I had the opportunity to sit down with the members of IO, a Taiwan indie band originally formed in Vancouver, Canada. The band relocated to Taiwan because it is "the launchpad for music in China and central focus of Chinese media."
IO admits that, "Musically speaking, the culture in Taiwan is very different. The way we speak, the content that we speak of, and the way we express ourselves onstage is very different than the way we'd do it in Vancouver. But our music is a merging of the Canadian and Taiwanese styles. When you perform in Vancouver, they clap for you no matter what - it's all about how well you sing and play. The way Chinese people look at music is less about the sound and more about how the content affects that body and emotions. You must connect with them with your message. The fans are much more demanding in Taiwan, which keeps us thinking and strategizing more for the crowd."
"We used to write songs that we thought was cool, but now we write more things that our fans can identify with, and then begin incorporating other elements that we like. Our goal is to bring more of the Vancouver sound to the people here in Taiwan, and we hope that it will one day be cool here too." IO is also keeping an eye on the pop scene in Malaysia, which is still playing mostly 90's pop.
By Eric De Fontenay
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