Jolin's latest album has been released as of November 15th, and is titled <呸PLAY>. The return of Taiwan's mandopop princess is a well-anticipated one, with a new,modern and innovative image to match! Don't forget to check out her humorous tongue-in-cheek music video for her first single <Phony Queen>(电话皇后) which is a startlingly realistic reflection on how attached people are to their phones these days. (I must confess, I am one of them!) Keep your eyes peeled for more information on Jolin's new album, and watch this space!
In her second single which the album is named after, Jolin once against criticises society, and rocks the core of Taiwanese audiences' identity, by questioning their attitude towards living in a way that entertains and forces us to think about society at large. Times' magazine has even named it possibly the best music video of the year, well done Jolin!
Jolin's third single <The Third Person> was written for her by Mandopop prince JJ Lin, who also worked with her previously on her last album Muse, writing <Mosaic>, one of her hits for her! He continues the chart-topping trend by writing <The Third person> for her, with the music video directed by Jolin herself if I'm not wrong!
Jolin herself has admitted her fascination with the greek goddess Medusa; with the hair that will turn one to stone if gazed upon by the human eye. Her fourth single <Medusa> definitely is a show-stopper too!
I've heard that Jolin and her crew are now in the process of filming (or perhaps have finished) filming her latest music video for a high-profile duet with jpop superstar Namie Amura. I hear that the song was written by Jolin herself, so keep your eyes peeled!
Play呸 has been released as of the 15th of November, 2014.
Liked our Sunshine Collection series and missed out on our Facebook Post series? Now introducing our next themed series, the #PioneerSelection! This time around, we'll be entertaining you with four songs by four different artists; all of whom have made a major contribution to the Chinese music industry in one way or another. Let's take a look, shall we?
First up, we have my one and only Leehom Wang (I know he's married, but a girl can only dream..), and his song <龙的传人>(Descendants of the Dragon), which was a complete game-changer for the music scene in Taiwan. Not only did it turn many heads with its out-there sound, it created new and innovative possibilities for the industry, with Leehom proposing his own brand of 'chinked-out' music, encouraging asians everywhere to be proud of their heritage, and their identity. Leehom is definitely one of the reasons I began to think more deeply about my identity as an asian, and also one of the people who inspired my passion for Chinese music! So he is definitely number one on my list! Got any recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to support us by liking our Facebook page!
As for the second part of Asian Pop Weekly's#PioneerSelection, where we introduce to you a collection of songs by some of the pioneers of the Taiwanese music industry! Today's pioneer is the legendary Jay Chou! Before his arrival on the music scene, there was no one like him, and more than a decade on, there is still no one who has reinvented chinese music the way he has. His unique fusion of chinese traditional music, classical music, hip hop and his fast-talking vocal style creates an atmosphere like no other; in his song <简单爱>, it's simplicity reflects the epitome of simple love in a way that has yet to be challenged by any song since then.
Now that we've introduced the two greats of the late 90s (Leehom and Jay Chou), it's time to move forward a few years. Flash forward to 2006, and the emergence of 16-year old Khalil Fong, a kid from Hong Kong with big dreams, and a real talent for music. His music, influenced by the likes of R n B and Soul artists such as Babyface and Michael Jackson introduced a fusion that was never before seen in the taiwanese music industry. Dubbed 'Soulboy', throughout the years Khalil has experimented with a large number of genres, including Soul, R n B, hip hop, Blues and Funk and has emerged with a truly unique and recognisable style that can be heard from a mile away. Today, we're introducing a throwback to his first hit, <爱爱爱>, the song which threw the entire music industry into a tizzy with its' funky tunes and soul-infused arrangements. Feeling inspired yet? I sure am.
This time, we're shaking things up a little with an artist who has recently rocked the music scene with her unique and innovative rapping style. That's right, we're talking about last year's Golden Melody Award Winner for Best Newcomer Miss Ko! In recent years, she's been putting out her own unique rap style and collaborating with the likes of Amber An, Khalil Fong, and Shi Shi. She's the newest in-rapper Fo Shizzle! Okay, sorry for the bad trash talk, but she's seriously awesome. Take a listen to her single <Hey DJ> which will get you grooving like there's no tomorrow!
Thanks for reading the last part in our #PIoneerSeries! Do you have any Pioneers to share with us? There are so many more that I could think of who should be shared, including the likes of David Tao, Tanya Chua, Stefanie Sun and Joanna Wang. Who would you like to be featured? Tell us in the comments below!
Are you ready for the 7th of November? Christine Welch is ready to release her very first debut album <A million possibilities> , and I'm very surprised to hear that she's going to be doing it all by herself-that's right, she's not under a record company, so I'm sure she would appreciate your support very much!
The album contains several hits, almost all of which Christine has collaborated with all-star producer Skot Suyama, who's orchestrated hits such as A-Lin's <幸福了然后呢>(Happiness, then what), and of course, Kimberley Chen's <爱你>(Love you) which was the anthem of 2012 when it was released. Christine herself is a wonderfully talented composer and lyricist; more fluent in Chinese than myself and possibly any Caucasian person I know, her dedication and passion to the Chinese language and now the Taiwanese music industry is definitely to be admired and appreciated. I've heard from reliable sources that the album will be available on both iTunes and books.tw, so you should definitely get onboard and support her by getting yourself a copy once it's released!
I have the utmost confidence in her musical and creative ability as an artist, and am certain that this will be an album to really look forward to. I wish her all the best for her on her musical journey, and I'll be cheering for her all the way! Good luck Christine!
Follow Christine's musical journey on:
A Million Possibilities（一百万个可能) has been released as of 7th November 2014.
For those of you who aren't following our Facebook Page and the four-part blog series introducing four songs following the theme of Sunny days, here's a quick recap for you! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Tumblr if you haven't already to keep up with the latest updates.
How's the weather wherever you are in the world? Where I am, it's going to be nothing but sun and blue skies for the next four days at least! In celebration of this, APW's treating you to a sunny surprise, with our four-part Sunshine Collection; with one sunshine-themed song a day to keep your spirits up no matter how you're feeling each day.
First up, it's 张韶涵Angela Chang's <Sunshine Air> which has been picked for quite obvious reasons. This is one of my favourite songs from her latest album for its magical uplifting qualities. The song is charged with crackling, almost tangible electricity in its atmosphere, and when paired with Angela's soaring vocals (check out her serious improvisation in the bridge), it's like an espresso shot of happiness charging through your veins.
Although the sunshine and blue skies have already said goodnight for today, it doesn't mean I can't still introduce the second song in our Sunshine Collection to you guys! Today we have Lara梁心頤's <Darling>, one of my favourite songs ever. Although it doesn't have an outwardly sunny personality, to me it sounds like the verses are clouded with uncertainty, which part in the chorus to reveal sunshine in Lara's clear and beautiful voice; a reflection on revelation and clarity in the relationship between two people. So even though it's night over here, may this song bring sunshine to your heart anyway!
Welcome to Day 3 of APW's #SunshineCollection! Today we have for you a real treat to once again brighten up your day, no matter what the weather is like where you are! A-Lin's <Big Hug>(大大的拥抱) is another one of my favourite songs written by the awesome Skot Suyama, and like the music video itself, the song is bursting with warmth and happiness, as if A-Lin's voice is coming in for a huge bear-hug! Happiness is all around you, if only you know where to look! Hope you guys enjoy the third installment in the Sunshine Collection!
Welcome to the fourth and final day of our #SunshineCollection series! I hope that you enjoyed reading each of them as much as I did writing them! For the last one, here's Xiao Yu doing it for the boys with his song simply titled<海>(Sea). Whenever I think of the sea, I think of sunshine bouncing off the waves with a gentle but upbeat energy; and that's exactly what Xiao Yu's song reflects. The arrangement bounces up and down like waves overlapping, with bass beats and guitar pluckings resonating off each other, as different as sunlight and waves,creating a sparkling brilliance that just lights up your day. Have a great day, and thanks for reading and listening to APW's #SunshineCollection !
Got any more songs you'd like to add to our #SunshineCollection? Share your thoughts and picks with us via our Facebook or Tumblr, and we'd be happy to share them both on the website and on Facebook too! How, you may ask? Easy! Share your favourite sunny song on your facebook with the hashtag #SunshineCollection (don't forget to leave settings on public), and private message us with the hashtag #SunshineCollection. Have fun, and spread the happiness!
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Alright, so with <Crying Sand>, this song has a long history dating all the way back to 1990， when it was first sang by Huang Ying Ying. To date, the song has been sang and covered over 20 times, and it's no surprise why. The song has a very special atmosphere to it, combining a comforting fusion of clear eastern tradition with a melody that has a certain hook to it, reeling you in always for another listen, and another, and another...
Let's see how these four artists fare with the classic, shall we?
Unfortunately, the goddess of love songs isn't really topping my list with her rendition of <Crying Sand>, but it probably has something to do with the dated arrangement and the impromptu setting in which it was performed. Nevertheless, a good effort on Fish's part.
Gao Sheng Mei
Younger generations would probably be puzzling at her name, but back in her heyday, Gao Sheng Mei was rivalling the likes of Leehom himself, after bagging the first ever Golden Melody Award for Best Female Mandarin Singer alongside Leehom in 1997. Her rendition of <Crying Sand> was among the songs within the album garnering her critical acclaim and the Golden Melody Award itself, and it's easy to see why. Her vocals bring with them a classy sense of elegance and nostalgia; despite them obviously not being what is popular in this decade, her rendition of the song is still emotional and very much moving in its' performance.
Being her usual amazing and versatile self, Hebe's rendition of <Crying Sand> is among one of the most recent, her having performed it in a medley during this year's Golden Melody Awards show. But not only is it recent in terms of when she performed it, her performance of it was breathtaking as it was outstanding, as she performed an version of it with a very independent folk feel to it, topping things off with the breathy caress of her lilting vocals. This one gets top marks for innovation and creativity!
But my absolute hands-down favourite version of <Crying Sand> just has to be the one The Voice of China contestant Rose Liu performed a few weeks back. Her oh-so-sweet vocals are tinged with her characteristic huskiness as she completely makes the song her own, kneading it until it submits to her will. Every nuance, every word, and every emotion that exists within this song-the longing, the loss and the beauty of agony is captured so perfectly in her vocals that it is hard to even imagine that there is a person whose voice in that moment in time sounds even more perfectly angelic than Rose's.
Although I was unable to find a youtube version for this song (it was unfortunately taken down by someone who was obviously jealous of Rose's beautiful voice) , I really would recommend that you check out the video of her performance on qq. It is definitely worth that extra click.
So who did it best? I think the answer's clear for all to see!