Fri, Jun 15, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Suming breaks new ground

The winner of a Golden Horse Award and Golden Melody Award, Suming will perform tracks from his forthcoming album ‘Amis’ at The Wall next month

By Andrew C.C. Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Suming.

Photo courtesy of Wonder Music

Acclaimed Aboriginal singer/songwriter Suming (舒米恩), will perform at The Wall (這牆) on July 5, July 6 and July 7 to promote his second solo album Amis (阿米斯), which will be released on June 30.

Born Suming Rupi in Taitung County as a member of the Amis tribe (阿美族), the indie icon is the former frontman of Totem Band (圖騰樂團), which received a Golden Melody Best Band Award nomination in 2007. His breakthrough came when his role in the indie film Hopscotch (跳格子) won him a Golden Horse Best Newcomer Award in 2008. Last year, Suming’s solo debut album won the Golden Melody Best Aboriginal Album Award.

“My debut solo was eponymously titled because it was about establishing myself,” the charismatic crooner told the Taipei Times last week. “This new album is titled Amis because I broadened the scope to include my tribe’s concerns, its people and its music.”

The ambitious 11-track album includes one Mandarin track, one Japanese track, with the rest sung in the Amis language. Its diverse musical styles run the gamut of folk, pop, electronica, tango, Brit-style rock and classical. With love as the central theme, the 11 tracks converge into a pop opus about one’s passion about life, romance, homeland and dreams. The all-around pop personality also serves as producer, songwriter and singer on all the tracks.

“My mission is to bring Aboriginal vocals into pop music. It’s not an ambition for me to create Aboriginal pop. It’s simply that I see many Aboriginal youths who can’t relate to the sentiments in Mando-pop. I want to create music for them.”

The lead single, Don’t Be Quick to Say You Love Me When You Are in Dulan (別在都蘭的土地上輕易的說著你愛我), is a Mandarin track that sees Suming crooning against a laid-back bossa nova groove. The song’s music video, which premiered on YouTube last night, pairs Suming with Taiwan supermodel Sonia Sui (隋棠) of the hit TV drama Fierce Wife (犀利人妻) for a riveting love story between an Aboriginal youth and the Dulan land goddess.

Performance notes:

WHAT: Suming ‘Amis’ new album concert (Suming 舒米恩【阿米斯Amis】新專輯演唱會)

WHEN: 8pm, July 5, July 6 and July 7

WHERE: The Wall (這牆), B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1), tel: (02) 2930-0162

ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$500, available at the door, on www.thewall.com.tw, on www.indievox.com or on tickets.books.com.tw

ON THE NET: johnsuming.com


The second single, John Suming (約翰淑敏) is a mid-tempo tango number in which Suming declares his love for his homeland and protests against the commercialization of Dulan.

“Because many of my songs have a social message, I want to use riveting melody and ambiance to pull the audiences in,” he said. “If they enjoy the song, maybe they will listen to the lyrics closely and see the message.”

For the upcoming concert, Suming will sing songs mostly in the Amis language, with Chinese-language captions. Because of the eclectic music styles featured on the new album, three different teams of musicians are required: an orchestra, a DJ and a pianist, and then Suming himself with a guitar.

“I hope my music is a crossover genre that Mando-pop audiences will like too,” he said. “If audiences are willing to listen to English songs with little understanding of the lyrics, why can’t they enjoy Aboriginal pop music?”

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