As the inaugural Taiwanese Waves showcase at New York City’s Summerstage draws close for the fourth year, this year’s line-up is spectacularly and regally feminine in nature. Nicknamed ‘Taiwanese Baes’, the event has chosen to feature some of the most unique and empowering female artists the scene has to offer, including unique up-and-comer 9m88 and Aboriginal powerhouse Abao, as well as pioneers in the indie rock and pop scenes respectively; Tizzy Bac and OneFang (Wanfang).
All with their own stories to tell, the four acts come together in the city that never sleeps to bring a diverse audience a new sense of what it means to be a female artist who is part of the Taiwanese music scene in this day and age. Read on to hear more about their thoughts on New York City, and what to expect from this years’ festivities.
1: Impressions of New York
Hui-Ting (Tizzy Bac): City of the world (laugh)
9m88: A really big, smelly, and culture dimensional city that a lot of fun things happen.
Wan-Fang: My impression of New York is that many people go to New York to find his or her true-self, searching for dreams and search for who they really are. When we throw ourselves in New York, it’s like we are nothing so that we can feel the true-self and the most original stage of ourselves. By seeing people from around the world, I think it’s a process that you can understand some things.
ABAO: It’s a fashion city.
2: How many times have you been to New York? What are you looking forward to do in New York?
Hui-Ting (Tizzy Bac): This is my first time going to New York. I will go to MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art first, and then the next thing is to go to "Sleep No More".
9m88: I've been to New York a lot. It's a bit nervous for me to come back to New York because it's my first time coming back ever since I left at the end of last year. I feel a bit of resistant. Don't know how my feelings will be, but I have a lot of good friends that I miss in New York, really looking forward to seeing them.
Wan-Fang: I haven't counted how many times. I will stay a few days longer, but I'm not sure what I will do, I want to see what is happening in this city. I want to see what would happen if I just throw myself in New York. No special plans to do anything.
ABAO: This is my first time going to New York. I want to go find some elements that is related to Soul music, go see some performance and street dancing parties.
After a rollercoaster ride of sponsors dropping out last minute, a whirlwind Crowdfunding campaign on FlyingV and the announcement of a star-studded line up, New York's annual Taiwanese Waves showcase is powering through, and slated to have the run of the legendary Summerstage venue on the 7th of July (6PM-10PM). Despite all the obstacles, the Taiwanese Waves team has nevertheless outdone themselves, putting together a truly fantastic tasting platter of Taiwan's best and brightest.
This year, they've invited Math-rock youngsters Elephant Gym大象體操, critically acclaimed music activist legends Sheng Xiang Band 林生祥 and SoftLipa蛋堡, the rapper who revolutionised Taiwan's hip hop scene with his chill raps. The team put together a short Q&A to gather the artists' thoughts on New York, Taiwanese Waves and how they hope to cross cultural barriers. Although all acts received the same questions, comparing the three acts' answers side by side truly show how different yet equally creative and unique their perspectives are.
Q1:What is your impression of New York?
Elephant Gym (EG): We haven’t been to New York before. But recently, Tell and Chia-chin love the TV show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, which takes place in New York. Since the show brought many laughs to us, we felt very connected to the scenes in the show that takes place on the street of New York, haha!
Sheng Xiang Band (SXB): It seems that one has to visit New York once in his lifetime.
Soft Lipa (SL): A place for all walks of life and also a place that also makes one feel at ease.