By Jocelle Koh
Third-culture kid Takkin 德堅 has set his creative axis onto another trajectory with his debut single 'Stay Together'; released both with English and Mandarin versions.
The young creative who borrowed his stage name from his father has always moved around; spending his childhood in Singapore, Hong Kong, Rochester and Michigan. Now based in NYC, music has always been his grounding force; something that is clearly evident in the uniquely chilled and layered atmosphere he's created within his new single 'Stay Together'.
“It’s accessible, and it has a pulse that many can identify with: a positive message heralding the value of longevity in relationship. Things can be fixed. Nothing is beyond repair. It showcases the movement of the narrative and highlights the unique vocal delivery. It’s my flag in the ground; my way of saying: I’m here to stay.“
Previously releasing with a three-piece folk band Northern, Takkin turned his focus onto his own cultural identity and exploring it through his music when a dear member of the band moved away. Of the change in direction, Takkin says:
"Creating music influenced by my own heritage has been an exciting change. There’s a stir of new energy in the air, in the ground. The world is opening up to Asian artists, especially more so in the United States. People are eager for new faces, new interpretations, new formulas. I feel the pulse. I’m here to answer the call."
With the vocals of a learned crooner (very Eric Chou styles) and melodic hooks which subtly catch your attention and reel you in, 'Stay Together' is a sensitive, beautifully haunting R&B/Soul piece which you won't soon forget.
Listen to Takkin's new single 'Stay Together', now out on all major streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud. Follow Takkin on all his social medias (Facebook, Instagram) to stay tuned for his upcoming regular releases!
The reigning Queen of Mandopop Jolin Tsai 蔡依林 released the MV for Life Sucks 消极掰, the third MV from her wildly successful 2018 album UGLY BEAUTY, on March 12.
Life Sucks is a realistic and relatable social empowerment anthem, refuting the idea that life is entirely positive, and that it's okay to feel that the world is against you and validates the desire to stew in your negativity for some time.
After all, if you can't take time to reflect on the bad, how can you truly appreciate the good?
The video provides a birds-eye perspective of Jolin and a number of people from all walks of life - from boxer to office worker - giving the impression that all these people are weighed down by the troubles in their life.
Following Jolin's encouraging words, they are all finally able to stand up and move on. A visual treat (as we have come to expect from Jolin); the video even appears to channel mid-00s Kylie Minogue .
Watch the video for Life Sucks below.
Taiwanese-Canadian popster BAER is back with her unabashedly tongue-in-cheek brand of pop as seen in her latest single 'Needy Bih'.
A shortened form of the word 'Needy Bitch', BAER got the inspiration for the song when her boyfriend made her promise not to continuously text him while he was away spending time with family over the Christmas holidays.
Branded with BAER's signature 'Made in Taiwan' audio at the beginning of the track, being needy has never sounded as good as it does in this track, which BAER describes as an "anthem for all the princesses around the world".
"Even when we already have it all, trust that we will always need MORE!" is the theme of the song, a relentless flow of synths, beats against BAER's sugary sweet vocals and honest lyrical style.
"Needy Bih" is now out on all major streaming platforms, check out BAER's pages on Facebook and Instagram for more information.
By Matt Taylor
Pioneer of Taiwanese hip-hop music Dwagie 大支 has always been expected to do the unexpected, and this trend continued on Wednesday, January 9 as he decided to surprise upload a freestyle rap onto YouTube, with a corresponding casual video of him in the recording studio.
During a recording session, Dwagie says he was asked by a friend if he had met any women recently. Sending Dwagie’s creative juices flowing, he decided to wax lyrical about his recent miscellaneous escapades not by writing a song, but by freestyling his thoughts on a record called Spicy Taiwanese Sister 辣台妹.
In what is certain to be a surprise, the song was brought up on social media by none other than the President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen 蔡英文. In a Facebook post, she mentioned that she had seen the phrase across her social media and had been wondering why. In an interesting move, she decided to re-contextualise what we typically think of as spicy (typically used to mean hot or attractive), saying that it is an attitude with which one carries themselves, and that this spice can be interpreted as fiery and passionate. Whilst she herself is peaceful, when it comes to Taiwan, both herself and all Taiwanese people have a fire and passion, and suggested the new terminology of Group of Passionate Taiwanese 辣台派 .
This isn’t the first time that Dwagie and President Tsai have collaborated in some form. In 2017 President Tsai was featured in the chorus of Dwagie’s English-language song Light Up Taiwan 點亮台灣, a song designed to introduce foreign music listeners to Taiwan’s culture and history.
See below for the video for Spicy Taiwanese Sister 辣台妹.
By Matt Taylor
The wait is nearly over! Four years since her last studio album, 2014's critical and commercial blockbuster PLAY 呸, the dancing queen of Mandopop Jolin Tsai 蔡依林 has finally announced the release of her 14th studio album UGLY BEAUTY, which will be released on December 26.
Regarding the album title, Jolin expressed that she wanted to use this album to discover the ugliness behind the perfect surface of reality, and show that perfection is not equal to all. Each song will represent a different personality, viewpoint and style.
To create this eleven-track record, Jolin mobilised over 100 different musicians from Taiwan, Thailand and Sweden, and even took a direct role in writing and producing six of the tracks, something she has traditionally shied away from. She said that working with so many different creative people gave her the motivation to play a larger role in the creation of her music, and to her surprise, she actually enjoyed it, and hopes that this comes across to the listener.
One of the most noticeable features of the artwork is the oversized red lips, produced by Chinese designer Shuting Qiu. They are meant to symbolize words which we want to say, but are afraid to.
With hype and anticipation at fever pitch, limited pre-sales across Asia sold out in minutes, with the album receiving a platinum certification in China after only 24 hours. Demand was so high that a second print of pre-orders was arranged after fans vented their frustration on the social media accounts of Jolin's record label.
Since her debut album in 1999, Jolin Tsai has sold over 25 million records worldwide, and is one of the highest selling recording artists of the 21st century in Asia. Her most recent PLAY World Tour 呸世界巡迴演唱會 saw Jolin perform 34 concerts across five countries.
The first single from UGLY BEAUTY will premiere on December 21st, with the album following on December 26th.