[周杰倫 - 三年二班 Backing Track, by Studio One]
Hi guys, welcome to episode nine of Tenny’s Tunes! I am your host, Tenny.
As promised last time, I’ll be discussing C-pop, or Chinese pop music. People all over the world are familiar with K-pop, or Korean pop music and culture. From my understanding, the worldwide K-pop phenomenon took off in the 2000s and never really died down in terms of enthusiasm from fans. On the flip side, C-pop never achieved the same level of popularity, and fervor for C-pop remains mainly within Chinese-speaking communities, occasionally resonating with people from other cultures.
Indeed, at first glance, K-pop shadows over C-pop in terms of its eye-catching fashion and flashiness. Sometimes, it doesn’t take rocket science for people to see the talent that many K-pop artists display. But it often takes more time and patience to discover the true value of certain things in life. C-pop is no exception to this rule. I don’t believe that I can convince many people to start liking Chinese music just from listening to this show, but it is a good recommendation for you if you are into Chinese or Asian music as a whole.
Today, I am experimenting with this topic by briefly covering arguably the most influential figure in the last eighteen-some years of C-pop or M-pop (Mandarin pop, whatever English-speaking people coin this genre). Most people consider him the one-and-only in his unique taste for music and rap that has never been successfully surpassed or mimicked before: Jay Chou from Taiwan. If you are studying Chinese, this artist is definitely crucial to your understanding of contemporary pop culture in both mainland and Taiwan, because both sides of the strait has loved him for close to two decades straight just for his talent and cool persona.
What you heard right now was one of Jay’s top hits in the mid-2000s called “YeQu” or Nocturne. As you can tell, he’s really good at writing love songs, making up more than half of his playlist. In particular, this song won five awards at a music festival in Shanghai when it was first released in 2005. Here are a few more suggestions. Feel free to copy and paste the names into YouTube, because it’s kind of hard to accurately translate them into English.
That’s as far as I will take you on this journey to discover Jay Chou and the Chinese music industry overall. One final thing I would remind you is that you will get the most out of C-pop only if you take an interest in Chinese culture, just like any other languages. The Chinese language is a very concise and profound language, and learning it is the only way you can appreciate the lyrics in the songs. I wish you the best of luck. This is Tenny’s Tunes on NBN Audio.
Music used in this episode belongs to Jay Chou and Studio One.