The 2013 Taiwan CMJ Music Showcase

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to interview Eric de Fontenay, the organizer of the 2013 Taiwan CMJ Music Showcase for the Talking Taiwan podcast. During the interview, we covered topics ranging from J-pop to mp3 court cases. I learned from Eric that Taiwanese pop music dominates the Chinese music scene with Taiwanese artists accounting for about 60-70% of ticket sales in China.

Listen to the interview:

photo credit: Peter Yang Zhao of

This year was the third annual Taiwan CMJ Music Showcase in New York City. It was a part of the larger CMJ Music Marathon, which has been around for 33 years. The CMJ Music Marathon is one of New York’s longest running music conferences and festivals. This year, the musicians being featured in the 2013 Taiwan CMJ Music Showcase are: singer-songwriter Joanna Wang, rapper Miss Ko and DJ Noodles. It is the first time that there’s been an all female line up. Also notable is that two of the artists have grown up in the U.S- one on the west coast and one on the east coast.

Joanna Wang, a Golden Melody award winning singer-songwriter grew up in Southern California. While she started off with a jazz sound, she has come to create her own unique sound, which has been influenced by everything from video game soundtracks to Paul McCartney.

photo credit: Peter Yang Zhao of

Miss Ko, the first female rapper to win a Golden Melody award went to high school in Brooklyn. She’s been called the “Missy Elliot of Taiwan” and it’s easy to see why that comparison has been made when you hear her music.

DJ Noodles was the 2006 DMC Taiwan Champion and the first female finalist to compete in DMC history. That year she was ranked the top13th DJ in the world finals. She’s also the first Asian DJ to be a resident on Radio FG USA.

On the day of the Taiwan CMJ Music Showcase, Friday, October 18, the Marlin Room at Webster Hall was packed and full of high energy. First to perform was Miss Ko. During her performance she declared, “I’m here to break all stereotypes- that Asians can’t rap and women can’t rap.” Joanna Wang was next and she proved to be a multi-talented musician as she sang, played the kazoo and banjo all at the same time. Then DJ Noodles and Rabbi Darkside kicked things up a notch and the night ended with DJ Noodles throwing what else, but packages of instant noodles into the crowd.

YouTube videos courtesy of Peter Yang Zhao of

Felicia Lin hosts the Talking Taiwan podcast, which is an audio magazine about interesting people connected to Taiwan and what they are doing. She is currently writing Taiwan independence activist Su Beng’s biography: The Conscience of Taiwan: The Memoirs of Su Beng. Her crowdfunding campaign can be found on Indiegogo:

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