Fri, Jan 08, 2010 - Page 15 News List

A diva, in both senses of the word

By Andrew C.C. Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

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Whether you like or dislike Tiger Huang’s (黃小琥) music, one thing is for certain: she is always entertaining. A veteran singer in the Mando-pop industry, Huang finally became a household name a few years ago after she landed a role as a judge on the TV talent show One Million Star (超級星光大道).

This newfound fame rejuvenated what had been a sagging career. Last month, Huang released Simple, Or Not (簡單/不簡單), her first new album in eight years.

Huang will present a mini concert titled 2010 Tiger Full Throttle Not So Simple (2010琥力全開不簡單演唱會) tomorrow at Legacy Taipei to promote the album’s release. She also performs regularly on Monday nights at EZ5 Live House in Taipei.

A straightforward, take-no-prisoners kind of gal, Huang is best known as the acid-tongued judge on One Million Star who spews scathing criticism at the show’s impressionable young contestants. She was no less straightforward during a phone interview with the Taipei Times on Tuesday.

“I have a very eclectic style on this new album. It’s not just love songs anymore,” Huang says. “There is funky dance, R ’n’ B and even rock songs.”

Winning the Best New Comer gong at the 1990 Golden Melody Awards for her debut album Not Just Friends (不只是朋友) failed to propel Huang to the fore of the music world. An odd figure in a Mando-pop landscape populated with photogenic, prepackaged idols, she was mostly overlooked by the major labels and spent much of her career recording more cover albums than original releases.

Performing on the pub circuit to cultivate a fanbase earned Huang the moniker of “the Queen of Pubs” (Pub女王), a singer with a smoky voice that conveys the aura of a woman who has been places and seen things.

PERFORMANCE NOTES:

WHAT: Tiger Huang (黃小琥) — 2010 Tiger Full Throttle Not So Simple Concert (2010琥力全開不簡單演唱會)

WHEN: Tomorrow at 8pm

WHERE: Legacy Taipei (傳音樂展演空間), located at Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914), Center Five Hall (中五館), 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號)

ADMISSION: NT$1,200 at the door, NT$1,000 if ordered in advance through ERA ticketing at www.ticket.com.tw

ON THE NET: www.legacy.com.tw; www.lovetiger.com.tw/index-1.php


Despite a lack of quality original songs, Huang manages to put her personal stamp on every cover she’s interpreted with her distinctively throaty, soulful voice and jazz-infused phrasing. Her virtuosic renditions of classic tunes in both Chinese and English have endeared her to audiences in the know.

When asked how she would describe her voice, she responds somewhat tersely, “Get my CDs and listen to them. I don’t know how to describe it.”

Pressed further, she relents and answers, “It’s unique and very low. Actually my voice is husky but not low. I can sing in very high notes.”

Asked how she feels about her newfound fame as a TV talent show judge, she responds, “These are all platforms. I simply need a platform.”

When asked what oldies she intends to tackle at tomorrow’s concert in addition to her new songs, she hisses, “I can’t tell you that, and this information is of no use to you anyway.”

Asked what music projects she intends to pursue in the future, such as theater, she moans, “You’re probably too young to know this. I’ve done theater, actually, but nobody knows.”

For her highly acclaimed concert in 2008, Huang made headlines when she tackled Jolin Tsai’s (蔡依林) Dancing Diva (舞孃) and No Mercy (愛無赦), complete with all of Tsai’s dance moves. Last year, Tsai sent a gift card challenging Huang to have a go at her song Butterfly (花蝴蝶), according to media reports.

Asked which of Tsai’s songs she might consider tackling again, Huang snarls, “Whether I hold a concert or not is not related to Jolin Tsai. Jolin Tsai does not affect what songs I want to sing!”

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