Yen-J keeps one thing in mind whenever he is in the studio making his music; and that is to “kill it with creativity”, and that he does. He is a true pioneer in the Taiwanese music industry, being the first mainstream artist to push out his own brand of jazz-pop fusion which has helped him to rise to the top of the charts with his unique arrangements and his constantly refreshing ideals. For me, his appearance on the music scene in 2010 was so instrumental that it lead to people becoming more accepting of Jazz as a mainstream music genre. With the backing of superstars such as Wang Leehom and Xiao S, his debut became a kind of catalyst for other artists to express their interest in Jazz music including the likes of Jam Hsiao, Yoga Lin and Gary Chaw who each subsequently released their own jazz cover albums. Coincidence? Maybe , but either way, his creativity as an artist is his biggest selling point.
I have never seen an artist who could make his song rise to the top of the charts by using the sound of a sneeze in a hip-hop remix, but yet Yen-J pulls it off finely and with aplomb, as he does with each and every one of his songs. For him, the world is his stage and he doesn’t limit himself to one genre, one instrument, one signature sound. For me, the signature sound of yen-J’s music is creativity. He’s risen above the rest to bring us music that truly shows who he is as a person, an artist, and a musician. In the short span of four albums that he’s released to date, he has tried many genres that some artists only even dare to try their hand at after gaining acclaim with a bunch of love songs or one specific genre that they are familiar with. Hip hop, rap, Jazz , pop, folk, rock, R n B , you name it, Yen-J’s done it. As an incredibly versatile artist, the only flaw I would say he has in his vocals which could do with some work, but his creativity and dedication as well as his skill more than makes up for it.
The guy has a vision; he knows what he wants from every single song and nurtures its creativity, creating all kinds of weird and wonderful fusions of song genres which when coupled with his catchy melodies, are a true pleasure to listen to. Each and every song is a piece of art ; no repetition, each a unique gem in itself, bursting with innovation and hard, precise work.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Hsu!