQ needed work.
"I should have shown more forbearance in the face of such ridiculous attacks against me and smiled through it. I really regret losing control [over my emotions].
Li then asked for others not to impose their ideal on her that a musician should be able to play all genres, and added that she was neither adept nor interested in improvising on the keyboard.
Top image via 正面交鋒 FaceTalk on Facebook, Cathryn Li's Instagram page