Summer Sonic 2017 Taiwan Artists: Huiting Chen
Text by Roy Dai
Translated by Eli.C
Huiting Chen started out her music career as the lead vocalist and keyboardist in Tizzy Bac, a 3-piece rock band (keyboardist, bassist, drummer) without guitarist. Leading by the keyboardist, the band is famous for its dimensional arrangements. As the creative core of the band, Huiting Chen is good at speaking for the unique and the weird in the world with her bluntly written lyrics and edgy vocals, which ended up earning their music a “grumbling” image.
Tizzy Bac has released numerous EPs and 5 studio albums - Anything Can Tempt Me (什麼事都叫我分心, 2002), It's All My Fault (我想你會變成這樣都是我害的, 2006), If I See Hell, I Won’t Be Afraid of Demons (如果看見地獄，我就不怕魔鬼, 2009), The Tell-Tale Heart (告密的心, 2011), and Fragile Things (易碎物, 2013). The band was nominated for the Best Band at the 15th and 18th Golden Melody Awards, and won Producer of the Year as a band at the 18th Golden Melody Awards. At the 25th Golden Melody Awards, the band was even nominated for the 5 most significant awards, including the Best Band, Song of the Year, Best Composition, Best Lyrics and Producer of the Year (Single). The band had been invited to perform at Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, and has even performed at SXSW in Austin for two times.
In 2014, 15 years since the band’s formation, Huiting Chen decided to start her solo career in order to explore more possibilities in music. Besides piano, she began writing on other instruments, and even tried to alternate her usual vocal style. By taking off the grumbling and neutral image, the tenderness and warmth of her personalities reveal. She was later nominated for the Best New Artist at the Golden Melody Awards, and has released three solo studio albums – 21 Grams (21 克, 2014), Adult World (成人世界, 2015), and Voyager 3 (2017) to date.
To differentiate her style from the grand music style of Tizzy Bac, Huiting Chen had not only tried out genres like soft rock and folk, but also utilized the icy elements of electronic music to reflect her sci-fi conception of the world during her solo performance. Besides the changes in her songwriting style, she also started applying large amount of interactive technologies during live performances. Take her 2016 The Forgotten Utopia (被遺忘的烏托邦) Tour in Taiwan, for instance, she’d planned a “record the audience project (觀眾聲音蒐集計畫)” and let all audience be able to record their own voice via the specifically designed instant interactive devices. She then put the materials collected from the experimental project into her own creation and released a song called "Tomorrow, I’ll Revel In My Own Way" (明日，我將以我的方式狂歡). The music video of the song also features sci-fi visual effects, showing the musical art she’d like to present at the moment. This year, she even collaborated with novelist Chen Xue (陳雪), writing a titular song for her classic novel Skyscraper (摩天大樓). Through the song, Huiting Chen interpreted and re-addressed the social phenomenon issues talked about in the novel, including the invisible hierarchy, gender identity and the lost intergenerational justice.
Huiting Chen enhances her diversified music styles through collaboration with other arts like literature and movies. She tries to include the belief of chasing a dream, the desire and persistence in love and the tangles of human relationships into her tender vocal, accompanying those who feel lost in the cruel reality.
Huiting Chen | Profile
21 Grams (2014)
Adult World (2015)
Voyager 3 (2017)
"Best New Artist" (nominated), 26th Golden Indie Melody Awards