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.