Written by Jocelle Koh. During my time as a university student, what I would have given to have a copy of Routledge’s latest edition to their ‘Made in…’ series, ‘Made in Taiwan’. It would have been handy! As a student doing my thesis on the Taiwanese music industry in a university about as far removed from the topic as you can get, procuring the Taiwanese instalment of this academic series – completely in English and geared towards advanced understandings of Taiwanese popular music – would have saved me a lot of trouble.
Taiwanese Popular Music as World History
Written by Eva Tsai. Sure, I had an agenda: First, I wanted to create at the time—with popular culture details—a sense of the social and cultural space. Second, I wanted to suggest that any entry point is a good entry point into Taiwanese popular music, so long as it is put into a historical and geopolitical context, along with developing a curiosity and mindfulness about what else was going on when it was made and circulated. Such was the spirit we carried into Made in Taiwan: Taiwanese popular music as world history.
Taiwanese Contemporary Music: The Case of Fire EX.
Written by Hegerová Terézia. Fire EX. started their career in 2000 as an indie punk rock band from Kaohsiung. The four members are singer Sam, bassist Pipi, drummer Wu Ti and guitarist Oreo. The group at first performed only covers, but later started to produce their own songs. They say that their style was influenced by many other singers and bands, especially those from the US like Blink 182 and Green Day.
Teresa Teng: Mandopop Icon, Soldier’s Sweetheart and Asian Diva
Written by Zuzana Shejbalová. Teresa Teng, in Mandarin Deng Lijun 鄧麗君, was a Taiwanese singer and one of the ‘Five Great Asian Divas’ of the 1970s and 1980s, alongside Judy Ongg, Agnes Chan, Ou-Yang FeiFei and Yu Yar. She was born on 29 January 1953 and unfortunately died at only 42 on 8 May 1995, suffering an asthma attack while on vacation in Thailand. She remains one of the most successful singers of the Mandarin-speaking world.
The 30th Golden Melody Awards and Taiwan’s Democratization
Written by Chen-Yu Lin. 30 years since inception the Awards are still presented by the Ministry of Culture, but have also become a stage where musicians are free to make political statements.
Taiwan’s Popular Music and Global Markets: A Panel at Goldsmiths
Written by Maggie Yang. Given the reality that music promotion cannot completely rely on the government’s cultural policy and subsidy, more professionals based in overseas countries are dedicating themselves to increasing Taiwan pop music’s global visibility and audibility. The three speakers I invited to the talk were from academia and industry. What they have done in the past years has exceeded the government’s capability and had a real impact for Taiwan’s artists and the music industry. Through their efforts, and those of other artists and promoters, Taiwan’s pop music is being heard on some of the biggest stages in the world.
What Rhymes with Reunification? How the CCP co-opts Mainland Rap Music to Shape the Conversation on Taiwanese Independence
Written by Eden Townend. This is a clear manifestation of this mutually beneficial relationship at work. CD REV align their content with the CCP’s values and preferred narratives pertaining to Taiwanese reunification, and the CCP in turn provide the rap group with the necessary tools to be successful.
False Identity? Forced Identity?: Taiwan in China’s post-Tiananmen Nationalism
Written by Rowena He. The hijacking of history by the Chinese Communist Party, together with the manipulation of nationalistic sentiments, promotes historical amnesia, fosters a narrow and xenophobic nationalism, impedes reflection on historical tragedies and injustice, and stokes enthusiasm for China’s growing international assertiveness. And such state-sponsored made-in-China nationalism, compounded with the soft power exported through agencies such as Confucius Institutes, has profound implications for the future of China, its relationship with Taiwan, and the world.
From Dancing Diva to Phony Queen: Jolin Tsai as a Taiwanese Gay Icon
Written by Paris Shih. The gay history of Jolin Tsai was not only a gay thing. It was also a generational thing. For every Taiwanese gay man growing up in the late 90s and the early 2000s, there was a Jolin Tsai. It was both personal and political, individual and communal.
Songs of Defiance: LGBT Pop Music in Taiwan (Post-2018 Referendum) [Part 2]
Written by Matt Taylor. In part one of this two-article feature, where we are trying to understand the impact of the November 2018 same-sex marriage
Songs of Defiance: LGBT Pop Music in Taiwan (Post-2018 Referendum) [Part 1]
As Taiwan’s LGBT community reels from the result of the referendum, they can find solace in the rich collection of Taiwan’s LGBT music cannon. Those songs that saw the community fight against discrimination, against inequality, and espouse the values of freedom, individuality and defying the status quo have an even more important meaning now than they did before.
Indie is the new mainstream? The conception of independent music in Taiwan
Written by Chen-yu Lin Other than being known as the production centre for Mandopop in its heyday, in recent years, Taiwan has also a burgeoning