“Pride of Taiwan,” Taiwanese Singer A-Mei

13 08 2008

Singer A-mei, also known as the “Pride of Taiwan”, achieved mega commercial success and has since become one of the biggest musical sensations in the Mandarin-speaking world, She first joined the entertainment business in the televised “Five Lights Singing Contest” on TTV in 1994. After losing the competition on her first try, her ill father suggested,

You definitely can sing, and you perform songs beautifully. Why don’t you enter the competition again to show that you have a talent for music?

This time A-mei won the competition but tragedy struck when her father passed away before her victory. A-mei was later rediscovered by popular singer/producer Chang Yu-Sheng after a stint of sinking in local pubs.

In an interview with Time magazine, the writer describes A-mei’s as “a sultry, soulful shade you would see at midnight.” A-mei asks,

Did I make you feel blue, baby? […] because I want you to feel like you’ve been swallowed up by blueness […] Tomorrow I want to sing red, the color of a cut when it first bleeds. And after that, green, like wet grass.”

One part of the interview at resonanted with me was the ending:

Like most Taiwanese, she would rather get on with life than talk endlessly about identity: Puyuma, Taiwanese, Chinese, who cares? And when she is really stuck for a word or a phrase or a thought, she simply tosses her head back and throws out a tune.

Because, for the tribal daughter and proud Taiwanese, music is what sustains her. Above all else, A-Mei was born to sing, just sing.