Indie singer/songwriter Blue Vela (陳曼青) honed her craft on the streets, yet is now poised to enchant mainstream audiences.
The chanteuse will perform a concert titled Long Time No See, Song and Dance at Riverside Music Cafe (河岸留言) on April 28. She will be joined by her labelmate Vickie (薇琪). Trained as a musician — she plays piano and percussion — Vela also writes her own songs.
“With this concert, I want to focus on ballads in an unplugged setting and convey poignant emotions,” she told the Taipei Times last week.
The 24-year-old singer started performing in public aged 17 at the underground shopping mall at Taipei Main Station and also in Ximending. She independently recorded her first original album, Green Out of Blue (青出於藍), of which she sold 3,000 copies on the street, and competed in TV talent show One Million Star (超級星光大道) in 2009, coming in ninth place.
Vela, who could be described as a more lyrical version of Avril Lavigne, entranced the audience at her debut concert last month with a magnetic cover of pop icon Faye Wong’s (王菲) rock number Full Blossom (開到荼靡).
“When I perform jazz drumming, I aim to show that burning life force from my street experience,” she said about her feisty performance style.
The songstress collaborated with Malaysian songwriter Kok Lee Cheng Wei (李誠洧) to release a double single last month in Malaysia. The concept single comprises the ballads Song (有孝仔) and Daughter (女兒家).
This month, Vela is serving as the spokeswoman for a campaign by Fair Trade Taiwan (台灣公平貿易協會), for which she contributed a theme song and appears in a commercial.
“As a street performer, I want people’s respect in the forms of applause or money,” Vela said. “I think we should support fair trade by giving the farmers their fair due.”
What: Blue Vela, Long Time No See, Song and Dance (好久“薇”見—歌聲曼“伍”) concert
When: April 28 at 9pm
Where: Riverside Music Cafe (河岸留言), B1, 2, Ln 244, Roosevelt Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路三段244巷2號B1), next to Taipower Building (台電大樓), tel: (02) 2368-7310. On the Net: www.riverside.com.tw
Admission: Tickets are NT$500, available at FamiPort (全家) kiosks or online at tickets.books.com.tw (博客來售票網)
On the net: www.velablue.com