The 32nd GMA Nominations Further Blurred the Thin Line Between Mainstream and Indie / How a Student Demo Went Viral on the Internet / Farewell to The Fur.

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The 32nd GMA Nominations Further Blurred the Thin Line Between Mainstream and Indie / How a Student Demo Went Viral on the Internet / Farewell to The Fur.
By Taiwan Beats • Issue #2 • View online

It's all come to a halt, but music will be back soon.
At the time of this writing, all live music events in Taiwan have been cancelled or postponed. The recent COVID-19 outbreak caused the CECC to raise its epidemic warning to Level 3 nationwide, which required closure of leisure and entertainment venues. Lots of people now work remotely and have barely walked out of their homes. Nonetheless, we’ll keep covering how artists in Taiwan manage to survive and create wonderful music at this hard time. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook if you haven’t done so.
The thin line between mainstream and indie artists in Taiwan has become blurrier: 2021 Golden Melody Awards announced nominees
(Photo courtesy of TTV.)
(Photo courtesy of TTV.)
Earlier this May, Taiwan’s 32nd Golden Melody Awards (GMA) announced its list of nominees.
As the most noticeable music award ceremony in Taiwan. The GMA now serves as a channel for the crowds to know artists outside their comfort zone as the music market is more decentralized than ever.
This year, indigenous singer Sangpuy and Hokkien songstress Olivia Tsao tied for 8 Nominations as lead runners of the GMA. For us, though, the fun is all about the blurry line between mainstream and indie, which seems to become even blurrier. Remember when the GMA used to be the battlefield between mainstream artists However, in the past few years, more and more indie artists grabbing the attention as Sunset Rollercoaster and No Party for Cao Dong became nominees and award winners. Starting from then, more and more indie artists are being nominated. The “indie vibe” in the GMA peaked when Leo Wang, who was the frontman of punk band Gigantic Roar but later turned into a rapper, won the Best Mandarin Male Singer in 2019.
For Band of the Year, the seven nominees of this year, OVDS, Sheng Xiang & Band, KST, Accusefive, Sunset Rollercoaster, Outlet Drift, and deca joins, can all be recognized as indie bands or have indie roots. Some of them are self-managed, while some are signed to indie record labels. This also goes on to the Best New Artist: YELLOW, Heat Sketch, Bestards, etc. The popularity of the artists might vary, but it is fair to say that they cannot be counted within the conventional music industries.
Throughout the nominee list, you can also find indie artists here and there: Math-Rock trio Elephant Gym was nominated for Arranger of the Year with their single “Dear Humans”. Rap pioneer Soft Lipa was nominated for Best Mandarin Male Singer with his bedroom recording Home Cookin. Versatile vocal powerhouse YELLOW’s collaboration with 9m88 titled “Strange Weather” made him on the list of Best Song Producer. Moreover, veteran songstresses One-Fang and Hebe Tien were both nominated for Best Mandarin Female Singer, one of the most spotlight-grabbing awards. Though they can certainly be categorized as mainstream artists, several of their tracks in the albums are composed by indie artists. Through the GMA, there might be more new talents waiting to be spotted than you can imagine. Listen to the nominees playlist here.
The 32nd GMA, originally set to be held on June 26, will now be postponed due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan.
An 18-year-old senior high school student from Taichung uploaded a bedroom-made track on YouTube in March, making a buzz on both the Internet and the music scene.
“Sad Jianguo Rd.” (走建國路回家但後座少ㄌ泥), composed and performed by Ryan Lin (多多), had reached 2 million views on YouTube within a month and has been streamed nearly 1 million times on StreetVoice, a music platform in Taiwan. There are various cover versions of the song helping to boost the virality as well, including one by famous singer-songwriter WeiBird.
The song is about a boy going through a painful breakup, which is not a special topic at all. However, with its catchy tune, simple guitar chords and the lyrics using slangs of the young generation, it is something that will stick with you once you’ve heard it.
With the help of some Facebook groups where Gen Z discuss about love and relationship, the song got spread through the Internet with a very fast pace. It is far from a well-crafted work—the recording is quite lo-fi and the vocal is sometimes off-key. But to many of the listeners, they can relate to the genuine feeling lying behind the melody—it is how a heartbroken boy should sound like.
Other than the music side, it is also being treated like an Internet meme. Despite the fact that it got buzzed really quick, controversial comments was received, too. You can find users of StreetVoice leaving comments under other bands like “I hope you guys can defeat that track on the chart!”
In the latest installment of The Next Big Thing on May 6, a monthly music showcase of new talents curated by StreetVoice, Lin was invited as the warm-up act. Some audience decided to wait outside of the venue until his part was done to show that the reason they were there was to see “real musicians” playing.
The song is not available on YouTube now, but you can still listen to it over StreetVoice. No matter how you think of it, the discussion and debate about this song will continue to linger for a while.
Farewell to The Fur.
At the midnight of May 24, our beloved Dream-Pop band The Fur. announced indefinite hiatus, saying that “The Fur. will no longer be making music and having any activities from now on.​ Thank you for your love and understanding.​” They have released a couple of albums and met with high acclaim worldwide. There are countless bands in the same genre, but no one else can give us the thrill like they did. Watch the video below to revisit the heyday of their career.
The Fur - Short Stay
The Fur - Short Stay
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