Taipei, Indigenous Taiwanese singer Abao’s album “Kinakaian” (“Mother Tongue”) generated most excitement among the jury panel at the 2020 Golden Melody Awards because of its uniqueness and innovation, according to the jury chairman.
“Kinakaian” won Album of the Year, Best Indigenous Language Album, and the track “Thank You” was chosen as Song of the Year at the awards ceremony held at Taipei Music Center on Saturday.
The jury praised the album, saying the unique performance of Abao, whose full name is Aljenljeng Tjaluvie, transcended the language barrier.
The album caught the attention of every member of the jury, and it caused most discussion among the 19 members of the final jury panel, said renowned producer and lyricist Issac Chen (陳鎮川), who chaired this year’s jury, after the awards.
“The uniqueness and innovation of Abao’s album was very similar to Jolin Tsai’s song from last year “Womxnly,” Chen said.
Taiwanese pop diva Jolin Tsai’s (蔡依林) album “Ugly Beauty” was the biggest winner at Taiwan’s Golden Melody Awards last year, winning album of the year, while the track “Womxnly” was song of the year.
Album of the year was determined by having each jury member choose three albums out of 21 nominations and then select the top three, Chen said, adding that Abao’s “Kinakaian” was chosen in just two rounds.
“It is not easy to achieve this level of indigenous music,” Chen said.
The judges for the categories of album of the year and song of the year made their judgment by considering more than subjective aesthetic standards and Abao’s work was found to have resonated well, Chen said.
The judges also thought of incorporating the significance of other issues, hence “Thank You” was found to be particularly significant as it was a song written by Abao to thank medical personnel.
“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it (the song) is extremely meaningful and valuable,” Chen said.
Meanwhile, the decision to award American-Taiwanese singer Joanna Wang’s (王若琳) “Love is Calling Me” best Mandarin album was made in one round, said Chen.
Wang’s “Love is Calling Me” edged out G.E.M.’s “City Zoo,” Peggy Hsu’s “Hypnocity,” Sandee Chan’s “Juvenile A,” Waa Wei’s “Hidden, Not Forgotten” and Wu Qing-feng’s “Spaceman.”
Although the album mostly consisted of old cover songs, it was not easy for her to make the selection and create a full album of such quality at her age, Chen said.
In her early 30’s, one of Wang’s album highlights is a cover of “I Only Care About You,” made famous by Teresa Teng (1953-1995), one of the most influential singers in Asian recording history.
Chen said he believes the list of winners at this year’s Golden Melody Awards was the result of mutual influence and the integration of independent and mainstream music.
“Actually it is just a refined version of the nominated entries,” Chen said of the winning list.
The winning works show diverse musical aspects and also reflect the fact that new and independent music has caught the attention of the mainstream, Chen added.
The choice of best female Mandarin vocalist took longer as Taiwanese singer-songwriter Waa Wei (魏如萱) defeated Wang by just one vote in the second round of votes.
In her first best female vocalist win for her album “Hidden, Not Forgotten,” Wei was up against Wang for “Love is Calling Me,” Fish Leong for “The Sun Also Rises,” G.E.M. for “City Zoo,” Peggy Hsu for “Hypnocity,” and Naiwen Yang for “The More Beautiful, The More Invisible.”
Taiwanese singer-songwriter Wu Qing-feng (吳青峰) edged out his competitors in the first round of votes to take home best Mandarin male vocalist for the album “Spaceman.”
Wu was up against Wakin Chau for “The Younger Me,” J. Sheon for “The Alley,” Ayal Komod for “Gone Away,” Namewee for “Calling Asia” and Chiu for “Flee From the Ceremony.”
A total of 1,348 albums and extended play records were submitted to this year’s awards, in which a total of 163 nominations were determined by an 83-member jury, according to the Ministry of Culture’s Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development.
The Golden Melody Awards was established in 1990 with the goal of promoting and recognizing excellence in the local music industry, according to the Ministry of Culture.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel