Although I’ve never been much of a moviegoer, I was in fervent anticipation of the recent ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ film for obvious reasons. Asian representation in the media plays a big part in fostering cultural understanding and bridging the gap, and in its own way can even impact on the passage of Chinese music across borders. If it might not occur to you immediately why this might be, the case study of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and its soundtrack is a perfect place to launch such a discussion.
Despite the overly positive reviews of the soundtrack (most of which come from a western viewpoint); I thought it would be an interesting experiment to share my perspective on the film’s soundscape. As a Singaporean, member of the Asian diasporic community and a Mandopop enthusiast, it seems that I just so happen to possess the rare (but often useless) permutation of skills to launch a well-rounded critique of the film.
As soon as the titles started to roll and the sounds of a familiar Mandarin classic piped serenely into the background, I was choked with emotion. Never has a Western Blockbuster so prominently and positively displayed the music I loved. It had always been the small victories; like a end credits Mandarin song for Transformers, or some Jay Chou thrown into The Green Hornet or one of his other titles as a freebie; examples few and far between. And as the soundtrack progressed, I was in absolute euphoria. Never had I expected the soundtrack to be made up majorly of Mandarin tracks. By exposing millions of Western and worldwide audiences to Mandarin music, this would potentially be a huge for the industry. If executed well, the movie could be a perfect stepping stone for bridging cultural gaps between the east and the west; not only through the visual techniques, narratives and themes of the movie; but also through the film’s soundscape.
Hot off the press without further ado, here's your basic survival guide for who was nominated at all the award categories at the 27th Golden Melody Awards!
Album of the Year
-Village Besieged /Foothills Folk LLC
-All Nominated Titles of Best Album in Mandarin
-All Nominated Titles of Best Album in Taiwanese
-All Nominated Titles of Best Album in Hakka
-All Nominated Titles of Best Album in an Aboriginal Language
Song of the Year
-Love Confession《Jay Chou’s Bedtime Stories》/ JVR Music International Ltd.
-Traces of Time In Love 《Traces of Time In Love 》/EMI Records And Entertainment Limited
-Peng-Kung《Ding Zi Hua》/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
-The Sum of Us 《Talk About Eve》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Tough《history of Tomorrow》/ B'IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
-Simon Says《The Servile》/Rocksurf
-Centrifugal Force《 CENTERIFUGAL FORCE》/Asia Muse Entertainment
-Spoiled Innocence《Sell like hot cakes》/HIM International Music
Best Mandarin Album
《JOURNEY TO THE WEST》/ Fu Music Limited
《The Silent Star Stone》/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
《Talk About Eve》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
《history of Tomorrow》/ B'IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
《run! frantic flowers!》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
《Million Songs Hill》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
Best Taiwanese Album-Ding Zi Hua/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
-Taipei Didilong / Kao Muziq Co. Ltd
-REBORN/ FIRE ON MUSIC CO., LTD.
-Chiu nien /KAWA Music Co.Ltd
-TaiKo Electro Company / The Hu Music Studio
-The boyhood of chairman/D.G.S.Marketing
Best Hakka Album-The Golden Age/ sincerely music
-Mosaic Of The Night/ Foothills Folk LLC
-Smiley Universe/ Taipei Hakka Affairs Commission
-The Funky Song For Tung Blossom/ Feeling Good Music Co. Ltd.
-Wo ba jiang hai lu wo ma jiang si xian/ t-rex music
Best Aboriginal Album-Yaangad /katatepan Cultural Studio
-Tracing the River of Life/Wind Music
-Long-Ger /Long-Ger Longer Story Album /Good Collection Studio
-vavayan /ELEVENZ PRODUCTION & PUBLISHING CO., LTD.
-Sadu Kata Buan/ DRUMBOAT MUSIC
Best Music Video-Chai《Chang and Lee》/ Anlemouse Production Company (Director: Peng Jhun-yi、Zhu Qi-guang 、Chang Hsi-an )
-Bedtime Stories 《Jay Chou’s Bedtime Stories》/ JVR Music International Ltd. (Director: Jay Chou)
-Mercury Records《The Silent Star Stone》/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd. (Director: Huang Chieh-yu )
-Love Yourself《DAY BY DAY》/ HIM International Music Inc. (Director: Bill Chia )
-Tough《history of Tomorrow》/ B’in Music Co. Ltd. (Director: Muh Chen )
-Dust My Shoulders Off《Jane Zhang Dust My Shoulders Off》/ Melody Media -Music Co. Ltd./ (Director: Liao Jen Shuai )
Best Composer-Guo Ding/The Fog Space《The Silent Star Stone》/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
-Eve Ai/The Sum of Us 《Talk About Eve》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Mayday Monster/Here, After, Us《history of Tomorrow》/ B'IN MUSIC -INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
-No Party For Cao Dong/Simon Says《The Servile》/Rocksurf
-Waa Wei/only you《run! frantic flowers!》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Hsieh Ming-Yu/Hsia- pu ワルツ《chiu nien》 /KAWA Music Co. Ltd.
-Europa Huang/Centrifugal Force《 CENTERIFUGAL FORCE》/Asia Muse Entertainment
Best Lyricist-Qing Feng Wu/Traces of Time In Love《Traces of Time In Love 》/EMI Records And Entertainment Limited
-Wu Pai/Peng-Kung《Ding Zi Hua》/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd
-Guo Ding/The Fog Space《The Silent Star Stone》/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
-Eve Ai/The Sum of Us 《Talk About Eve》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Mayday A-Shin/ Almost Famous 《history of Tomorrow》/ B'IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
-No Party For Cao Dong/Wimpish《The Servile》/Rocksurf
-Hsieh Ming-Yu/ Pi-ka Luggage《chiu nien》 /KAWA Music Co.Ltd
Best Arrangement-Hung Cheng-wen; Jen Chung-chiang /Na emaalrup / Hunter 《Yaangad 》 /katatepan Cultural Studio
-Wu Pai & China Blue / Peng kung《Ding Zi Hua》/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
-Xian-Zhe Zhan/ Bad Check《Talk About Eve》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Ellen Joyce Loo/Darling/Imperfections /Rockmui Ltd.
-Huang ching shih yi; Derrick Sepnio; Fergus Chow/izuwa 《vavayan》 /ELEVENZ PRODUCTION & PUBLISHING CO., LTD.
-Howe Chen /You Made My Day 《You Made My Day 》/ Asia Muse Entertainment
Best Album Producer-IO Chen/《Yaangad》 /katatepan Cultural Studio
-Khalil Fong；Derrick Sepnio 《JOURNEY TO THE WEST》/ Fu Music Limited
-Tu Kai; Ko Fei /《Mr. Miss》/ STEVE MUSIC STUDIO
-Mayday/《history of Tomorrow》/ B'IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
-George Chen/ 《run! frantic flowers!》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Huang ching shih yi /《vavayan》 /ELEVENZ PRODUCTION & PUBLISHING CO., LTD.
Best Single Producer-George Chen/Traces of Time In Love 《Traces of Time In Love 》/EMI Records And Entertainment Limited
-Huang ching shih yi /Jia Jia song feat. Ilid Kaolo /Suming《Still Missing》/B'IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
-Mayday Masa/ Still Missing《Still Missing》/B'IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
-Huang Chien-wei ; Chen Chun-hao / Centrifugal Force《 CENTERIFUGAL FORCE》/Asia Muse Entertainment
-Dakanow/ Aka Pacici Take It Easy《Long-Ger Longer Story Album》/Good Collection Studio
-Sandee Chan/Every day is a miracle《Day by day》/ HIM International Music
-Howe/You Made My Day 《You Made My Day 》/ Asia Muse Entertainment
Best Male Mandarin Vocalist-Jay Chou/《Jay Chou’s Bedtime Stories》/ JVR Music International Ltd.
-Khalil Fong《JOURNEY TO THE WEST》/ Fu Music Limited
-Guo Ding/《The Silent Star Stone》/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
-Crowd Lu/What a Folk !!!!!!/ Team Ear Music
-Yoga Lin/《Sell like hot cakes》/HIM International Music
-Namewee/《Cross Over Asia》/ The Dow Cultural & Creative Co.
-Dwagie/《Hard Knock》/ Kung-Fu Entertainment
Best Female Mandarin Vocalist-Eve Ai/《Talk About Eve》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Jia Jia/《Still Missing》/B'IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
-Waa Wei/《run! frantic flowers!》/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Ellen Joyce Loo/《Imperfections》/ Rockmui Ltd.
-Naiwen Yang/ Centrifugal Force《 CENTERIFUGAL FORCE》/Asia Muse Entertainment
-Miss Ko/《Queen of Queens》/ Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
Best Taiwanese Male Vocalist
-Daniel Luo / 《Daniel Luo –Love is so painful CD+DVD》/ SHANG HAO RECORD CO.,LTD
-Liao Shih-Hsien /《The Door》/ Dmile Music Co.Ltd.
-Wu Pai/《Ding Zi Hua》/Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
-Aka DJ / Taipei Didilong《 Taipei DiDi Long 》/ Kao Muziq Co. Ltd
-Yuming Lai/Bottom of My Heart / ROCK RECORDS CO.,LTD.
-Hsieh Ming-Yu / 《Chiou nien》 /KAWA Music Co.Ltd
Best Taiwanese Female Vocalist
-Elly Chang/ 《Elly Chang - Sound of the wind》 / Water Music
-Maya/《Singing to myself》 /Water Music
-Olivia Tsao/《A song of Missing》/ ATIME ARTIST MANAGEMENT CO.,LTD.
-Huang Fei/《Twin Flowers》/ Millions Entertainme Co., Ltd
-Sasha Li /《The Age of Innocence》/ ROCK RECORDS CO.,LTD.
Best Hakka Vocalist-UrbanCat /《The Golden Age》/ sincerely music
-Misa x Underground Stream/《Mosaic Of The Night》/ Foothills Folk LLC
-Robin Tseng /《Shepherd Boy》/ Feeling Good Music Co. Ltd.
-Wei Ru Chen/《Wo ba jiang hai lu wo ma jiang si xian》/ t-rex music
Best Aboriginal Vocalist-Sangpuy/《Yaangad》/katatepan Cultural Studio
-Cemelesai Pasasauv /《ZEMIYAN》/ Han Guang Creativity Art Co., Ltd
-T-ai Siao-chun/《Tracing the River of Life》/Wind Music
-Long-Ger /《Long-Ger Longer Story Album》/Good Collection Studio
-ABAO (Aljenljeng)/ 《vavayan》/ELEVENZ PRODUCTION & PUBLISHING CO., LTD.
-Tulbus Mangququ/《Sadu Kata Buan》/ DRUMBOAT MUSIC
Best Musical Group-FLUX /《FLUX Pluralism》/Hove Entertainment
-Mayday/《History of Tomorrow》/ B'IN MUSIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
-No Party For Cao Dong/《The Servile》/Rocksurf
-GDJYB/《vol.2 GDJYB 2359 BEFORE TOMORROW》/ HER
-LION/《LION》/ Warner Music Taiwan
-Gina"s Can / 《The Funky Song For Tung Blossom》/ Feeling Good Music Co.
-The Chairman /《The boyhood of chairman》/ D.G.S.Marketing
Best Vocal Collaboration-Guess What Vocal Band/《 Guess What - ONE》/ Opus Music Studio
-Power Station: YU Chiu-hsing ; YEN Chih-lin《Power Station 20th》/ HIM -International Music Inc.
-Astro Bunny：Cha chia-wen；Nu /《Loneliness will be over, away and gone》/ -Ascents Media Entertainment
-Mr. Miss：Tu Kai; Ko Fei /《Mr. Miss》/ STEVE MUSIC STUDIO
-Grasshopper : Tsai Yi-chih; Tsai Yi-chieh; Su Chih-wei/《Music Walker》/MEDIA ASIA ENTERPRISE LIMITED Taiwan Branch
-RADIO MARS：Huang Shao-feng; Tseng Yu / RADIO MARS/ Feeling Good Music Co. Ltd.
Best Newcomer-FLUX /《FLUX Pluralism》/ Hove Entertainment
-Mr. Miss / 《Mr. Miss》/ STEVE MUSIC STUDIO
-No Party For Cao Dong/《The Servile》/Rocksurf
-SHIO /《Abstract Painting》/ NeverFall Inc.(Taiwan Branch)
-Erika/《I Am Erika 》/ Warner Music Taiwan
-GONG/ 《GONG》/ Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
Best Instrumental Album-Cin Cinema/CinCin Lee Production Ltd.
-ALL KINDS OF GOOD/ELEVENZ PRODUCTION & PUBLISHING CO., LTD.
-Fade to Blue/Trees Music & Art
-SEDAR /Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-07 Sessions/Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
Best Album Producer-CinCin Lee/ Cin Cinema/CinCin Lee Production Ltd.
-Martin "Musa" Musaubach/ALL KINDS OF GOOD/ ELEVENZ PRODUCTION & PUBLISHING CO., LTD.
-Chung Shefong/Fade to Blue/Trees Music & Art
-Sedar Chin/ SEDAR/ Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Lawrence Ku/PROPER UP!/ Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
Best Composer-CinCin Lee/Taipei Andante《Cin Cinema》/ CinCin Lee Production Ltd.
-Martin "Musa" Musaubach/ ALL KINDS OF GOOD《ALL KINDS OF GOOD》/ELEVENZ PRODUCTION & PUBLISHING CO., LTD.
-David Chen/ Fade to Blue《Fade to Blue》/Trees Music & Art
-Sedar Chin/ Arboreal Tunnel （feat. Richard Bona）《SEDAR》/ Sony Music Entertainment Taiwan Ltd.
-Tseng-Yi Tseng/ Call It Anything《Kind of True》/Mission Formosa
Best Album Graphic-Gelresai/Yaangad/ Katatepan Cultural Studio
-Lo Wen-tsen/ Village Besieged/ Foothills Folk LLC
-Starr Chen; Hsu Ting Ho; Rookie; John Yu; kitsunemene; MoMo; Summer Lee/ -Welcome To The Next Level/ X Entertainment
-Xiao Qing-Yang Studio/When will we meet again/ Ya Wen Music Studio Ltd.
-Rivers Yang；Aaron Nieh/ Cin Cinema/ CinCin Lee Production Ltd.
Best Vocal Recording Album AwardYaangad／katatepan Cultural Studio
( Recording Engineers: Sun Tien-chih／Main Mixing Engineers: Sun Tien-chih／Main Mastering Post-Production: Ted Jensen)
JTW Journey to the West／FU Music Limited
( Recording Engineers: Derrick Sepnio、Jeff Li／Main Mixing Engineers: Phil Tan、Ken Lewis、Jaycen Joshua、Tony Maserati、Dave Pensado／Main Mastering Post-Production: Chris Gehringer)
#MWHYB／Universal Music Taiwan Ltd.
( Recording Engineers: Brian Paturalski、Ken Lewis、tye、Enik Lin／Main Mixing Engineers: Brian Paturalski、Ken Lewis、tye、Enik Lin／Main Mastering Post-Production: James Cruz)
( Recording Engineers: Wang Yung-chun／Main Mixing Engineers: Lin Cheng-chung／Main Mastering Post-Production: Chris Gehringer)
Flow／Rock Records Co., Ltd.
( Recording Engineers: Chen Chih-hsiang、Yeh Yu-hsuan、Jim Lee、John Hermanson、Lin Po-chien、Chen Yi-lin、Li Yueh-sung／Main Mixing Engineers: Fan Nai-kang、Li Yueh-sung、Jim Lee／Main Mastering Post-Production: Michael D.)
Best Instrumental Recording Album AwardCin Cinema/ CinCin Production Ltd. ( Recording Engineers: David Santiago、Yang Min-chi／Main Mixing Engineers: Yang Min-chi、Cheng Kuei／Main Mastering Post-Production: Yang Min-chi、Cheng Kuei)
Ice Fantasy Original Soundtrack/ Warner Music Taiwan Ltd. (Recording Engineers: Frank Cunningham、Antonio Oliart、Chenao Wang、Jorge Velasco／Main Mixing Engineers: V.K、Shinnosuke Miyazawa／Main Mastering Post-Production: Suen Chung-shu)
SEDAR／Sony Music Entertainment (Taiwan) Ltd.
( Recording Engineers:Li Yueh-sung、Ma Li、Hsu Teng-man、Goh Hotoda、Wang Yao-wei、Larry Williams、Gary Grant、Dustin Higgns、Richard Bons、Chris Parks、Brendan Muldowney、James Genus、Chin Su-feng、Scott Henderson、Chia Yi-nan、Alain Caron、Julian Miller／Main Mixing Engineers: Goh Hotoda、Ma Li／Main Mastering Post-Production: Bob Ludwing)
Tseng-Yi Tseng Symbiosis Trio-Chromatics／Symbiosis
( Recording Engineers: Yu Chia-lun／Main Mixing Engineers: Yu Chia-lun／Main Mastering Post-Production: Jeff Lipton)
Kind of True／Mission Formosa
( Recording Engineers: Tommy Cavalieri／Main Mixing Engineers: Tommy Cavalieri／Main Mastering Post-Production: Tommy Cavalieri)
Jury AwardSheng-xiang band 《Village Besieged 》
Special Contribution AwardCHI, LU-HSIA (CHI, CHIU-YING) 、CHANG, YU-SHENG
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!
Recently, journalist Emmanuel Félix Lesprón contacted me and provided me with an exclusive interview with one of the most promising newcomers in the Taiwanese Music industry today; singer Wang Dawen! I'm honored to have the chance to share his interview with all Asian Pop weekly readers, and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!
Here's a Spanish version of the interview:
Unveiling the real Dawen-Emmanuel Félix Lesprón
Poetic and caring, funny and smart, Wang Dawen opened his heart in this interview and talks about his past, present and future.
Within two years he worked his way into the music scene, conquering the girls’ hearts and originating a new singing style that most guys love to imitate. His voice and charisma opened the doors to success for him, turning him into a big hit in Taiwan’s stages. This immediately spread in many Asian nations and many more on other continents. Suddenly we all started singing“Beautiful” (美麗) and “Let’s work it out” (練習愛情), two of his most famous songs. Little by little we all became part of the thousands of followers that at the moment, are waiting for his next album.
His name is Wang Dawen, and he received us at the Universal Music offices based in Taiwan, where he opened his heart, unveiling his passion for music, his upcoming projects and, of course, that time when his heart was broken.
E: Let’s start with the good news: congratulations on the two million YouTube visits on the video “Beautiful”. How do you feel? Was this success something you imagined would to happen while writing the song?
D: Thank you! It feels great! I am very happy; I am thrilled!
To be honest, while writing this song I wasn’t thinking of any of that. When we released the album this was the song that escalated it really quickly among the fans and then we realized actually what was going on.
E: Your second big hit, “We Can Make It” featuring Kimberley is following the same trend. How did this song happen?
D: While writing the album I wanted to write a duet. It was something that I really wanted to include in my first work in Chinese. After I finished it, I was looking for people to sing it with. I thought of Kimberley because last year she had this song that I really liked, “愛你” (I Love You). I sent her the song and she liked it. We recorded it and she brought her very personal style to the duet. It was great working with her on this song.
E: The video reflects very traditional things from Taiwan. You have the late party at the KTV, the noodles after it…
D: Yeah! Actually the video was shot in a traditional KTV place. All the videos in “你好” (Ni Hao means Hello in English) reflect very traditional things from Taiwan that I wanted to share with the people that got to see my videos.
E: When did you decide to become a musician?
D: Ever since I was 5 or 6 (years old) I liked music. Then when I went to college I studied classic music and I was deciding whether to become a Broadway-style performer or a classical singer. But then I started writing songs leading me to where I am right now.
E: Five or six years old? What were you listening back in those days?
D: I grew up listening to classical music and Disney, of course (says laughing).
E: What’s your favorite from Disney?
D: There are three that I like the most. Aladdin, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. I think those three have really good music.
E: Your music is very heterogenic. What are the basic foundations of your style?
D: Early on there was lots of music in my house. The living room had classical music so Bach, Mozart and Beethoven were always being played in the common areas.
My brother, he would have different things in his room. He was a huge fan of reggae, jazz, and rock so I also got to appreciate everything from Bob Marley and Charles Mingus to Nirvana. In my room it was all about Disney so I would listen to Fantasia, Aladdin, and The Lion King, so there were lots of things going on.
But what I think kept me grounded definitely was classical music and jazz. Those are my foundations. When I grew older I started to admire single-song writers and started to follow the work of Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman or Stevie Wonder, writers that brought to the table their own music; people who wrote their own words and told stories.
E: You have a previous record called “American Me”. Compared to “你好”, it sounds more jazzy but angrier at the same time. What life experiences led you to compose that album?
D: American Me is a reflection of the experiences that I had living through college. As I became an adult in America I started to be frustrated with certain aspects of American society. I was born in the States, but sometimes I felt discriminated against. And I took all of that frustration and put it in my music. “American Me” is bitter, quietly angry, very serious, and even hard to listen. When I moved to Taiwan my life changed a lot. These frustrations suddenly were only memories and that gave room in my life for new experiences that led me to “Nihao”.
E: Obligated question… Who is this Jay you talk about in the Homonymous song?
D: There is a song on my indie album called I Hate Jay. He is a real person and his real name is Jay. He is someone I knew that I blame for taking away someone I really liked.
(He took a moment and then he confessed)
OK… There was this girl I was really close to and things did not work out between us. He ended up dating her and this experience traumatized me; that’s why I turned it into a song. The weird thing is, he became a fan of the song. He really liked it, even though he knew I was talking about him
E: How do you define both of your works so far?
E: “American Me” and “你好” are very different in topics and they were written in different languages while I was living in different countries. “American Me” is very complex and is very jazz-structured. It is full of jazz, soul and funk and actually is not very accessible. It is very direct and heart-felt about issues and topics I related to while living in America.
“你好” is very different… very happy, very positive. It’s me writing for the first time ever in Chinese and that for me was a big challenge. It was challenging switching languages: each language has its own rhythm and beauty. Even though I spoke a little Chinese before and my parents are Mandarin speakers it was still difficult for me to grasp Mandarin creatively. So “你好” represents a whole new beginning to discover a new language to sing it.
E: What do you think about Taiwanese musicians?
D: I think my knowledge about it used to be pretty limited. While living abroad I started to follow it with David Tao, and the Taiwanese rock from the 90’s and early 2000. After I moved to Taiwan I followed Jay Chou, of course, A-Mei, JJ Lin, A-lin, and Wa Wa. I feel Taiwan music is so broad and has so much style…
E: Do you have a bucket list? Was being a singer part of it?
D: Being singer wasn’t part of it but the goal.
Still I have a couple of things I really would like to do. I want run a marathon, skydive before 50, travel more and learn more languages. I have a small bucket list.
E: More languages? How many do you speak now?
D: I can only count English and Chinese. I used to speak Spanish when I was 15 years old because back then I was living in Salamanca (Spain), but “no me acuerdo mucho”(“I do not remember much”, says laughing).
E: Spanish audiences are exactly the ones that were asking for this interview…
D: I think that’s awesome! I saw sometimes people from different countries sending messages through Facebook or Twitter and I get very surprised about the places I am getting through my music. There was once a message from Argentina… It’s crazy how music is an international language and all you need is Internet so you can listen to anything. Actually there are lots of Latin artists I admire like salsa singer La India or the old Buena Vista Social Club.
E: We see that you take lots of time to reply to your fans…
D: I love people taking time to listen to my music and I try to read everything and interact a little bit with them every day. Thanks to them I do what I love and that is the way I can share with them a little of my everyday experiences.
The singer, who had to leave to (yes fans you can calm down) write and record some of the new songs for his next album, said good bye with a big smile on his face and a final message for all of his followers:
“Thanks everyone for listening to my music and all the support. I’m working on my second album in Chinese. It’s too early to tell but… anything can happen. The mood is going to change. I’ll play a little bit of funk, but it’s going to be fun!”
Mr. David Tai.
Universal Music Taiwan.
No , the title isn't a nod to another scandalous thing that a celebrity's done; the only scandal here is Tao not releasing an album for 8 years! The acclaimed and popular television host and singer has just released her new album <Really>(真的假的) and has the backing of several of the most talented artists in the industry, such as Aboriginal powerhouse A-Mei, songstress Tanya Chua , the Beautiful Ms Jolin Tsai , Jay Chou and S.H.E among others.
But this is proving to be the mother of comeback albums, featuring a duet with Khalil Fong himself,<是爱>(It's love) who is known for his selectiveness in performing duets with female singers.
She's also released two other singles , <I don't approve>（我不祝福) and the Title track for her album <真的假的>(really) which are definitely worth checking out. Welcome back Matilda!