By : C.P Ching
The 29th Golden Melody Awards and Ceremony returns on Saturday June 23rd, and will be held at the Taipei Arena.
Organizers recently unveiled the visual components featured in this year’s festivities. This year’s concept revolves around the theme of "Repetition".
Chief Director Yen Po-Chun, mentioned that in additional to their primary poster, the GMA have exclusively created eight additional posters; each uniquely featuring a prominent artist in today's Mandarin music scene.
The list includes J. Sheon 街巷, Starr Chen 陳星翰, Anna, Eric Chou 周興哲, Yeemao 夜貓組, Fang Wu 吳汶芳 , No Party for Cao Dong 草東沒有派對 and PoeTeK 熊仔.
The idea behind this concept is to showcase the diverse and unique characteristics of this new generation of musicians in Mando-pop music.
Numerous events including the international forum, business exchange sessions, new talent presentation will be hosted around the festivities between June 20th and June 22nd.
The live walk of fame will be broadcasted at 5 pm on the 23rd along with the ceremony which will embark at 7pm on TTV main channel.
Stayed tuned for more updated news related to the event and festivities in the near future.
For those interested, high resolutions of posters and other materials related to the event can be downloaded with thefollowing link.
By : C.P Ching
The 2018 edition of Taiwan Beats Music Showcase returns to Austin, Texas on Monday, March 12th. The event will be held at Elysium (705 Red River St), doors open at 7 pm and performances will take place from 8 pm to 2 am.
This year’s event will is hosted by BAMID, MOC Taiwan, SXSW and GCA entertainment and will have a lineup featuring an array of artists from the Taiwan music scene.
Performers range from iconic names like Vanness Wu 吳建豪, to rising hip-hop artist PoeTek 熊仔, to Taiwanese experimental-folk band Prairie WWWW.
In addition, the showcase includes appearances from Electronic DJ/Producer Sonia Calico, electronic band Ruby Fatale 鹿比 ∞ 吠陀) , and Golden Melody Award winner; Sangpuy 桑布伊.
Full lineup: Vanness Wu, Sangpuy, PoeTek, Ruby Fatale, Prairie WWWW, Sonia Calico.
Full details of the event can be found here:
Right after winning 'Best Female Mandopop Singer' at the 2016 Golden Melody Awards for her album 'Darling大齡女子', Julia Peng and her team began discussing the conception of this album 'When I Look Back我想念我自己' as the second part in their 'About Women and Love' series of works.
In July that year, after hearing stories from friends; some who had been married for years and others who had just gotten married, Julia and the team began thinking about themes such as marriage, our stable relationship, as well as themes of communication and self.
Throughout their discussions, they found that no matter what stage of life these friends were at, they would nevertheless say 'When I look back at myself during that period, how I miss it...' and thus, the theme of this album was conceived.
Along with this well thought-out concept, Peng also worked closely with producer George Chen陳建騏 to create a unique storytelling-singing style which is more real and intimate, and full of personality.
Standout tracks on this album include 'When I Look Back我想念我自己', an emotional and beautifully crafted track that brings back memories and tears for many who have heard it, as well as 'None Of Your Business關你屁事', a Jazz-Hip Hop fusion track which features a rap by talented new-gen rapper Poetek. The album will also feature 'Are We All Happy', a heartfelt and warm duet between Julia and fellow mother Christine Fan, who are perfect for this duet given their understanding of the price of happiness and starting a family.
Given the meticulously handcrafted quality of Peng's previous works, her latest masterpiece is a must-listen for those who relate to her storytelling style.
Julia Peng's latest album 'When I Look Back' is now available online on all major platforms, including Spotify, iTunes, KKBOX, Omusic and MyMusic.
To herald in the new year, I, along with some friends of APW decided to put together some Top 10 lists of our favourite Mandopop songs of 2017 to share in a blog series! In a way, I thought it would be cool to see what were other Mandopop listeners' favourite songs of the year; an experiment of subjectivity if you'd like.
In the first part of the series, I share my top 10, which include songs from Stefanie Sun, Wang Leehom, Namewee, Lala Hsu and more! Some might be songs you've heard frequently on the top charts, while others might be personal favourites which I think deserve to be in the spotlight before the year ends. Either way, I hope it provides all readers with a unique perspective on Mandopop and how the scene has changed and progressed over the past year. Evidently, there have been so many exciting developments that leave me hopeful for the growth of the industry and it's capacity for cross-cultural dialogue in the near future. Do check our picks out, and we've even included a Spotify playlist down the bottom if that's your preferred listening method. Merry Christmas and happy new year!
10. Jia JIa家家 - Jia Jia Song家家歌
Although Amit (A-mei’s alter ego) is taking a break this year, Jia Jia’s latest release has ensured that there is no lack in Taiwanese Aboriginal representations in pop music, releasing her first album featuring a plethora of self-composed works. One that stood out to me was her first single ‘Jia Jia Song’ which features other notable Aboriginal artists Suming and Ilid Kaolo, which incorporates traditional Aboriginal songs which seamlessly mix with elements of pop music such as the use of synthesizer beats underlying the song, and the use of some Chinese lyrics. With a melody that is mysterious yet beckons us to find out more, Jia Jia’s velveteen vocals draws us in and builds a bridge of accessibility for mainstream audiences to understand and appreciate her culture in a safe creative setting. The unique charisma of the song will have you singing along to its simple, natural lyrics in no time!
9.孫燕姿 STEFANIE SUN - 風衣 WINDBREAKER
This song off Stefanie Sun’s long-awaited 13th album ‘Dancing Van Gogh’ stood out to me for its unconventional take on a ballad. Starting off hauntingly beautiful, the addition of R&B beats in the background in the chorus underlying a heartfelt melody creates possibilities I never thought possible. The beats and melody in the chorus bounce off each other; lifting the song’s atmosphere higher and higher, like wind whipping through the trees. I especially love the lyrical metaphor of the windbreaker, and feel that this song fits Sun’s carefree vocals to a T.
8.POETEK熊仔, JULIA WU吳卓源, RGRY - 買榜MYBONG (BUY THE CHARTS)
Another trend that has been really positive in 2017 and looks to continue into 2018 is the emergence of several cool, young artists who have emerged from the underground/independent scene, pushing out new works left and right that disrupt the mainstream charts’ never-ending cycle of love ballads. With fewer connections and less resources, these guys are the key to the revival of the Mandopop music industry. One such success story is that of single ‘Buy the Charts’ released by rapper Poetek, Julia Wu and RGRY, a rather lighthearted and chill track which gets into your head like an earworm. Switching up the conventional rap song format by mixing some melody into the rap part and some rap into the melody section, the song is effortlessly groovy, with tongue-in-cheek lyrics which sing about making it big on the charts. Ironically (or not), the song has rapidly made its way up the Top 100 charts on KKBOX. Let’s just hope it stays that way and keeps climbing!
7. A-MEI張惠妹Ft. E-SO瘦子 (MJ116) - Whatever你說了算 ft. E-so
A-mei has always been known for championing causes that are marginalized, be it LGBTIQ rights, Aboriginal representation, or even the creative works of underground/independent songwriters. In the past she’s used songs by people she’s found on the internet (Matriarchy by 愛力獅Alice), worked on songs with Miss Ko and Soft Lipa, but for her latest album ‘Story Thief’ her third single ‘Whatever’ takes the cake for the most out-there, yet irresistibly energetic song I’ve heard in a while. Almost schizophrenic in nature, (think Bohemian Rhapsody), the song switches erratically between minor and major keys, starting off with prim and proper chords on the keyboard before launching with no further warning into an unconventional hip hop segment replete with quirky, short guitar riffs. And all this happens within the first 40 seconds of the song. Switching with no rhyme or rhythm between dark and happy themes, the song teeters on the edge of insanity, buoyed only by the absolute confidence of A-mei’s dynamic vocals. Such a weird song, but in the best way possible!
Check out the lyric translations for 'Whatever' here.