The Association of Music Workers in Taiwan (AMWT) announced winners of Top Ten Albums and Singles of 2019; veteran indie musician Sandee Chan and indigenous Paiwan diva ABAO are among the four female singer-songwriters who won both categories.
This year's winning albums and songs celebrate diversity with music performed in various languages (Mandarin, Taiwanese Hokkien, Hakka and Paiwan) and music genres ranging from pop and hip-hop to EDM and folk fusion. After careful reviews throughout the year, AMWT selected the top 10 albums to honor the artists and producers, while the top 10 singles focus on the creativity and artistic expressions of the writers and artists.
It's the 9th time artist-producer Sandee Chan's name appears on the lists, marking her 13th and 14th wins with Juvenile A and "Be an Extraordinary Ordinary Person" featuring rapper Trout Fresh. Accompanied solely by an acoustic guitar, Chan's powerful lyrics and gentle voice are perfectly blended with Trout Fresh's rap, giving listeners the courage to carry on despite ongoing frustrations they experience in life.
It's also the 9th year singer-songwriter Waa Wei's music is recognized by the judges. Hidden, Not Forgotten is the first studio album released after the artist became a mother, witnessing her transformation and newfound gentleness. The impeccable combination of her signature singing style and carefully crafted lyrics and arrangement fills the album with pleasant surprises. In "Ophelia," Waa's poetic interpretation turns renowned poet-lyricist Katie Lee's words into vivid images which change and grow as the song unfolds.
Golden Melody Award winner Abao is known for her powerful voice and indigenous identity. Kinakaian: Mother Tongue is her second solo album sung in Paiwan. "1-10" teaches listeners to count from 1 to 10 in Paiwan by telling the story of a Paiwan family's daily life. Actress-turned singer-songwriter Jen Jen is another first-time winner of the awards. Sharp observations and rich sentiments are fully explored in her debut album Jen Jen with outstanding storytelling skills. The refreshing collaboration with rock musician Luantan Ascent on "The Wedding" gives the Hokkien-Mandarin song a cinematic texture which transports listeners to a nostalgic world of imagination.
The annual lists are recommended by AMWT and Music Copyright Society of Chinese Taipei (MUST) and are often seen as a nomination preview of the upcoming Golden Melody Awards, the Grammys of the Chinese-speaking world. A ceremony will be held in September this year to recognize the winners on stage.
Top 10 Albums of 2019
Sandee Chan - Juvenile A
Waa Wei - Hidden, Not Forgotten
ABAO - Kinakaian: Mother Tongue
Jen Jen - Jen Jen
Joanna Wang - Love is Calling Me
Kumachan & BOWZ - Dreams Come True
9m88 - Beyond Mediocrity
Misa - The Ship of Fools
ZenKwun - Existing like God
Lilium - Burnana
Top 10 Singles of 2019
Yisa Yu - "Walking by the World"
Sandee Chan ft. Trout Fresh - "Be an Extraordinary Ordinary Person"
ABAO ft. Dizparity - "1-10"
Waa Wei - "Ophelia"
Jen Jen ft. Luantan Ascent - "The Wedding"
Wu Qing-Feng - "Spaceman"
Fire Ex. - "City of Sadness"
G.E.M. - "City Zoo"
Yoyo Sham - "Fly"
Enno Cheng ft. Hsien Ching - "At a rainy night (Would you walk me home?)"