These few days I've really been given many great opportunities that have pointed me onto a possible pathway that I might want to take in terms of my future career, and I'm really lucky to have met some people who really care enough to ask me the important questions. One of which is 'what are you going to do after this?'. To be sure, I don't really know how life is going to change after this exchange is over and I'm back in Australia. I really can't exactly be sure of how much I've changed, how much everyone else has changed, and how I'm going to have to adapt in order to fit into my normal everyday routine again.
Perhaps the changes that have happened to me over the past 6 months could cause me to have to change my daily routine, have a new lease on life, and live life in a whole new perspective. Although being in Australia is pretty boring for me, being away from where the music happens and all, I'm grateful for the isolation and the closure that it gives me. It's made me who I am today, and I'm really appreciative of how I've been able to form my own ideas about things, and discover things and see things in ways that other's have never thought of.
But anyway, I'm really happy to have found some people who wholeheartedly support my decision no matter what it be. Although they themselves may not have any answers for me; they've seen first hand how much this music means to me, a side of me that others have never really seen before, and they've really helped to nudge me in the right direction (or what I feel is the right direction) for my future. And everything that has happened to me so far, meeting all these awesome people involved in the music industry and gaining a more indepth understanding of it has made me realise that everything that I do has not gone to waste, and it's really reassuring to finally know that. So to these people, I would like to dedicate this song <听你说> by Freya Lin and Yu Kewei. I've made some lifelong friends on this exchange, and they've helped me realise that sometimes listening is more important than talking. So listen carefully to what those around you have to say, as well as what your heart and your mind are trying to tell you. You never know what you'll learn...
For those of you who don't know, its rising star and soon-to-be mandopop princess Kimberley Chen's 20th birthday today! Despite her only being in the business officially since her debut album in 2012, she's achieved an astounding level of popularity that is unrivalled by any other newcomers that I've seen so far. I'm proud to say that I've been a fan of hers since before she even debuted officially; and recalling the first time I heard her sing live, I was absolutely blown away by her powerhouse vocals. Definitely, as the title goes, I really did fall in love with her music before she was the new pin-up girl for the new era of mandopop. But unlike how her song <I loved you before it was cool> goes, I did end up investing a lot in her music (mostly hope for her success), and was rewarded with amazing results.
With Kimberley, there's a sense of juxtapositioning that makes her music so appealing to listeners always; the promise of something new and different, but yet always confident in its ability to please and amaze.Of course, a large part of this is thanks to her creative team including producer Terry Lee, Victor Lau, Skot Suyama, Lil J (from JPM) to name a few, but what I feel really makes her and her music so popular is the sense of spontaneity that exudes from her always.
Her producer Terry Lee is always lauding her for her sense of spontaneity that helps them to get an album put together much more smoothly, and it's clear in her music; the way she sings - a sense of creative freedom and a carefree attitude that sets her and the atmosphere within her music apart from the rest. But Kimberley plays a bigger part in her own success than many realise. Who do you think wrote the bridge part for the hit song "爱你“(Love you)? For me, it represents a fusion of Kimberley's creativity, spontaneity and pitch-perfect vocal technique in a one-minute long section which cannot be replicated by any other singer, other than Kimberley herself. Can you even imagine Jolin Tsai trying to sing that bridge? Don't think so.
And for her latest hit <分手说爱你>(breaking up to say I love you), it was her who gave this song a chance and breathed life into it, making it her own unique Kimberley anthem.This girl knows what she likes, and what she doesn't. She gets straight to the point and isn't afraid of letting other people know of her opinions, and I really respect her for that. I hope that she continues to have great successes along her path as an artist, and that she has a very happy birthday on this special day. You're awesome Kimberley!
So I was sorting through my drafts folder and found a couple of unpublished photos of Peggy Hsu's performance at Starbucks way back in 2014! It really brought back memories and I still remember Peggy playing the accordion accompanied by musician Eric on the guitar! As I look back on this memory, I find that Peggy looks so cherub-like in this picture, so cute whereas now she's more elegant and womanly. As for myself...well, you'll just have to stay tuned to this blog where I'll be doing a recount of my month-long stay in Taiwan this summer! Stay tuned!
Concert review for William wei's <在你身边> concert.
I've been a fan of wei's music since his first album and saw him perform live once before, during the autograph session for his latest album <Journey into the Night>. So I was pretty aware of what would be waiting for me when I got to the concert. Sure enough, when I arrived at the concert what met my eyes was a crowd that filled up half of the Legacy theatre, packed denser than sardines in a box. But what I could feel was an audible cacophony of loyal fans whispering and humming along to Wei's latest single playing while they waited. The atmosphere in the place was definitely electric and made me summon up my energy reserves in preparation for a great night out despite an exhausting day.
He performed well through a slew of songs from his latest album <Journey through the night> despite a bout of nervousness at the start, cracking jokes and charming his audiences the whole way through. Wei's heart was definitely in the right place, and I do feel that he did his best to give everyone an enjoyable and entertaining night.
I have to say I was a little disappointed at the whole concept of the concert and the way he performed however; the concert was merely called <在你身边>, the name of one of the most popular songs from his album and the song of the year for Sponsor American cotton with no real attachment to a concept. Seeing the amount of work Wei put into the concept of his new album, I was surprised and a little disappointed that he didn't at least attempt to do the same for the concert.
Furthermore, it was sad to see that he didn't improvise at all on any of the songs, neither did he show off any special talents such as playing his guitar. After going to see Yen-J's concert in the same setting (and paying less, one might add) where he played the guitar, keyboard, piano ,improvised on the vocals and completely rearranged all the pieces towards a new concept, Wei's whole concert seemed a little uninspired to me.
The only gimmick that the concert had going for it was the appearance of special guest Softlipa who featured on one of the songs on Wei's album. I really applaud him for bringing spontaneity and life to the concert; immediately after his arrival the crowd went wild cheering,clapping and getting into the groove of the concert. Things really started to get into motion after that, but it was a real pity that he only came on near to the end of the performance.
Overall performance wise, i was a little disappointed in the concert in general, but Wei did manage to do one very important thing that night at the concert-win the hearts of his fans, and that's the most important part.
When I came to Taiwan, I had two aims. The first of which is pretty obvious, to learn more about the music that I love and to immerse myself in the music culture. The second however, was to prove to everyone that this place was GOOD for me. That it would make me into a better person, and put all the doubters to shame.
And it's really something that I've found while I've been here. I've become more independent, more intelligent, and (I like to believe) more beautiful on the inside and the outside. I have a better idea of who I want to be and what I want to do with my life. Although there are still huge gaps in my formula, I really do believe that I understand myself so much better than I did before I got here.
Before I got here, I was pretty much a mess. I didn't know who I was and there were too many everyday things that were getting in the way of me finding out more about myself. I wasted pretty much all my high school years in seclusion : learning more about music and studying was my whole world. And I couldn't find anyone who could give me answers to who I was and what I should do to follow the path that was mine in life. I think it's pretty young to be stuck in a rut in life, but I think that's pretty much what it was. Everything was stagnant, unchanging; the things which were moving under the surface and trying to get out to enact change were forever being suppressed by fear and anxiety.
With so many things going on around me, there was no buffer time for me to try things out, to figure out what worked for me and what didn't. But being here and having all this time to myself and immersing myself in an environment with the things that I love the most, it's done nothing but good for me.
Everyone's exchange experience is different; but the best advice I can give you is to choose wisely, and to make the best of every minute, every second of it. Have no regrets and I promise you the time of your life.
I really think that VChuan is a singer with a lot of potential. His live performance, charisma, humor and just passion about what he does really swept me off my feet when i went to see him perform live at the City Cafe花房 at his very first autograph session/music session. His powerful vocals were in tip top condition, as was his sparkling wit and the warmth that he showed to the few but loyal fans who stopped by to support him. There's really nothing more I can say other than that he is a really great artist who deserves to be supported. Am totally in love with his voice, and his new album <全是爱>, so if you're a fan of the likes of Andrew Chen, A-bin fang etc. , you should join the VChuan fanclub! Wishing him the best of luck with the promotion of his album, hope it gets wonderful reviews!
Joanna is really an artist that I admire, especially for her unique views on things, and her ability to stand out from the crowd with bravery and independence. She causes a stir, but once you get to know her and her music, you find that she isn't just making a mountain out of a molehill. She is a really passionate singer who cares about her music and how it gets put out to the public in the form of albums. I really enjoyed watching her performance on the 20th at the Taipei museum of fine arts, which was a pretty low-key event, with her performing with an accompanist and her own guitar a selection of songs both from her new album <Midnight Cinema>, as well as other original songs that she's written, showcasing her unique point of view and personality.
For each and every song she had a story to tell, about why she wrote this song, what the song is trying to say, and what she wants others to get from her music. This is a really important part of being a person in the music industry, because if you can't get people to understand what you are trying to say from your music, then there really isn't much of a point in sharing the music with others. Some of the stories behind her songs were wacky, humorous; while others were more serious and deep. However, each and every song had an interesting message behind it which Joanna clearly put out to the audience during this performance. I truly enjoyed the performance, and hope to see her perform again soon!
Had so much fun at Yen-J's Yen-Joy Everyday concert at Legacy Taipei on the 19th! Here are some pictures from a great night! As the theme was R n B, Yen-J requested that his fans come dressed in R n B outfits, which fit into the theme of his most recent Love x Pi album, as he performed every single song from that album that night, and also had fun activities planned to involve the fans in the choosing of the songs that he would be singing that night! He also gave his heartfelt thanks to every single fan, thanking them for being there for him and supporting him until this day. Yen-J is a singer who I really feel is one to look out for. Since his debut where he was publicised as a 100% creative person (ie he took care of the lyrics, melodies, arrangements and production of his debut album) until now, you wouldn't have imagined it but he's worked so hard to improve himself to get to where he stands today. I am truly impressed and proud to be a fan of his. Enjoy some photos I took of the concert on that night!
Now back from my travels, I use this now as a blog to document any live reviews, and personal experiences related to our collective passion for Asian identity and Chinese music.