February 5, 2011

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My Top 10 list of Taiwanese songs

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?


35 comments:

  1. Hi Nino, I haven't listened to Taiwanese for a while but Rainie Yang, Wilber Pan, and SHE are in my top favs too! I also love Michael Wong (Guang Liang) but I can't remember if he's Taiwanese.. btw you are awesome for being my vocal supporter! ^O^ I appreciate your feedback :)

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  2. When I was younger, I listened to Taiwanese songs as well. 3 & 7 are my favorites.

    PS: Yes, you know who I am, and you could figure it out.

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  3. Michael Wong isn't Taiwanese. He's from Malaysia.

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  4. Hi dude, I like Taiwanese songs very much. My favorite top list has Taiwanese songs. Just keep up the list. :)

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  5. Love Y2J 神木與瞳 - 為你而活 ~ 'Live For You' Its in my sidebar too. Dynamic song and great duo..

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  6. I do not know this music at all, MKL, but I loved every single song in your selection. I also agree with your comments for each one. All those girls are splendid, and I mean not only voice but also dance.

    I came to Korean drama (halyu) by chance and since then I am watching them on internet. Just yesterday I finished the cult series Winter Sonata. From a blog I found out that the herou of the drama, Bae Yong Jun, has written a wonderful book about Koreea, si I will look for it while there.

    I already wrote you about the amazing complex character of East Asian artisits and I continue to be amazed by this characteristic. Your new post only emphasize this.

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  7. @Karen: Sure :) I don't follow many beauty bloggers, but I like to follow you, because you're a very nice girl :)

    @Blessed Iona: Oh, it's you with a new name again? Hehe.. you surely have multiple identities :)

    @Alexon: Thank you :)

    Bananazஇ: Yes, I like their songs very much :) You have great taste.

    @Traveling Hawk: Oh, you like Korean drama? You should watch "My girl", it was very popular. Winter Sonata was the first big one, I remember, but I haven't watched it. East Asia has many good artists indeed :)

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  8. You find here all the 20 episodes:
    http://www.mysoju.com/korean-drama/winter-sonata/

    This is the site were I am watching a lot of dramas and movies. I will look for "My girl" too. Thanks.

    I just think that if I would be much younger, I would try to live some years in South Koreea...

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  9. Y2J I love the gal's strong rocks vocal :D

    I give it 10/10 jong :D

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  10. by the way no wonder AMI PEOPLE's sounds familair! Enigma should not have stolen their music and a proper compensation should be paid to this Ami Tribe.

    I'm a big fan of Enigma and I felt freaking sad about it now hahahah damn it.

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  11. @Traveling Hawk: South Korea would be an interesting place to live, yeah. But the stories I read are not so tempting. I rather visit, should be better :)

    @Netster: Haha.. Engima also stole a chorus of a German choir of monks :P But they paid them. But the Ami people are poor.. well at least I made the fact aware here. Their music rocks :)

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  12. nice songs...i liked most of them.... ;))

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  13. I really enjoy exploring and discovering the treasure trove of music in Taiwan. There is so much musical talent here just by ordinary people. I prefer the the indie music scene of Taiwan. There's so much available:

    Check out the Taiwan Colors Music label for some absolutely brilliant talent (my favorite being the singer Panai).

    http://www.islandofsound.org/indielabels/taiwan_colors_music.html

    Also, check out the Taiwan/Taiouan Shop near National Taiwan University. Mr.and Mrs. Wu travel the island looking for local talent, especially aboriginal musicians, and feature Taiwan-only music in their shop. I've already spent vast sums there:

    http://www.taiouan.com.tw

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  14. Here is a direct link for Taiwan Colors Music. I inadvertently posted a support site:

    http://www.tcmusic.com.tw/

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  15. I like the Jolin Tsai song composed by A.R. Rahman for a movie starring Zhao Wei from some years ago. Can't remember the title of the movie. Song is "Warriors at peace"

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  16. Sorry, I posted the wrong link to Taiwan Colors Music:

    Here's the correct one:

    http://www.tcmusic.com.tw/

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  17. @Adeline: Cool :)

    @Marc: Thanks for commenting. I will definitely explore more of Taiwan's music in the future. Thanks for the links :)

    @The Envoy: I think I know which song you mean.

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  18. Hi Nino sorry nothing connected to this post but partly to Taiwan and my latest entry on 'Human Day' and beleaf you are the best blogger to check this out. Just curious did Taiwan catch on the tossing fever over 鱼生 {yúshēng} like Shanghai recently? Xie xie.

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  19. I'm not a huge fan of most Taiwanese music, honestly, but Liu Guang Zhong (盧廣仲) is probably my favorite, as it's different than the regular pop music. Check him out here:

    http://joshintaiwan.com/2011/01/10/nye-concert-part-7-%E7%9B%A7%E5%BB%A3%E4%BB%B2/

    Also, thanks for pointing out that Taiwanese aboriginal song! I never knew that - fascinating stuff.

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  20. @Joshua: Oh yeah, that's a great singer :) I like a lot of songs and artists, but I don't know the scene well, only the commercial stuff, need to explore more.

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  21. What!!?! 200+ comments on Taiwanese music and no-one mentioned Wu Bai and the China Blue? Norwegian Wood (no not that song) has probably the best guitar riff to come out Asia ever (yes, I know, not exactly a huge acolade). Every time I hear those tracks it takes me back to days in Miaoli . . .

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  22. Ah, 20 comments, not 200, but still, no excuse . . .

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  23. Wubai is my favorite but Nino may not into rock & roll and perhaps he leave the best for last :D

    next post will have Wubai face big big here :D

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  24. @Foarp: I just put 10 songs together, those who are connected to some personal memory of mine. I don't know Wubai, so I haven't added it.

    @Netster: Maybe I'll check this Wubai out :) I'm currently listening to MTV Taiwan and discovering new artists :)

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  25. @MKL - No probs. everyone's got their own taste when it comes to music. Give these a listen if you have time:

    Norwegian Wood (inspired by the book by Murakami, apparently):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40XInRdJpGM

    突然的自我 (hard to translate - "suddenly me"?):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLL8U-635WU

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  26. @Foarp: Thanks for sharing :)

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  27. Some great choices! Jolin and Rainie are really good.

    I'm surprised there's no mention of Jay Chou, as his songs are usually the ones that attracts the most foreigners at first.

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  28. @JCR: Thanks. Never been fan of Jay Chou. Only recently I've heard some songs of his.

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  29. BEST 10 EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  30. Hey! Where's Jay Chou and JJ Lin?! And VAE! What about them! Their my fave singers! How mean can you be!!

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  31. @Miss Music: Have you read the title of the post and its content!? This is MY personal top 10 ten according to my personal taste, not YOURS! I don't listen to Jay Chou, JJ Lin and VAE. You're free to write your out top 10, but don't waste my time with stupid comments like this, I will kick them in the spam folder.

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  32. Hi guys, I like this Taiwanese song but the problem is I don't know the title, im not sure if the song is from 2006-2008 but the MV is about a couple riding a bike, and there are some stickers/chalk placed in some area, the tune is like lively but a bit slow. i really like that song but thats all i can remember. ultra cool for the person that can give me the title.
    P.S. i've been checking out taiwanese song but no luck.

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  33. @Timothy Magpayo: Sorry, I have no idea.

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  34. No problem, Anyway thank you MKL for the time to reply.

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