By Sinead O'Connor
A stalwart of the C-Pop scene since winning a Taiwan-wide talent competition way back in 2007, singer Yoga Lin 林宥嘉 already has four albums and countless awards under his belt already.
However, Lin has been noticeably absent from the charts for the past three years, during which he has been taking a well-deserved break from releasing music to get married and starting a family. But all that has now changed recently, as he bounced back on to the scene at the end of September with a brand-new single release ‘Otomen’.
‘Otomen’, a term derived from manga culture to describe a guy acting like a teenage girl, describes Lin’s own love story with his wife and new family, wholeheartedly embracing the ‘otomen’ image to describe himself.
Overlaying Lin’s unique vocals onto relaxed retro beats, the self-composed track and the accompanying music video portray Lin’s contentment with the simple happiness of family life. Adding to the sweetness of the lyrics, Lin’s wife herself takes a starring role in the video, which has already racked up over 2.5 million views so far. Check it out below!
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.
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
After a four year wait, fans will be excited to know that Yoga Lin is finally back-albeit with an entirely new sound-to wow your eardrums!
The album will become available on pre-order on the 3rd of June, and will be released officially on the 17th of June.
Lin's concept for the album revolves around the trials of life and the mounting pressure for everyone to 'grow up' and start being 'mature', questioning this trend and the meaning of life.
Rather than following the trend, he encourages all to awaken the sleeping creatures within your heart, re-igniting one's passion for chasing their dreams.
A complete revelation of his alternative rock side, his first single "Unshakeable rascal" has the head banging passion of Mayday, combined with an element of Yoga magic to top it all off.
What will he come up with next? We'll find out soon enough!
Listen to "Unshakeable Rascals"
Andrew yeh is the lead singer for the band The Aurora Lights , which was only formed a few months ago. But he himself has made a name for himself writing songs for some of the greats in the music industry , including the likes of Yoga Lin , Christine Fan (Fan Fan) , Sharon Kwan, Landy Wen and good friend Lara Veronin. From what I know, he's moved around a lot between Beijing, Taiwan and America all his life, and studied at the Berklee college of Music in America , specialising in songwriting. After finding his streetvoice page, his songs and his voice are extremely easy on the ear, and he has an unique sound, an eclectic mix of light and darkness and seems equally proficient in bringing a selection of these emotions out through his music. His lyrics, in english or in chinese are beautifully written, with a beautiful imagery behind them.(See 'Falling Behind' or Lara's 'Goodnight' written by him)
Songs that Andrew has written:
Lara Veronin: 'Goodnight' and 'Everything'
Sharon Kwan: 天气预报Weather Report
Yoga Lin:想念Missing you
Christine Fan:从小到大 When I was younger until now
The stripped down quality of The Aurora Light's works as a collective band is also promising (but sadly there wasn't much thus far) and I hope that you can support both Andrew and The Aurora Light!
Here is the version of the song Andrew wrote for Yoga arranged by The Aurora Lights!