Jay Chou, known as the “King of Mandopop” – a Taiwanese musician, singer, producer, actor and director who has won the World Music Award four times. He is well-known for composing all his own songs and songs for other singers. In 1998 he was discovered in a talent contest where he displayed his piano and song-writing skills. Over the next two years, he was hired to compose for popular Chinese singers. Although he was trained in classical music, Chou combines Chinese and Western music styles to produce songs that fuse R&B, rock and pop genres, covering issues such as domestic violence, war, and urbanization.
In 2000 Chou released his first album, titled Jay, under the record company Alfa Music. Since then he has released one album per year, selling several million copies each. His music has gained recognition throughout Asia, most notably in regions such as Mainland China, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, and in overseas Asian communities, winning more than 20 awards each year. He has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. He debuted his acting career in Initial D (2005), for which he won Best Newcomer Actor in Golden Horse Awards, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by Hong Kong Film Awards for his role in Curse of the Golden Flower (2006). His career now extends into directing and running his own record company JVR Music.
對不起 I’m Sorry
一路向北 All the Way North
髮如雪 Hair Like Snow
大笨鐘 The Big Ben
Continuing through the Golden Melody nominees, this week we have Jay Chou who is nominated for Best Mandarin Album for his newest release “Aiyo, Not Bad”. Jay is one of the biggest names in Cpop, so most people have at least heard his name before. He’s the kind of artist that you either like or you don’t. This is probably because of his singing. There’s no denying that he has problems enunciating and a habit of mumbling. I think it is a turn off for most people, at least it was for me. Once I got over that, I started to appreciate his music and I soon became a fan. It is completely understandable if people have trouble getting past that though.
He sings in many different genres of music (including R&B, pop,hiphop, and rock), but I am not sure that I properly showcased that in this feature. I prefer his mid-tempo songs and his soft R&B sound over his pop and ballad tracks, so songs of that style dominate my list. He is also known for his “Zhone Guo Feng” style in which he fuses modern and traditional sounds. Some of his fans believe this particular sound to be his trademark, but after listening to his albums, I didn’t find too many songs showcasing this style. In fact, there were only one or two of these type of songs in each album.
There are a lot of fans that believe his older music is better than his newer music. I agree, but I also don’t think that his style has changed much at all. There are less hiphop and R&B songs on his latest albums, but from what I can tell, he is still making the same kind of music as he always has. Hardcore Jay fans may disagree with my opinion because I have only listened to a fraction of his discography, but I personally don’t see much of a change in his music style. Either his music just doesn’t have the same quality as before, or the rest of the industry has caught up, and his style of music doesn’t seem as special anymore. I found “Aiyo, Not Bad” to be an ok but ultimately forgettable album. I don’t agree with his nomination (Best Mandarin Album) for this album,because it doesn’t hold a quality worthy of an award in my opinion, but I do find it impressive that he has managed to remain on top/relevant all of these years.
PS Thanks to KoS for helping pick out songs because there was no way I would be able to cover his discography. Also blame her if you think there are too many ballads listed :3