Driven, sophisticated and exceptionally gifted, Taiwanese Classical-Jazz pianist/singer-songwriter Amanda Wu’s lengthy title is a mouthful for most, but is a testament to her long list of achievements and eclectic musical tastes. Born in Taiwan, the child prodigy started studying the piano at age 4, rapidly advancing her musical prowess before undertaking further study at the McGill University in Montreal in Jazz Piano. She has now played with the likes of Cirque Du Soleil, composed and arranged for Taiwanese artists Joanna Wang and Liu Hsuan, as well as travelled the world as an accomplished pianist and performer in her own right. She talks to us about how her passion first came about:
“When I was 3 years old, I loved a famous TV drama called “一代女皇” and watched it every day. One day, I started to sing the whole song with the completely accurate melody, pitch and rhythm. Moreover, at that time, I have not learned piano yet, but I just climbed on the piano and played the melody of the song. My family was very shocked!”
Having realised she was gifted from that point onwards, Wu has since travelled the world and accumulated much experience since. Her advice to those struggling to make it into the industry was honest, but uplifting:
“If you clearly know that you are gifted, don’t waste this wonderful gift no matter how much difficulties that you might face. However, don’t do it just because you want the fame, attention, and fortune. It is a tough path, not smooth at all, you just have to be consistent, confident and patient. Also, to be open-minded to admire other people’s success are very important, too.”
Through her words and of course through her music, Amanda’s wealth of experience is clearly seen. Alas, she is as eloquent a speaker as she is a performer. The motivated 30-year-old infuses her compositions with personal anecdotes and words of wisdom, and her latest EP 'Journey On Earth: Volume 2' is no different. Amanda shares with us the idea behind her ‘Journey On Earth’ series:
"'The Journey On Earth' is the series of my original music. Volume 1 is more specific for the “Unknown” stage of life. There are 3 songs in Volume 1. The first 2 songs are composed when putting myself to explore the mysterious Unknown at age 20 in Montreal (studying) and age 30 in New York (seeking for higher goal for career and life). I wrote them to inspire people that life is never easy, but just need to be fearless and consistent. The third one is to express that the solid love is the most powerful thing to support us conquering all the difficulties in the Unknown. I have a cousin and love him very much. When I feel struggled, as long as I think of him, I feel happy and positive right away. It is dedicated to my beloved cousin.
Volume 2: “Stories of Time” is a broader concept. Because living on earth is living with the stream of timeline, as time goes by, we are growing, changing and also producing so many stories. Timing is telling us so many stories as long as we pay attention closely to listen to and observe on ourselves and others. I wrote them because I hope people can be more aware of the change of their inner world and the whole era.”
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