Jocelle Koh

Writing has always been my chosen form of expression, and has opened up opportunities for me that I could only have dreamed of. As I've grown and started moving into other mediums of expression, writing has nevertheless accompanied me, recording my most prized experiences.

Interviewing Crowd Lu:Life doesn’t need to be lived too inspirationally

Crowd Lu’s changed. Not just in terms of his image, he no longer persists in wearing short shorts, and has taken back that signature smile. Even his new songs do not just have a pure sense of happiness; the way he sings and the tools he uses to create have become noticeably introverted. He laughed, say: “It’s because in the past my happiness was too over the top, now I just want to go back to that middle point. If looking back at that Crowd Lu now, I would feel that he’s quite annoying, perhaps he’s crazy.”

*Jamie Deer/APW Interview* Up close & personal with Jacky Cheung : There is a kind of persistence called diligence (Official English interview translation)

Note from the translator (Jocelle): For all English speaking Jacky Cheung fans out there, you’re in luck! I’m very happy to be able to collaborate on this project with notable Taiwanese music journalist Jamie Deer, who has very kindly provided me with the rights to officially translate his interview with Mandopop King Jacky Cheung. It details the painstakingly meticulous work that went into Cheung’s latest album <Wake Up Dreaming>, inspiring fans with his motivation to attain nothing less than perfection. An album like none he has ever created before, its intricate concept will wow listeners, as will the pedantic details and personal motivations Jacky shares with Jamie in this exclusive interview. 

Interviewing Eve Ai:Being a singer-songwriter is too much pressure

In June this year, Eve Ai released her third album “Talk about Eve”, with new songs that have received praise from Rene Liu, HUSH and many others. Music Critic Ma Xin even announced of the album that “Taiwan has released yet another freewheeling singer who cannot be controlled by Marketing ploys”. This is a musical work which is almost entirely self-composed by Eve, with her writing the lyrics for 8 songs, and over a half of the songs. Instead of facing the label of ‘singer-songwriter’, Eve seems to be a little unused to such titles.

Interviewing Su Yun Ying :Up close and personal with the purity of life

Su Yun Ying (Su Su)’s left arm has a tattoo of a cloud, with rainwater trickling down to accumulate into a river which fuels the growth of a tree. It even flows onto her right art where flowers bloom; she has planted a serene garden on her body. Curiously, I asked about the story behind the tattoos, and she laughed heartily, saying; “Other people own pets, I own tattoos. As long as I like something, I will keep it on my body. It can come with me as I explore the North to the South, visiting the world’s scenery.”

Interviewing Della Ding: Giving people those kinds of surprises.

There is a kind of singer who doesn’t require attention-grabbing stunts to garner eyeballs, but after enough time has passed, your playlists will definitely have their name in them. Being in the industry for 9 years, releasing 8 albums, 30 drama theme songs, 4 concert tours, 85 awards, and even pushing viewership for programs she has guested on up to 2 million viewers. We don’t wish to just use these figures to show the importance of Della Ding to the industry. But no matter how the music industry changes with the ties; with trends always pushing out the next big thing, ballads are one genre that will always have a place. We don’t need to give examples of all the previous queens of love songs, but as for this generation, this position has been held steadily by Della Ding.

27th Golden Melody Awards Nominees list

As the 27th Golden Melody awards inch closer, Zhou Jian Hui as the head of the board of judges has put forth their thoughts that “the musical control of the newcomers is extremely mature, with many breakthroughs and more varieties of music present”. Taiwan’s Sony music record company performed especially well this year, with 10 nominations in total, 8 of them going to the album “Winter Endless”. The awards ceremony will be held at the Taipei Arena on the 25th of June, with the following nominees:

Interview with Shennio Lin(林芯儀)/Using her voice to become your exclusive lover.

From being a round robin competitor to becoming a official participant on the 3rd season of One Million Stars, although Shennio Lin placed second on the popular reality show, she lost out to many more successful contestants on the show who have released albums that they could call their own. During this bitter time of playing the waiting game, Lin released a few singles, such as “The story of sunlight”, “Waiting for a person coffee”, and Disney animation “Frozen”’s theme song. But finally in 2016, Shennio, the singer with the vigorous vocals has released her long-awaited EP “I’m Snging”, where she takes on the persona of an ‘exclusive lover’, using her music to cleanse every broken heart.

Mickey Huang(黃子佼): Amateurs entering the music industry, can they be themselves?

Many newcomers have appeared on the scene, many wanting to become singers. They are all on their way, but we can clearly see their direction and style, but most are trapped under someone’s shadow.After Jay Chou became popular, many people wanted to be him. After Jolin and Jam Hsiaoshot to fame, a lot of people wanted to become them too. Yoga Lin and Wu Tsing Fong’s mysterious air and unique vocal talent caused many to follow in their footsteps by adopting their singing style, wishing to be the next ‘them’. After South Korean groups and Maydaybegan their rise to stardom, Taiwan’s bands and groups also began to move towards those kinds of genres and packaging until by the end of it, it became hard to differentiate who was who, let alone creating the possibility of occupying an undefeated position in the industry.

What does music have to do with producers? Beginning with Wang Leehom’s ‘Lose Myself’(2)

◎What can producers bring?But what exactly do producers do Just like film directors, simply said: They plan out an artist’s work, polishing it into a marketable product that still holds the uniqueness of the artist.Usually after producers take demos from artists, they will first communicate with the artists and then begin to make changes. If it is a band, they will talk to them about the specifications of arrangement, and capture their best side within the recording studio. If it is a single artist, other than communicating with them beforehand, they are also in charge of finding suitable musicians to put the whole work together.

What does music have to do with producers? Beginning with Wang Leehom’s ‘Lose Myself’(1)

Music has always been something subjective that cannot be felt or seen. Being good or not good depends on the person, and pop music represents a widespread resonance of that music . Although everyone may be moved by it in different ways, once music is converted into numbers, it means that this music on the market has succeeded.On my third day on the job, Jonathan Lee(李宗盛) said something to me: “Writing a song that can move ten people is easy, moving a hundred people is also no mean feat, but with every zero you add to that figure, the difficulty likewise increases. 10,000 is a harder task, let alone one million people.” Creativity in itself is a pure act, first of all you have to move yourself, in order to move others. Especially as a singer-songwriter, before a song reaches the market it is a work of art. But once it enters the record company, iTunes store, Spotify, KKBox, YouTube and other platforms, sorry but it has already become a product and needs to stand the tests of the market.

Interview with Rock boy GJ/ ‘No matter what my genre is, I will always be a guitarist’

Sitting in front of us is Jiang Zhuo-Jia(蔣卓嘉), otherwise known as GJ. With a full head of curly hair and a relaxing Japanese-inspired sunny appearance, his innocent looks portray him as a university student and have fooled many. But once we start talking about music, one is able to sense a kind of passion within him that is different from many. The year he turned 15, he saved up enough money to buy his first ever electric guitar, beginning his intimate musical life with his guitar.

Interview with PiA/Isn’t this life? The girl with the guitar starting over

PiA band is a new face that was nominated for this years’ Golden melody Awards in the ‘Best Performance Group’ category. They are composed to lead singer PiA(Bei ya Wu吳蓓雅), Base player Hsiao Bo(Chen Bo Cheng陳柏誠) and Ukelele and drums musician Hsiao Yi(Yuxin Lan俞心嵐). Through light and fast melodies they create imagery of life’s sad, happy and unexpected moments and have moved many a fan with their music.However to PiA band, the critical acclaim that has come from the mainstream music world has come a little too late. After releasing their album “Isn’t this life生活不就是這樣”, two of the band members left, leaving behind PiA by herself. PiA herself mentions regretfully “Now there’s no PiA band anymore, just PiA.”

Interview with Peter Pan〈潘裕文〉/I have no time to complain; I can only keep moving forward.

It has been a while since I finished this article.  This article was written before Peter’s concert at Legacy this March.  At that time, the news were all about Peter, reporting that he was going to sing his “last song” at this concert.  Feeling that “if I don’t ask him this time, then I won’t have any chance to do this again,” I was prepared to bombard him with questions I’ve had since he joined the One Million Star〈星光大道〉during the interview.

Interview with Waa Wei(魏如萱)/The pixie who wishes to trample in the mud

Wei Ru Xuan, otherwise known as Waa Wei started off as Naturally Curly-Haired band’s lead singer, before leaving due to throat issues. In 2007 she released her first album <La Dolce Vita 甜密生活> which was widely praised. By 2014, she has already released her fourth original studio album <We still have to believe in love you bastards> (還是要相信愛情啊混蛋們)and simultaneously held her first ticketed solo concert at the Taipei Arena. In 2015, Waa was nominated for the second time at the inaugural Golden melody Awards for her album <We still have to believe in love you bastards> for best female mandarin singer. At the same time, her latest album was also named one of ‘Ten best albums of 2014’ by the Chinese Musicians’ Association.

Interview with Jia(家家)/I’m the kind of person who needs time to adapt.

When talking about whether she has thought about becoming a singer before, Jia smiles and says that her family ran a tailor’s shop when she was a child and her grandmother and aunt would play music during their work.  In a single afternoon, she could listen to songs from the Japanese era to the Carpenters.  Born to an indigenous family and also being influenced by her grandmother and aunt, singing is as natural as breathing is to her so she was not surprised that she would become a singer.