Fri, May 30, 2014 - Page 10 News List

The Vinyl Word

By Marcus Aurelius  /  Contributing reporter

2013 Red Bull Thre3style world champion DJ Shintaro, right, hands the golden turntable to DJ D!n D!n, Taiwan’s 2014 champion.

Photo Courtesy of UpAgainsttheWall

Last Saturday, it seemed like the walls were inhaling and exhaling with excitement as masses of bodies gathered around the stage at Lobby Club in Greater Taichung to cheer for their favorites in Taiwan’s Red Bull Thre3style championship. The six finalists — DJs QuestionMark, Zynco, BOOYAA, Ellie, Mr. Skin and D!n D!n — all brought the heat, but in the end, D!n D!n won over the crowd and the judges with his creativity and personable attitude behind the decks.

D!n D!n (real name Chang Wei-chun, 張為鈞) started getting into music because he was a b-boy. This was evident in his final set when he played breakdance classics like Sir Duke from Stevie Wonder, Jungle Boogie from Kool and the Gang, and Funky Penguin by Rufus Thomas. He imaginatively mixed these songs with club-friendly electro, wedding music and even some old school Mandarin sing-alongs. Now, the sky is the limit for D!n D!n as he represents Taiwan in the Thre3style world finals in Baku, Azerbaijan during the first week of September.

After a Thre3style winner is announced, the usual hype leading up to the contest quickly subsides. On Saturday night, though, the buzz just kept building. Two of the judges were the 2012 and 2013 Thre3style world champions, so they decided to play back-to-back together for the first time ever. Four Color Zack (2012) and Shintaro (2013) smoothly leapt from genre to genre while keeping the dance floor packed to the wee hours of the morning.

Rich and famous

Another Taiwan-based entertainer who knows how to make sure people have fun all night is Famous (real name Aston Bishop). Recently, Famous released his debut album, Center Stage.

“For me, Center Stage is the height of my career. It’s the moment where all that preparation meets the opportunity,” Famous said in an e-mail interview with the Taipei Times.

“As an artist, people get to enjoy the final product but have no idea what it took to get to that point. They don’t know the ups, downs, disappointments, sacrifices and fake promises I’ve dealt with. At the same time I’ve matured mentally, physically, spiritually and for the first time I can sit back, press play and enjoy the show.”

To celebrate the release of Center Stage, Famous had a few parties in his home city of Toronto as well as Greater Kaohsiung, but he spent the last week in Singapore at the Music Matters conference — where he performed for a second year at the five-day music conference that attracts industry innovators and pioneers in music and entertainment.

“For me, this couldn’t have come at a greater time. It was good to rekindle old relationships and build new ones especially now being based and having such great success in the Asian market,” famous said.

While Famous and his crew got to lounge in the water on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands, hanging out in the world’s highest swimming pool was not the best part of the trip.

“The highlight ... was sitting in on the Taiwanese panel. It was interesting listening to key people in the Taiwanese entertainment industry ... share insight on what it takes for an independent artist to break into the Taiwanese market,” Famous said.

“One of the ladies who runs ATB International, June Zhan, enjoyed my performance at ATT Showbox late last year with Matzka and Go Chic, and that alone reciprocated into a ticket to the Golden Melody Awards on June 28.”

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