By Jocelle Koh
Malaysian singer-songwriter Evangeline Wong has always been full of surprises. After the critically-acclaimed release of her debut album 'Wilder 框不住的艷薇', the limitless vocalist and songwriter seems to be continuing on her path of self-discovery as reflected in her latest single 'Already Forgotten 其實我們都忘了’. We had a hard-and-fast Q&A session with the budding artist , going deep on the theme of 'remembering' which she touches on in this experimental and hard-hitting new single.
1. Your new song “Already Forgotten” is really different from your past works. Can you share the inspiration behind your lyrics?
Empathy is something that my mother has taught me since I was young. This empathy and responsibility to speak out for others is something I wanted to put in this song. Putting my life, from owning nothing to something and my feelings about others into this song.
2. This song is about forgetting to treasure every moment. Can you share with us three things you think people shouldn’t forget?
One-Don’t forget about yourself
Two-Don’t forget the good in others
Three-Don’t forget to be grateful for everything you have
Article by Matt Taylor
Cover Art by Allison Sun
Music, politics and protest in Taiwan are intrinsically linked. From the rumblings of Taiwanese identity in the campus folk music of the 1960s to the emotionally charged Island Sunrise 島嶼天光 written for the 2014 Sunflower Movement and even the long-running environmental conservation efforts instigated on the island, a rich and diverse musical history has always provided support; spreading the story of the underprivileged, and documenting their hopes and struggles.
Similarly, there is a wealth of music that has been produced to support LGBT people that for many years has bolstered the island's image as one that is progressive and supportive of same-sex love. The canon of music representing the Taiwanese LGBT movement is as diverse as those who create it; spanning genre, gender and sexual orientation.
On 24 November 2018 however, Taiwan citizens rallied together to support several referendums spearheaded by conservative Christian groups. Up to 75% of Taiwanese voters not only voted to maintain the traditional definition of marriage, but also expressed desire to roll-back LGBT education in schools.
The LGBT community has been reeling from the realisation that Taiwan is not the beacon of progressiveness that they thought it was. In light of this, how can we now view the previously mentioned musical canon which has bolstered this image both at home and abroad?
This article is not a commentary on the referendum results. Instead, we aim to take a look at the diverse collection of Taiwanese music which was created to support the LGBT movement and take a look at how these songs' meanings are re-framed or deepened in a changing social and political climate.