As this year comes to a long-needed close, the time has come yet again to compile a list of our top songs for 2018. This task has always been a delicate one; as we aim to choose songs that were chart-toppers while also leaving room for works that have contributed in a positive way to the creativity and diversity of the market. On top of this, I’ve also tried to choose songs that are cohesive and represent a general theme; reflecting on the year that has been. This year, I’ve chosen the theme of mindfulness and reflection. Be it a discussion of the world around us, our inner selves or the passing of time and life. In this year of confusion, despair and misdirection, we are all searching for something real to hold on to. This theme has increasingly resonates with me this year more than ever before, and I hope it strikes a chord with you too.
NO. 10: KELLY YU 于文文 – DIGNITY體面
What top 10 list could be complete without this regional chart-topper? The song which was part of the soundtrack for the movie ‘The Ex File 3: Return of the Exes’ allowed Canadian-Chinese artist Kelly Yu skyrocket to fame since its release in February this year with its moody and atmospheric piano arrangement. Although ballads are often hit-or-miss, Yu’s steady, honest vocals tug on the ol’ heartstrings just so, giving listeners delectable texture to ruminate over time and again.
After a three-year wait, Singaporean songstress Tanya Chua returns to the Mandarin music scene with an all-new album ‘Tanya’s Kisses For You 我要給世界最悠長的濕吻” releasing on the 21st of December.
Accompanying the album is the sultry siren’s first single ‘遺書 Will’. The idea behind this song was the thought: If tonight is my last night, will I have any regrets?
This is a question Tanya has continuously asked herself, and through this song, she hopes for listeners to think carefully about this too.
Check out the lyric video for this tearjerking and mysterious new single here.
Tanya Chua’s new album 我要給世界最悠長的濕吻 is now available for preorder and is officially released on the 21st of December.
Joining me for the second part of the 'Top 10 2017 Mandopop Picks' blog series is none other than founder and editor of YAM Magazine, Amy who has graciously decided to share her picks and annotations with everyone. I would say Amy's taste in music is really different to mine, but our mutual love for cross cultural collaboration means that we always respect and appreciate each other's musical preferences! If you're into indie Mainland Chinese stuff, or music that is a little more dark and mysterious than what you'd usually find in Mainstream pop, I think you'd appreciate Amy's picks...a lot.
There's a Spotify playlist at the end of the article where I compiled the songs I could find on the service, and if you're interested in more of Amy's recommendations, do check out her latest article over on YAM MAG where she compiled a whopping 50-song list of her favourite songs of 2017, including music from all around the world!
-APW Creator Jocelle
10.曾之喬 Joanne Tseng - 猜猜看 Guess
I don’t know much about Joanne Tseng’s career, but I do have the habit of clicking on clicking random videos that show up on my feeds, which is the reason I stumbled upon Guess, which could resemble Stefanie Sun’s edgier music style, though presented in a much more mainstream love ballad.
9. 沼泽 ZhaoZe - 如果我失去了青春 If I Lose my Youth
Mainland band ZhaoZe (who are also on Bandcamp) were also featured on Xiami’s compilation alongside Fang Shi’er and 1229 with this amazing rock instrumental.
8. Yoga Lin - 船 The Ship
Yoga Lin’s voice, generally, makes me sad. LOL. In The Ship, it manages to do so even without the lyrics; and despite the pop rock chorus that crank up the mood.
7. 许哲 Xu Zhe - 如此遥远
Otherwise known as Heo Chul, Mainland singer Xu Zhe’s music style differs from most people’s in this list as he’s less influenced by electronic music, and is much more inclined to folk rock, making his track a lot more contemplative, sorrowful and, perhaps, hopeful.
Note from Editor: Say hello to Asian Pop Weekly's newest blog series "C-Pop Style Diary", where we'll be sharing unique stylespiration from some of our favourite C-pop artists whom I admire very much! The underlying message I'd like this series to convey is that you don't have to go over the top or spend lots of money to look or feel beautiful-just be yourself! For the girls especially ;)
Singer-songwriter-producer Tanya Chua has always been a source of inspiration for me. Be it through her music, her tastes or her sense of style, her individualism and strong, independent yet overtly feminine attitude always shines through. Of course, in her fashion sense, this is no exception. Having posted many photos of her clad in denim on her Facebook, it seems that the Mandopop songstress is an expert in pairing denim to create outfits that look effortlessly classy with simple touches to create beautiful, coordinated looks. Let's explore a few of them below, shall we?
Revamping the 'white tee and jeans' look
Tanya is one singer who has completely mastered the 'white tee and jeans' look with her own feminine touch. Pairing fitted white tees with simple, funky graphics against stylish denim skinnies with either folds in the cuffs or rips, her look is simple, yet beautiful. Understated yet energetic, Tanya's versatile look is great for day outs, and could even tide you over for dinner at a semi-classy restaurant on a Thursday night (maybe).
Shirts and Shorts (are) allowed
Sticking with high waisted denim shorts, Tanya injects class into even her most staple accessories. With her trusty high-top converses by her side that are pictured in most photos, you can see how they would be a go-to alternative if you're ever worried about what shoes to pair with any denim outfit. Throwing on an interesting top such as the pheasant blouse Tanya has on, or the cropped shirt can create a variety of styles which can accommodate a fun, summery look. To me, Tanya's ensemble is unique as it is sporty, functional, feminine and chic all at once. Now this is a woman who's got her stuff together!
Taking the denim game to the next level, Tanya shows how much difference a patterned shirt with a unique design and a pair of pumps can make so much difference. Note how she tucks in her shirts into the waist of her denim bottoms which neatens and streamlines the look. A last feminine touch is given by adding a pair of elegant heels or pumps to complete the look. The last picture here is my favourite, where she adds a pop of red in her pumps and matching bag to give the look a little more spunk.
Do you have any C-Pop style icons you'd like to see featured? Or you'd like to contribute your own? Please email us or leave your suggestions below for us!
Alas, it's Awards season again in Taiwan! The inaugural 27th Golden Melody Awards which have come forth this year are full of nominees who truly deserve to be standing on that coveted stage and holding that statuette. But who made it into the final list of nominees? Read on to find out!
Chang and Lee
Susu (Su Yun Ying)
Best songs of the year
“Don’t Give Up” Suming
“Matriarchy” Amit (A-mei Zhang)
“Twilight” JJ Lin
“That Evening It Rained” Sodagreen
“Little Luck” Hebe Tien
Chang and Lee
Nine one one
Best Hakka album
“Time for Surprise” Wing Luo
“At the foot of Tai Ling” Qiu Lin
“Stranger” Huang Tsi-Hsuan
Best Aboriginal album
“Freedom journey” CMO band
“Migration” Wu Hao-en
“Songs Of The Tamalakao Tribe”/Tamalakao
Best Taiwanese album
“Voices Entering Village” Shi Wenbin
“Columbia” Jacky Chen
“Chang and Lee” Chang and Lee
“Warm Warm Love” Jiang Hui Yi
“Taiwanese New Wave” Huang Shan Liang
Best Mandarin Album
“Swing Inc.” Peggy Hsu
“Charlie” Eli Hsieh
“Amit 2” Amit
“Aphasia” Tanya Chua
“Winter Endless” Sodagreen
“Infinite” Bear Guy
Best Taiwanese Male Singer
Best Taiwanese Female Singer
Best Male Mandarin Singer
Best Female Mandarin Singer
Su Yun Ying (Su Su)
Amit (A-mei Zhang)
Special Contribution Award
Huang Ying Ying
Best Music Video Award
“Eternal Summer” (Director: Su Jian Yi)
“If The Same Pain Was Downloaded Twice” (Director: Tan Zong Pan)
“I’m Not Yours” (Director: Chen Yi Ren)
“I Am Alive ft. Jason Mraz” (Director: Liu Geng Ming)
“I Want To Know Your Everything” (Director: Chen Hong Yi)
Best Composer Award
Jacky Chen/ ”Black Island” (Artist: Jacky Chen)
Tanya Chua/ “Aphasia” (Artist: Tanya Chua)
JJ Lin/ “Twilight” (Artist: JJ Lin)
Wu Tsing Feng/ “A Rainy Evening” (Artist: Sodagreen)
Jerry C/ “Little Luck” (Artist: Hebe Tien)
Best Lyricist Award
Hsieh Ming-Yu/”A Life’s Song” (Artist: Jacky Chen)
Wu Hsiung/ “Dismantle” (Artist: Chang and Lee)
Chen Sa/ “Matriarchy” (Artist: Amit)
Wu Tsing-Feng/ “Happy Gorgeousness” (Artist: Sodagreen)
Wu Tsing-Feng/ “You Raised Your Right Hand To Mark ‘Here’” (Artist: Sodagreen)
Best Arranger Award
Jacky Chen, Chen Ju Hao, Jakub Kubi Groos, Ao Di, Li Da Wen/ “Would You Be My Girl” (Artist: Jacky Chen, Dwagie)
Hsu Yu-Ying, Lu Law-Ming/ “A Letter For Tim Bolton” (Artist: Peggy Hsu)
Hsiao Zhao/ “Searching Deep Seas” (Artist: Li Jian)
Chang Shi-Lei, An-Dong/ “Living Is The Best Death” (Artist: Tanya Chua)
Sodagreen, Li Wei-ZHe/ “Happy Gorgeousness” (Artist: Sodagreen)
Best Album Producer Award
Peggy Hsu, Wang Xi Wen/ “Swing Inc.” (Artist: Peggy Hsu)
Adia, Amit/ “AMIT 2” (Artist: Amit)
An Dong, Tanya Chua/ “Aphasia” (Artist: Tanya Chua)
JJ Lin/ “Experimental Album Me n Myself” (Artist: JJ Lin)
Lin Wei-Zhe/ “Winter Endless” (Artist: Sodagreen)
Best Single Producer Award
Shuo Hsiao/ “Have You Eaten” (Artist: Shuo Hsiao)
Eli Hsieh, Tsai Jung Hoon/ “Lamp” (Artist: Eli Hsieh)
Hsiao Zhao/ “Searching Deep Seas” (Artist: Li Jian)
Chen Jian Qi/ “Practice Losing” Artist: One Fang
Chen Jian Qi “Darling” Artist: Julia Peng
Best Album Cover Award
Wu Jian-Long/ “Chang and Lee”
Lee Wei-Ming/ “Principles that never die”
Huang Jia-Xian/ “Mr. Hormone”
Fang Hsu-Zhong/ “Vu Vu Reggae”
Zhao Yi-Xiang/ “GIGO”
Nie Yong-Zhen/ “For Miss Qiu Yueyun”
Best Recording Album Award
“New Heartbeat”/ Recording Engineers: Peter Roberts, Lupo Groinig, Strawberry/ Main Mixing Engineers: Richard Furch, George Dum/ Main Mastering Post-Production: Reuben Cohen
“Light Freezing”/ Recording Engineers: Li You, Bao Ru Yi, Zhang Bo, Yan Chung Kun/ Main Mixing Engineers: Howie, Joe Hirst/ Main Mastering Post-Production: Ray Stuff
“AMIT 2”/ Recording Engineers: Chen Wen Chun, Chen Zhen Fa/ Main Mixing Engineers: Fan Nangang/ Main Mastering Post-Production: Joe LaPorta
“Aphasia”/ Recording Engineers: Kyle Hoffman/ Main Mixing Engineers: An Dong, Richard Furch/ Main Mastering Post-Production: John David
“Fall In Love With Yourself”/ Recording Engineers: Zhou Chi Hao, Ye Yu Hsuan/ Main Mixing Engineers: Wang Jun Jie/ Main Mastering Post-Production: Chris Gehringer
Best Backing Recording Album Award
“The Arti: The Adventure Begins/ Film Soundtrack” / Recording Engineers: Yang Min Qi, Li Zhao Yang, Wu Rong En, Lin Xiao Qin, Zhu Jing Ran, Chen Yi Lin, Ko Zhong You, Jiang Song Song, Yang Bang Hao/ Main Mixing Engineers: Yang Ming Qi, Craig Burbridge, Wang Jun Jie (Little K), Simon Li/ Main Mastering Post-Production: Sun Zhong Shu
“Simple Life”/ Recording Engineers: Kyle Cassel/ Main Mixing Engineers: Dave Darlington/ Main Mastering Post-Production: Dave Darlington
“My Own Room”/ Recording Engineers: Todd Carder, Pat Noonan (The Bunker Studio)/ Main Mixing Engineers: Brian Montgomery, Wei Yu Xian/ Main Mastering Post-Production: Systems Two Recording Studio
“SEMIFUSA Namesake Album”/ Main Mixing Engineers: Yu Jialun/ Main Mastering Post-Production: Jeff Lipton, Maria Rice