10 Taiwanese artists to discover – Han, Sandwich Fail, COLD
Taiwan is known for a lot of things, from bustling night markets and bustling cityscapes to decadent food and delicious milk tea. While music is rarely the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Taiwan, it is certainly not an issue to be overlooked.
Small but bubbling with good tunes, the country’s local music scene is immensely rich, offering a wide range of sounds and styles. Home to iconic Mandopop stars like Eric Chou, renowned hip-hop acts like ÃZI, and coveted independent groups like Roller coaster at sunset, Taiwanese music is gradually making its way onto the world stage.
To help you in your deep dive into Taiwanese music, we’ve put together a list of artists who truly deserve a spot on your playlist. From veteran pop artists to new psychedelic rock bands to native folk musicians, here are 10 acts you must listen to, stat.
While Taiwan is primarily known for the hustle and bustle of the city, its rural nature tells an equally gripping story. Against a background of jazz, folk and blues, Paudul capture fragments of natural land and Taiwanese Aboriginal culture in his music.
With decades of work under his belt, the singer-songwriter has become a sound of his own in the vast Taiwanese music scene that stretches far beyond the contemporary pop we know today. Originally a policeman, é³å»º å¹´ Paudull began his musical career when he was still in the police force. Almost two years after his retirement, the musician returns with a brand new album produced as an ode to the Orchid Island.
Since their creation in 2015, I mean we have forged their own path in music, becoming a mainstay of the Taiwanese music scene. Drawing inspiration from an array of genres, including post-rock, shoegaze, and classical music, the band created a soundscape so distinctly their own – ethereal, mythical, and something that feels straight out of a cosmic universe.
I Mean Us understands Mandark (voice, keyboards), Vitz (guitar), Hank (bass), and PP L (drums). Over the past six years, the ‘So you are’ The hitmakers have won numerous awards and accolades and have performed on stages around the world including SXSW, Music Matters, City Roar Festival, and more.
Life rarely looks like a walk in the park, but DSPSmusic has a way of showing you the simple joys of those mundane days. Wanting to inject a bit of color into an otherwise dull world, the indie-pop group offers a sense of comfort, peace and happiness with their distinctive drum beats, acoustic riffs and soothing vocals. Think of them as the wonderful soundtrack behind your trek through life’s daily adventures.
Initially designed to fulfill the dream of an aspiring university student-musician, DSPS was formed in 2016 by Am i (voice), Yung Siang (guitar), Yi An (bass), and Xiao Ji (drums). Now, nearly half a decade later, the four-piece group is rocking stages across Taiwan, Japan and Korea and impacting people from all walks of life with their music.
Versatile, passionate and naturally musical, NIOis one of the few destined to make music. From playing instruments to singing to songwriting, the Taiwanese-British group is a complete performer.
While NIO is still relatively new to the Taiwanese music scene, the young musician has years of talent and expertise under his belt. The ‘Anybody’ act started playing the piano at the age of five and has since shared his music with the world. Initially starting their musical journey on YouTube, NIO is now making a name for themselves with their heartfelt yet upbeat music that spans various genres including neo-soul, indie rock, and alt-pop.
Actor, producer and arranger, Edison song is as talented as they come. The 26-year-old entered the entertainment industry as an actor in a 2014 film Dawn / Spring but more recently I have dived deep into the world of music. Organizing a diverse collection of instrumental tracks, Edison creates music that makes life feel like a feel-good movie.
Eager to appease his listeners in the trials of their daily life, the ‘End of circle’ act recently released their first purely instrumental album, Preview vol. 1 which takes sonic influences from jazz, R&B and even hip-hop.
Including Xmas (leader, bass), Neo (voice, guitar), Alexander (battery), and Kuilun (guitar), Sandwich failure tell a story of outcasts coming together, daily soul-searching, and a deep-rooted love for rock music. Coming out of the shadows, the band first turned their heads with the demos they uploaded to Streetvoice, the Taiwanese equivalent of SoundCloud.
Since then, Sandwich Fail has released their first EP Roadkill and performed on stages across the country, including the coveted Taiwan Indie Festival LUCfest Last year. Documenting their daily observations and adventures, the band makes music that takes you through life’s tumultuous journey, the good and the bad of it all.
While the name Oeen are still relatively new to the Taiwanese music scene, the group has been around for years and is even one of the most iconic musical groups in the country.
Formerly known as Soda green, the indie rock band was originally formed in 2001 and includes Qing Feng (æ¥åº Sunrise – song), Wei (å « å¥³ BaNu – battery), Claire (é¦ æ Fragrant Me – bass), Yu-Chi (é å « Jinba – piano, violin), and Kay (è± è± Pierre – guitar).
After almost two decades, the band started a new chapter under the name é ä¸ ç³¸ Oaeen and released ‘Start at the end’, a well done single on new beginnings. Sonically, the band still picks up the classic Sodagreen sound we all know and love while incorporating some refreshing new twists.
Recalling retro vibes, nighttime walks and flickering neon lights, COLD DEWThe music depicts a scene straight out of the 70s. Lin Jhe-An (voice / guitar), Wu cheng chun (guitar), Tsai Yu-Sheng (bass), and Wu cheng hung (drums), the group has a way of articulating feelings of loss and pain in a calming and calming way.
Taking on the genres of shoegaze and blues, COLD DEW reunited in 2018. For the past three years, the group has toured Taiwan, performing on stages across the country.
Eclectic, creative and downright groovy, The chairs are a group that will take you on a relaxing ride through the good old days. Armed with a psychedelic retro soundscape and a unique take on life, the indie-pop trio light up the Taiwanese music scene, one vividly colored track at a time.
Including Yun jin (voice, guitar), Zhong ying (voice, guitar) and Benson (bass), The Chairs debuted in 2015 with their single ‘Rollin on’. Since then, they have received numerous accolades and have gradually risen to the forefront of the country’s independent music scene. Did we mention that they sing in four different languages? Yes, four – Mandarin, English, Hokkien and Japanese!
Bridging cultures and challenging the limits of traditional music, Han break boundaries, one song at a time. Wanting to offer the world a new kind of Chinese music, Taiwanese composer and musician Hakka has a knack for bringing together the worlds of electronic pop and Hakka music, while simultaneously telling meaningful stories of her culture.
Making her way through the local music scene, Han has been widely recognized for her intricate music which always has a way to resonate with almost anyone willing to lend an ear.
Presented by Taiwan Beats