Yen-J keeps one thing in mind whenever he is in the studio making his music; and that is to “kill it with creativity”, and that he does. He is a true pioneer in the Taiwanese music industry, being the first mainstream artist to push out his own brand of jazz-pop fusion which has helped him to rise to the top of the charts with his unique arrangements and his constantly refreshing ideals. For me, his appearance on the music scene in 2010 was so instrumental that it lead to people becoming more accepting of Jazz as a mainstream music genre. With the backing of superstars such as Wang Leehom and Xiao S, his debut became a kind of catalyst for other artists to express their interest in Jazz music including the likes of Jam Hsiao, Yoga Lin and Gary Chaw who each subsequently released their own jazz cover albums. Coincidence? Maybe , but either way, his creativity as an artist is his biggest selling point.
I have never seen an artist who could make his song rise to the top of the charts by using the sound of a sneeze in a hip-hop remix, but yet Yen-J pulls it off finely and with aplomb, as he does with each and every one of his songs. For him, the world is his stage and he doesn’t limit himself to one genre, one instrument, one signature sound. For me, the signature sound of yen-J’s music is creativity. He’s risen above the rest to bring us music that truly shows who he is as a person, an artist, and a musician. In the short span of four albums that he’s released to date, he has tried many genres that some artists only even dare to try their hand at after gaining acclaim with a bunch of love songs or one specific genre that they are familiar with. Hip hop, rap, Jazz , pop, folk, rock, R n B , you name it, Yen-J’s done it. As an incredibly versatile artist, the only flaw I would say he has in his vocals which could do with some work, but his creativity and dedication as well as his skill more than makes up for it.
The guy has a vision; he knows what he wants from every single song and nurtures its creativity, creating all kinds of weird and wonderful fusions of song genres which when coupled with his catchy melodies, are a true pleasure to listen to. Each and every song is a piece of art ; no repetition, each a unique gem in itself, bursting with innovation and hard, precise work.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Hsu!
Once again, I'd also like to congratulate all the male artists who have been nominated for the 2013 golden melody awards; I've listened to every single one of the albums that they are nominated for and I have to say , they've had a pretty good run this year. However there still are a few who im adamant that should have been nominated for the awards this year. So here they are!
Nominee #1 : William Wei
Fans and the media were shocked that William Wei wasn't nominated for the awards after his long awaited comeback . The golden melody award winner for the best newcomer was assumed a shoo-in but just fell short. I felt that there were a lot of good stuff in that album and especially loved the use of guitar arrangement throughout the album and his voice in general. A little disappointed that he didn't get in after enjoying the album a lot , but there's always next year!
I really enjoyed yen-j's third album ; and he's been really consistent if you ask me with all of his albums since his debut. His signature style of simplicity really came through and was totally captured throughout this entire album , and his innovative arranging , production and lyrical skills really brought everything together. I was shocked to find that he wasn't nominated as many of the songs from his album such as <temporary boyfriend> , <sneezing> and <no evidence> have become huge hits , scoring millions of views on YouTube and KKbox. The album really reflects on the purity of everyday life in such a touching and meaningful way , but also playful and refreshing at times that it is really hard for me to see why this album hasn't scored Yen-J a nomination. I believe that he deserves it just as much as all the other nominees and I hope that his newest album ＜好的情人> will face better results!
Nominee #3: Gary chaw
As a self professed Gary fan , I do have to be objective about this. But I really do believe that this was one of his best albums yet concept-wise. After not releasing a new mandarin album since 2010 , I would have expected a better reception to his album but disappointingly it wasnt really publicized that much. He only released two music videos for this album and I'm really really sad as I do think it was a really awesome album. After hearing his first single for the first time , I was over come with emotion ; his voice brings with it a kind of magic ; urging us to follow him and change the world. Each and every song is inspiring in its own way and the way that he created a really full image of what he saw as the <Hollywood zoo > ; with songs that reflected the darker side of stardom and others that provided a deep and meaningful reflection on life. I truly enjoyed this album and felt that he really put his heart and his soul into this album. It's a real shame he wasn't nominated but congratulAtioons for being nominated for the Asian pop weekly awards!
Nominee #4: Anthony Neely
This album was really the one that I enjoyed the most and was my absolute favourite of 2012 and one of my all-time favourites. When Anthony Neely said that his aim for this album was to create something that would last for years and for listeners to be able to find something new with every listen ; he succeeded 100% in this album. There isn't one song in this album I don't love ; and his concept is basically flawless. I love the idea of dreams and how it's been threaded throughout the entire album; he did a really good job on that. The lyrics are spot on for every single song and every song has me moved ; be it physically tapping my toes or nodding my head or emotionally moved in my heart. The album is a godsend for me and I am really really disappointed that this album wasn't nominated for the awards. Neely has been so consistent with his first two albums since his debut and I was shocked that even with the main control of the melodies and production going to golden award nominee skot suyama and talented producer zai zai that it wasn't nominated at all , not even for arrangements or production despite it being spot on in all areas . Well done to Neely though -I just hope that he knows that his hard work has paid off for his fans everywhere!
Yen-J will finally be releasing his new album titled <Love x pi> (pi as in the math symbol) on the 28th of June 2013. After the success of his last album with many major hits such as <战时的男朋友〉(temporary boyfriend） and Sneezing (打喷嚏) , I am so excited to see what kinds of songs he will come up with! The musical prodigy has set up his own recording/production company called 爵队制作(A pun on the last character of his name and the phrase 'absolutely') and he has written songs for singers such as newbie ANN Bai An and 家家jia jia , both of whom are nominated for this years golden melody awards , as well as fish leong and della ding!
p.s heres a sneak preview at the shooting of the music video for yen-j‘s first single for his new album. Looks promising!
Here is his single titled after the album<a good lover>
I also really love yenJ's duet with famous rock band Mayday ; Ashin's voice and yen-J's voice go together surprisingly well and I instantly fell in love with this song!
This other song that Yen-J's written for this album is chock full of inspiration and ideas , urging us to find our own unique style of music , rather than blindly following the current kpop trend ; as he sas "before , "sorry" only had to be said once"(rather than sorry sorry and nobody nobody)! based on the singles he's released so far , I am really excited for his album as he always has his own refreshing and exciting styles and ideas that he brings to the table! This song creates a fusion of dubstep , funk and chinese traditional instrumentals to produce a really awesome style. Yen-J definitely will last in this industry , and his exciting fusions remind me of Wang Leehom's chinked out music style. A good sign if you ask me!
This probably isn't a recommendation of a song strictly , but more of a post on the new song . However , I will archive it under song recommendations nevertheless. The song was written by Yen-J for his duet with Della Ding , who is known for her ballads and songs which she lends to various taiwanese dramas and such. This song is no exception ; it is for the taiwanese drama "明天情人节"(Tomorrow is Valentine's day).
The inspiration for the song , especially the rap came from Yen-J's own personal experiences , in which he came home one day to find his apartment broken into and many of his personal belongings including his laptop were gone. Thus , came the inspiration for this song , in which 偷偷 does not mean sneakily , but instead stealing as in thief. Chinese wordplay. Who knew? :D
Anyway , background information regarding the song was found on www.kkbox.com , paraphrased of course. Heres the music video for the song:
Hi everyone , I know i havent updated in a really long time so i'll just post a overview of all new albums and those which are coming out soon!
Albums to look out for:
1:Wang Leehom : 火力全开
2.Genie zhuo **(NEW): 反正.卓文萱
3.Yisa : 微加幸福
6.Jay Chou: (NEW**):驚嘆號
1. William Wei:还是会
2.Jay Chou: Mine Mine
5.Della Ding feat. Yen-J : 偷偷的爱
Hope this helps!
A place where you can get quick updates on your favourite Asian Artists! If you have any updates as well feel free to share them with me!
** If there are any particular lyrics/pinyin from artists that you would like up here don't hesitate to just comment on any of the posts!