Taiwan Lit


Andrew Huang

Romantic, warm, avant-garde, and innovative, “Troubadour” Andrew Huang is the first poet singer to blend poetry and avant-garde music style in Greater China. With his “Troubadour” five-album series and the latest album Master Tribute Songs, he won the prestigious “Chinese Writers’ Association Award for Poetry Song” last year in Taiwan and then the American “Global Music Awards” in the creativity/originality bronze award category this year.

The Chinese Writer’s Association is the largest authors’ group with the longest history in Taiwan, founded in 1950. Its annual awards given to artists with outstanding achievement are considered very prestigious in Greater China.

American awards The Global Music Awards is a U.S.-based institution that allows music albums from around the globe to compete on the same stage. Its goal is to encourage independent music and world music around the globe; it aims to promote more diverse and unique music. Each year, it attracts musicians from around the world to compete on its international stage, and it represents an authoritative stance in the music industry.

Troubadour Andrew Huang won the “Chinese Writers’ Association Award for Poetry Song” last year in Taiwan and then the American “Global Music Awards” in the creativity/originality bronze award category this year for the same album.

Huang’s latest album, Master Tribute Songs, released in early 2021, pays tribute to various master poets he admired while growing up. With his trademark diverse musical styles, Huang adapts these masters’ poems into elegant hybrid pop/art songs. Huang’s new album pays homage to Taiwanese and Chinese master poets.

This ambitious and highly artistic album adapts poetry from Taiwan, including works by Yu Guangzhong (余光中), Zheng Chou-yu (鄭愁予), Chou Meng-Tieh (周夢蝶), Chen I-chih (陳義芝), and Chen Ke-Hua (陳克華). To broaden the scope, Huang leaps beyond contemporary Chinese literature. He also adapts poetry from ancient China’s “Poetry God” Li Pai(李白), early Chinese republic romantic poet Xu Zhimo (徐志摩), and 17th century Italian opera master Giacomo Puccini. To showcase and present the different artistic possibilities of the songs, Huang also includes four remix tracks with different styles in the album.

Huang won the “National Outstanding Young Poet’s Award” with his debut poetry book, Love Odes from a World in Ruins (【來自崩裂世界的情詩】). He then won China’s Chinese-Language Golden Melody Awards for best album back to back for his debut poetry song album, Troubadour (【吟唱詩人】), and the second album, Those Who Don’t Believe in Love Have All Died (【不相信愛情的都死掉了】). He was inducted into the Taiwan Author’s Hall of Fame by the Taiwan Museum of Literature and Golden Melody’s Hall of Fame by the Music Creative Workers’ Union for his “Troubadour” trilogy in 1997.

Growing up and educated in North America, Huang’s artworks typically blend the two extremes of the classical and the avant-garde. His ballads are known for their extremely elegant melodies that pay tribute to classic love songs from the past century. His contemporary songs (such as EDM, rock, R&B, trip hop, and rap) stress originality and philosophical contemplation, pushing pop music to the level of high art. His poetry song explores diverse issues, such as romance, family, friendship, loneliness, depression, sexuality, death, rebirth, and the meaning of life.

Huang started his career as a poet with Love Odes from a World in Ruins in 2012. Then, he began blending poetry and music and started releasing his highly acclaimed “Troubadour” pentalogy. This pentalogy is considered highly artistic and avant-garde, epic work in Mandopop history. With the debut album, Troubadour, Huang bravely borrowed from the classical by appropriating text from Buddhist sutras to create song lyrics that pushed to philosophical heights and elevated pop music to high art. With the second album, Those Who Don’t Believe in Love Have All Died, he looked to the future to create a sci-fi apocalypse fable about romance, imbued with contemporary pop style. With the third album, Heaven and Earth (【天上人間】), he came back to the present, focusing on elegant, melodious ballads and folk odes and eulogizing the beauty of romance. The end-chapter album, In Quest of Love (【尋愛】), is a hugely daring, experimental album that blends the spoken word with song to broaden the possibilities of poetry songs. He also utilizes ten spoken-word segments of fiction about the story of a romance found and lost to connect the ten poetry songs.

Often dubbed by the media as “The First Modern Poet Singer in Taiwan,” Huang is lauded for his highly original and artistic songs and his ground-breaking method of merging pop style with poetry as high art.

Andrew Huang’s FaceBook: www.facebook.com/andrewhuangartist

Andrew Huang’s YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/c/黃安祖andrewhuang