Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taiwan culture: Western music for bars; Chinese for KTV

In Taiwan there is a crisis of confidence in using their Taiwanese music in bars and discos.

There is a huge music industry in Taiwan with plenty of home grown stars who are idolized. People want to watch their videos on MTV, hear them sing on TV shows; they buy their CDs and listen to them at home, they go to their concerts, they collect their posters and bags and cups; and, they belt out their songs at KTV as if they know nothing else, but to dance to or play as background in your hip bar, not one even makes it into the DJs collection.

And, we are not just talking about the one or two bars where the foreigners go, but also the clubs and bars where you won't find one foreigner inside.

And it is not the case that Asian pop is inferior across the board: from the vast resources of Korean, Japanese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese music it is easy to find ten, fifteen tracks at any one time that stand favourably with their western equivalents, but not one will make it onto the decks.

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