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Mandopop Artists: Breaking Out of My Musical Rut

Mandopop Artists, Wanting, Nick Chou and Ann

I love to read, but perhaps not in the way you are imagining.  My favorite writer is Jane Austen.  But, ask me how many of her novels I have read and the answer is zero.  I have read enough to know she is my favorite storyteller, but I prefer to consume the written word in short bursts.  Couple that with a personality that must immediately finish what I start, and you get a reading style that tends toward articles and short stories.

An article I just read suggested that we stop listening to new music at age 30 (Curious?  Read it here.). Often, this is because by then life has become busy.  Plus, our minds have long passed the adolescent stage that is apparently more receptive to new songs.  At least, according to the article.  

While I will admit that I love the nostalgia of songs from my youth, as a 30+ year old I still enjoy discovering new music.  YouTube, Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify have made music from all over the planet accessible with the click of a button.

While I looking for Chinese songs to translate a couple of years ago, I discovered three Mandpop artists: Wanting, Nick Chou and Ann.  All of them are interesting in their own right…

Wanting is actually her real Chinese name (曲婉婷, Qū Wǎntíng), but it creates an clever stage name, don’t you think?  She was born in China, but lives in Canada now.  Wanting also uses her beautiful voice to sing in English, and she plays piano.  I translated her 2012 hit “You Exist in My Song” (我的歌声里, Wǒde Gēshēng Lǐ), which won a Global Chinese Music award that year.  Despite its age, I don’t think this song will ever become old to me.  You will no doubt want to add it to your playlist as well.

Nick Chou (周湯豪, Zhōu Tāngháo), is a Taiwanese actor and singer.  His mother, Billie (比莉, Bǐlì), starred in the drama I have mentioned several times as one of my favorites: “They Kiss Again” (惡作劇2吻, È Zuò Jù Èr Wěn).  When he was 15, Nick moved to the U.S. to study.  As a result, his English is fluent and he incorporates it into several of his songs.  One such song that blends Mandarin and English is “Too Handsome We Broke Up” (帥到分手, Shuài Dào Fēnshǒu).  帥到分手 is from his 2016 REAL album.  In all honesty, I fell on this song.  I had never heard of it, but thought its concept was funny, so I wanted to know what he was saying.  I do like his voice, but I have not sought out anything else from him yet.

Ann (白安, Bái ān) is a singer-songwriter who is also from Taiwan.  She is what you’d call the Taiwanese version of a YouTube sensation! In 2008, she started posting her songs online.  Later, she was discovered by a major record label, B’in Music. Her 2012 song, “What Brings Me To You” (是什麼讓我遇見這樣的你, Shì shénme ràng wǒ yùjiàn zhèyàng de nǐ), is captivating on its own.  But, the reason I translated it was specifically due to her very unique voice.  She sounds Irish to me.   It is well-known that Taiwanese pronunciation differs from that of the “mainland,” so don’t let her accent confuse you.  Her pronunciation is unlike anyone I have come across from Taiwan… gaining her a place in my ever expanding musical horizon.

Below are the three song’s mentioned above that I translated for our learning pleasure.  I hope you like them.

Want to see more Chinese music videos with my English translations?  Click here.

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