Saturday, February 05, 2011

My Top 10 list of Taiwanese songs

2/05/2011 Taiwan Explorer
My list of some of my favorite songs from Taiwan

One of the first associations with the word "Taiwan" is music. I started to listen to Taiwanese artists already in 2006, when I didn't even know my current girlfriend or had any ideas about moving to the country. I was curious about Far Eastern music and started to look for popular songs on YouTube. At the same time I started to watch Taiwanese, Korean and Japanese drama, because of curiosity. I have to say I didn't become a big fan of the East Asian drama genre, I only watched few of them. The one I remember the most was Devil Beside You (惡魔在身邊), which I saw in 2007 in Malaysia. It was full of very sappy love songs and they got me hooked on Taiwanese Mandopop. I was amazed how big Taiwanese artists and TV shows were and still are in the Malaysian Chinese community. At that time I started to listen to Vivian Hsu and Jolin Tsai, of which the latter has become one of my favorite Asian singers. Interestingly, I knew more about Taiwan's pop music than about its history and culture prior to my last year's trip. Maybe I was predestined to end up in Taiwan before I even knew it.

With all this said, I would like to share with you some of my favorite songs of Taiwanese artists from the last few years by making my personal top 10 for you. Maybe you heard some of these songs before, because most of them were big hits. Every song has a brief introduction and my personal story behind it.

1. JOLIN TSAI 蔡依林: 睜一隻眼 閉一隻眼
I love Jolin's songs and have all of her latest albums. This one is my favorite song and video of her. She looks so hot here, it's unbelievable. The way she sings and dances is pure perfection, it's hard to write a better pop song and make a better video. I always feel like dancing, when I hear it, but unfortunately I'm no Michael Jackson, so I only move when I know that nobody sees me. The English title is "Overlooking Purposely".

2. RAINIE YANG 楊丞琳: 曖昧
This is one of my favorite love songs in Mandarin. I heard it for the first time in the popular drama "Devil Beside You", where she played the main female protagonist. This song surely brings me back to my time in Penang in 2007. It's truly a beautiful ballad. The English title is "Ambiguous".

3. Y2J 神木與瞳: 為你而活
This song brings me back to 2008, when I was in Malaysia. My ex girlfriend's family used to have the album in the car and it was always on. Y2J are a duo of amazing singers and both have aboriginal Taiwanese roots. They won a singing competition on a Taiwanese TV and became instant stars. The song is translated as "Live For You".

4. JEANNIE HSIEH 謝金燕: 愛你辣
This song reminds me of 2010 and the amazing private and blogging year I had. The post about Jeannie Hsieh I wrote is still very popular and this is currently my favorite song of her. I like the video a lot, her sexy moves are just electrifying and the chorus is very catchy. The song would be translated as "Love You Hot".

5. JEANNIE HSIEH 謝金燕: 嗶嗶嗶
This is the first song from Jeannie I heard and I was totally amazed. My girlfriend shared it with me and I think that was the beginning of my new wave of discovering Taiwanese music, with that I mean the music in Taiwanese language. The song is very catchy and proves, that Taiwan's pop industry is stronger than ever. It's called "Beep Beep Beep".

6. JOLIN TSAI 蔡依林: 獨佔神話
This is my favorite ballad from Jolin. I remember listening to this song a lot in early 2009, when I was sad, it somehow brought me away to a better world, it comforted me. And I love the ancient Chinese instruments, every time I hear them now, they remind me of Taiwan. In English this song is called "Original Myth".

7. WILBER PAN 潘瑋柏: 不得不愛
I loved this song in 2007, it was a big hit in Malaysia and I heard it a lot throughout the year. But then I saw the version of the Two Chinese Boys and somehow I can't see the beauty of the song anymore. If you don't know the second version, it's better you don't check it out. The English name of the song is "Have to love".

8. AMI PEOPLE: Elders' Drinking Song
This is my most recent discovery. It's a traditional song of the Ami tribe, Taiwan's largest remaining group of indigenous people. Their song was stolen by the German group Enigma in the 1990s and became a huge hit under the name Return to Innocence. Many think, it's a Native American song, but they're wrong, it's Taiwanese in and out.
9. S.H.E.: 安靜了
This was one of the songs that was on my Nokia, when I got it as a gift in Malaysia in 2009. I loved the song immediately, it was very pleasant to listen to and at that time I had no idea, that it's sung by one of Taiwan's biggest pop groups. The song is definitely good for some sad moments. The English translation would be "Silenced".

10. VIVIAN HSU 徐若瑄: 我爱你
This was one of the first Chinese songs I liked and I still love it every time I hear it. The best part is at the end, when the pace increases and it suddenly becomes a rock song. The original song was written by the Japanese singer NOKKO in 1994. The English translation of the song's title would be "I Love You".

I hope you liked some of these songs. I'm going to make new lists, once I more Taiwanese artists. And believe me, there are so many, it's sometimes hard to comprehend, so bear with me. All info provided from here.

Which is your favorite song from Taiwan?
Do you have any recommendations for me?