NekoJam is an all-female electronic music group made up of four members that met as university classmates in Taichung, Taiwan. Their name is a combination of the Japanese word "Neko," which means cat and the universal term for instrumental improv and experimentation: "Jam." NekoJam have evolved to develop their own unique version of electronic music with live instrumentation alongside upbeat pop and rock overtones.
From their beginnings as rock and roll musicians to pop rockers, and then transitioning to a live EDM act, even their look and fashion choices changed to a brighter, more colorful modern style. NekoJam includes Sandra the vocalist, Molly on bass, synth, and sample, Kim the drummer, and Ching the keyboardist. Molly has been experimenting with other electronic music projects like DJing and working with other electronic music artists, which is reflected in her work with NekoJam.
They've broken into the world of live electronic music, with a taste for different subgenres like house and drum n' bass. Working to perfect their craft using live instruments sets them apart from other acts in the field of electro-pop and house.
Sandra says: "It's a result of our friendship. So, it's something else other than the music… When the band first started, we are all students, and then everyone started to graduate and work. I also went abroad to study, so we broke up temporarily. The second time we assembled together was coincidence because we all needed some entertainment in life and then when we get together again we can practice our music and gather as friends to chat and then there’s record company that came to sign us so it is totally out of our imagination.”
Led by bass player and producer Molly Lin, the band has shown that Taiwan has room for the next wave of artists who can push the boundaries of electronic music. Lin said, “We feel there is a dream that we haven’t completed (yet), and we want to take the chance to make other people listen to our music and to get feedback from the audience. When we first start doing rock and roll... EDM wasn’t very popular in Taiwan. In Taichung, live bands were the mainstream music scene.”
Reassembling in 2014, their creative vision and sound changed with the times. After a 4-year hiatus, they came back refreshed with their EP, Vague Gloominess. After releasing their 2017 EP I Feel So Good, with ROKON, an electronic imprint of the legendary Rock Records, NekoJam's four on the floor beats created a new standard for Taiwanese electronic pop music that appealed to discerning listeners but also flirts with experimentation. Their popularity with locals audiences has really taken off over the past couple of years.
Two years of working on new material developed into their debut album, NKJ_1, which was released on ROKON Records in September of 2019. Their girl-power image bounces along nicely with catchy hooks set to fun-loving pop music infused with an electronic flavor. They took this opportunity to collaborate with international producers DJ Phresh and Nathan C who influenced the direction of the album.
Signing with ROKON Records has given NekoJam an outlet for their music, even in the newer more limited market for the sound they are exploring. Lead singer Sandra said: "Doing electronic music in Mandarin is pioneering. We're still trying to find a way to balance being successful in the market and being true to ourselves musically. The label and the band are shaping each other. Working with ROKON, we're working very hard to find a status in so-called Chinese electronic music.”
Combining playful melodies and danceable beats with a keen sense of image and fashion, their popularity has opened up many possibilities for the sound of the future.