On the occasion of Chinese New Year, Grégoire Bienvenu looked at the ideal playlist to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit the way it should be. Happy New Year to the bunnies and everyone else!
Year of the Rabbit, Year of Hope. While there seems to be a very broad consensus emerging that last year really wasn’t very good (thanks tigers), the lunar year opening this Sunday, January 22, is being heralded as a beacon of hope. One of the smallest animals in the Chinese zodiac, the rabbit is known as a symbol of prosperity, longevity and peace. At Radio Nova, we strive for this peace with all our might, for the peace that must return to Ukraine, for the peace that must never leave the radars of the island of Taiwan. Former Formosa has thus been the focus of media attention over the past year, framed at its expense as an example of Cold War economic and geostrategic tensions between China and the United States. . So, as the Chinese, Taiwanese and their diasporas around the world come together in peace and family, let’s start the new year with music from artists from both sides of the Straits. Happy New Year of the Rabbit, take care of yourself and your loved ones.
- Jay Chou (周杰伦) – “The Greatest Works of Art” / “最是少得作品” (2022)
Since the release of his iconic 2000s albums ‘范特西’ (Fantasy) or ‘七里香’, as well known in China as he is in his home country, Jay Chou has become one of the biggest Asian pop stars today. There are a thousand reasons to choose Jay Chou to start this selection: because he was the first to integrate rap parts into pop music and thereby legitimize rap in Asia, because he is always very handsome, very polite. and outside of the political “safe” or music that has earned him the unofficial title of “King of Mandopop,” he is also the muse of countless brands across the planet. For our part, we chose to start with Jay Chou instead, because the artist is a great lover of France: in 2022, he became the patron of Paris-Saint Germain and the ambassador of NFT, and in his latest album, “最最了作品”, he poses. .. in front of Mont Saint Michel! In the clip “Greatest works of art”, the musician also takes us on a magical journey to Paris of the 1920s, where the great artists of the time: Magritte, Matisse, Dali, Van Gogh, etc. We particularly appreciate La Samaritaine’s upstairs piano entrance and piano intermedia duet with the incredible pianist Langlang (朗朗).
2. DIGI GHETTO – “芳草地” (2022)
The tabloids say that DIGI GHETTO will soon be preparing a European tour, and it’s very good news: if there was a band not to miss in China this year, it was them. Six rappers – KIV, Thomeboydontkill, Mula Sakee, Mac Ova Seas, Asen and Toyoki – who recently won the “Best Chinese Rap Group” and “Best Rap Music Video” awards, hail from the famous city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. , and take over the local scene, famous for hosting CDC Rap House (成都集团) and High Brothers, among others. Determined to convey a modern and innovative image of Chinese music creation, the DIGI GHETTO rappers rap at the intersection of genres: their uninhibited use of auto-tune is just as suitable for emo guitar riffs as it is for acoustic instrumentals like in the movie “芉地”. These rappers’ taste for beautiful things is also expressed by their iconoclastic association with countless tattoos, wearing designer clothes, wearing balaclavas and flaunting luxury cars, thus securing their registration among young rappers who are highly successful international players (of course we’re thinking of you Central Cee).
3. INBLOOD Edhem – “Money Ain’t Freestyle” (2022)
While we at Nova last March mentioned the importance of listening to the voices of Xinjiang’s youth, INBLOOD continues to showcase the artistic quality of musicians from western China. In the anthology freestyle performed in front of Soulsense TWH’s microphone, Edhem, a worthy representative of Yiltiz group and rapper of INBLOOD collective, breaks his voice in three different languages: Mandarin, Uyghur and English. “Money ain’t bad, style is everything” sounds like a reminder to those who insist on thinking that personal enrichment is an end in itself: it’s style that makes a rapper, after all. A hot and powerful freestyle that we love, delivered by West China Metro.
4. TORYONDACLOUD & YoungB – “深 2DEEP” (2020)
We close our hip-hop section with a collaboration between rapper TORYONDACLOUD – Chongqing – from the Chinese city of over thirty million people – and rapper YoungB 扬宾 from Taipei, Taiwan. The latter, one of the prominent figures of The Gang Money Fast – to whom we owe the implementation of the trap on the island and the classification of the area as “Trapei” – is currently serving a nine-year sentence for selling cannabis … and for bragging about it a little too much in his songs. He still manages to find himself on this project, suspended between two worlds, but with his syrupy timbre bringing local barons together in the same subcultural territory.
5. PUMAN – “B’Lang Beauty” (2020)
A few years ago, Chinese reggae was introduced to Nova’s airwaves through the energetic and sunny music of KAWA. This year, it’s PUMAN’s turn to send us on a Jamaican spray journey with two feet in the People’s Republic of China. In Yunnan province in the south of the country, Chinese reggae has found very fertile ground. There are several reasons for this, (1) geographical: on the border of Laos, Vietnam and Burma, Yunnan is an area with year-round lush nature and mild weather; (2) identity: Wa, Bulang (from the name of the song), Dai, Yi, etc. such as many cultural minorities. appropriate reggae to interpret according to their own cultural traditions; (3) rhythmic: without making any distinction between music and dance, Yunnan artists combine the special rhythms of reggae more easily. But as far as we are concerned, we prefer to maintain a more symbolic hypothesis: Yunnan shares a privileged position with Jamaica on the edge of the Tropic of Cancer. Now, music experts in Egypt, Mali, Mexico and other countries located in this parallel confirm or disprove this connection!
6. DALDA GO!东九 – “校校不住囦意来请” (2022)
“I can’t resist the urge to sleep. » At the end of the year, when the temperatures drop and we want to prolong the moments under the covers, musicians from Qingdao and Dalian offer us an EP with many pop-funk accents and jazz reverbs: RainBowRain. Influenced by the sounds of Japanese and Korean indie pop, DALDA GO! here he points to a hyper-acidic intro track that’s a great counter to the surrounding gloom. But as we secretly begin to think about the arrival of spring and the days slowly lengthen, this passage takes another turn. See for yourself, get out of bed and snap your fingers to the beat, then slowly play the electric guitar: that’s it, you’re almost in the year of the rabbit!
7. Sunset Rollercoaster – “I Know I Love You” Audiotree Live (2018)
Before you skip this Lunar New Year altogether, we invite you to join us for one last ride on Taiwan’s sweetest cloud of sextet: the Sunset Rollercoaster. Recorded at Audiotree’s American studios, this live version covers the title track from Sunset’s 2011 album Bosa Nova. But as anyone who was at Trianon last September for the only French meeting can attest, neither the track nor the band has aged. The coolest Asian youth in Paris were there, which makes us believe that Sunset Rollercoaster 2023 will definitely be a band we can count on.