Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Taiwan popular music in China

ESWN took the time to translate a great blogpost on Taiwanese popular music in China.

This headline reportedly came from a telegraph from a prostitute sent to her hometown folks, in which she called for her hometown girls to rush over immediately. This is classic, because these six Chinese words (人傻、?多、速?) explained everything succinctly. We can imagine that the hometown girls received this frontline report and charged over immediately in waves of large numbers. If money is so easy to make, who is going to farm the land? So I will list this phenomenon as the "migrant worker wave" too.

In recent years, there is another wave of migrant workers. I have observed that this migrant worker has many similar characteristics as the prostitutes that I spoke about first, because "the people are dumb, there is lots of money and therefore they came quickly." The difference is that they do something else. Unlike the prostitutes, what they do can be allowed to see the light of day. Actually, it is very respectable, and they are famous and admired people within a certain circle. They did not come from rural farming villages. They came from the other side of the Taiwan strait -- they are the Taiwan music people.

This is not because I hold any prejudice against the people of Taiwan. After dealing with them for so many years, I cannot help but use the prostitute's telegraph message to describe the reason why they are in mainland China -- the people there are stupid, there is lots of money to be made and therefore they came quickly.

It says stuff that I have heard and seen here too....

So after year 2000, Taiwan musicians went for the great escape to China. Taiwan is such a small place. A huge amount of investment is required to produce a record, and even the most popular records will have a limited base. This was a shaky business. If there were any business downturn, many people would lose their jobs. Also, the Taiwan recording industry tends to be conservative and they tend to stick to the market that they are familiar with. In 2002, I interviewed several Taiwan musicians, and they all believed that their recording industry destroyed the Taiwan market. Therefore, they had no choice but to leave home and go west, go west, and then go west into the arms of the motherland.

Enjoy -- even though it is [ugh!] popular music.


STOP_George said...

For the past day or so, I have been unable to view the main page of any "Blogger" website -- including yours, Michael.

I need to use an anonymous proxy website to do so now.

I DO have direct access to the comment sections, though. Strange.

Anyone else having this problem?

Anonymous said...

I'm always interested in the pop music scene in different countries. It seems that there is a global formula for writing a song that people will consume. Choose a common cultural value, add 4 chords, put an attractive face on stage and you've got yourself a star.

I saw Wu Bai this weekend here in Taichung and have to admit that his live performance was pretty good. He made an effort to connect with the audience and did a great job of selling his image of cool.

China Blue's drummer is a foreigner.

Michael Turton said...

It's a hinet problem.