Interview with Jia(家家)/I’m the kind of person who needs time to adapt.


photo credit: B'in Music

Author: iMusee/Translator: Afore/Minor editing: Jocelle Koh

◎ It was not unexpected for me to become a singer.

When talking about whether she has thought about becoming a singer before, Jia smiles and says that her family ran a tailor’s shop when she was a child and her grandmother and aunt would play music during their work.  In a single afternoon, she could listen to songs from the Japanese era to the Carpenters.  Born to an indigenous family and also being influenced by her grandmother and aunt, singing is as natural as breathing is to her so she was not surprised that she would become a singer.

She started her career performing with her uncle, forming the vocal duo “Jia Jia & Hao-En”.  Now, without her uncle Hao-En around, she sometimes feels that she can’t adapt to life as an entertainer.  “When Hao-En was around, I could talk less and I didn’t need to explain why I love singing.”  The pressure of being recognized in public has made Jia hate going to places with lots of people, even in disguise.  “I’m the kind of person who needs time to adapt and it takes lots of time for me to adapt,” Jia says.

Even so, because of her outstanding and natural voice, she was nominated as the Best Newcomer and Best Female Mandarin Singer at the 24th Golden Melody Awards for her debut album “Unforgettable”.  The following year, she was once again nominated for Best Female Mandarin Singer at the 25th Golden Melody Awards with the album “Sing for Lonely Souls”(為你的寂寞唱歌).

◎ I don’t sing sad songs only.

Jia’s songs give the impression of a profound sense of sadness, making us think that she has a fragile “girl’s heart” which needs to be taken care of. Jia feels that she has been misunderstood upon hearing this. She tells us “You all think that I’m a sorrowful person, but actually, I have many characteristics and sorrow is just one of them.”

Jia has also been struggling between showing herself and packaging herself.  “At first, I felt that this wasn’t me, but later I found out that it’s not the case. Even though the part of me which is able to reach this level doesn’t show up so often, it does exist. After accepting this idea, I can then get used to it gradually.”

Jia says like the lyrics in the song “Separate Common Sense”(分開的常理), we also have our own dual personalities.  “Everything is sweet when we’re still together, but when we are apart, we kick and bite each other. I find this contrast quite interesting. Every part of it fits my personality. With the melody of an opposing style, it’s just like I have released myself mentally and physically.” Jia adds playfully “I think Yen-j is definitely this kind of person as well so that he can write songs like this!”

Perhaps it’s because of her Puyuma and Bunun background that singing holds a certain healing power for Jia.  “I think music, science and the soul are related to each other. I hope to heal the public with these songs and to provide them with positive thinking because music really can help many people,” Jia says.

◎ Looking forward to new “Soul” Music.

At the end, we ask her about new elements she wants to add to her music and new partners she would like to work with in the future.  Jia says that she would like to have more rhythm in her songs and that she wants her fans to listen to her songs with an ease of mind. “I don’t want them to be crying every time they listen to my songs.”  At the same time, she also wants to work with singers with their own characteristic sound, such as Jam Hsiao, Khalil Fong and so on, so she can see what new style of music they would make together.