Posted On 27 Jul 2017
Amanda Wu is a gifted Taiwanese Classical Jazz artist and innovative fashion stylist and blogger. She recently released her highly anticipated EP, The Journey on Earth.
Wu’s dynamic EP bends genre lines and takes listeners on an unexpected and captivating journey. Amanda has already premiered tracks to great acclaim with AXS, Asian Pop Weekly and Vents Magazine. In addition, she will be featured on Jazziz’s celebrated Summer Compilation.
Amanda is excited to share the final song off of the EP with EntertainmentWise. “Does Tradition Exist in the 21st Century” fuses Wu’s impressive jazz vocals with effortless and easy Bossa Nova piano melodies to ask listeners: Can tradition find a home in modern society?
Born in Taiwan, Amanda started her music career at an impressively young age. As a child prodigy, she composed her first piece at just 7 years old. At ages 8, 9, and 12 she represented Taiwan internationally, performing her original compositions in Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. By age 19, Amanda was the champion of the international piano competition organized by Montreal International Music Camp Canada. Amanda has also been a TED x Taipei speaker & performer.
For More on Amanda:
Learn more about Amandu Wu in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? How has 2017 been treating you?
2016 was a very important year! In March, I launched my blog (The dream job I have planned for 2 years.) which integrates Music, Fashion, Creative Idea, Journey and e-Shops. It is the new start of my career, so I am very excited about it. It was also important for my music as well. I compose while traveling. In 2016, I traveled alone to HK, Macau, Canada, Italy and England. so it means I composed a few new pieces in each city where I went.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it?
Not really haha! When I am writing or doing non-music work, I tend to not to play any music as background. Because once there is music, it draws my attention completely, I can’t focus on what I am doing 🙂
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? If you weren’t an artist today, what else could you see yourself doing?
Yes, I never had any doubt about it when I was growing up. If I were not an artist, I would be a businesswoman.
I’ve read that you composed your fist piece of music at just 7 years-old! Do you still have that piece? What was it like? How do you think that growing up and competing in composition contests affected you at the time? What did it teach you?
Yes! I still have it! It is called “The Party for the Micky Mouse”! As you can see from the title of the song, it is very delightful, cute and has a Disney-like feel.
The contests affect me so much not only in music but also in personality and vision.
It triggered my potential of creating music and taught me all the processes of composing, expressing musical ideas and opened my imagination.
Also, the experiences of me represented Taiwan to interact with other representative from other Asian countries broadened my vision and developed the sense of being international.
Let’s talk about your EP, “The Journey on Earth, Vol II.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you at all about the process?
Because the name of Vol.2. is “Stories of Time” These 4 songs are all related to “Stories of Time.” They are my observation and realization about how interesting and important that “Timing” is and how incredible amount of stories that people are creating in the time frame. The surprising thing was that I went to Berlin twice to mix the songs with the producer of Jazzanova. I was a fan of them in college. We met at a festival in 2011, but never really thought or planned that someday we would work together. However, it happened! That was a really awesome experiences!
What was the inspiration for your latest track released from your EP, “Does Tradition Exist in the 21stCentury”? How did it go from being an idea for a song to full-fledged single?
I wrote this song in 2005, the beginning of this century. It was also the beginning of the digital era. When I saw how powerful that technology completely changed people’s like, such as changing their behavior and the way people do thing….etc. It was really fascinating! I sensed this new era has begun and started to think how much old value should we continue using in this new era? Are they still worth-keeping? Are the still making sense? Shouldn’t we adjust them to fit more in this new era? Shouldn’t we be more innovative in all the aspects in life? I wanted to talk about this in the song but I didn’t want to make the song sound too serious. Therefore, I decided to choose the relaxing Bossa Nova style to balance it out!
How do you think your Taiwanese background comes through in your music? Is this something that you strive for at the end of the day?
I think my Taiwanese background means I have been affected by Mandarin Pop a lot and also a very strict classical music training. (I grew up in a very competitive and authentic classical music education)
How do you think your music and fashion balance each other out? Has it been easy to do both?
It feels pretty natural to do them both since I care about fashion a lot. Music and Fashion are all about expressing ideas and ourselves.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I am pretty influenced by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Chick Corea. I don’t have anything specific in mind about who I really want to work at this moment because there are too many people I would love to work with! Haha I think as long as we have the same taste of music, similar depth of being/involving in the industry, I would to work with them.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
My music is for inspiring people to be conscious about what is happening on earth. What is your mission on earth? Who are you and who do you wanna be? I also hope to inspire people to be the best of yourself!
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
It is a long process and a difficult path. If you feel that you have the talent and you feel the passion, you have to totally go for it. It is really something special! Don’t waste it! However, if you do it because of the attention, applause, fame or something shallow without the true talent or passion, then I would not recommend you to go on this path.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
My music and fashion are all about thoughts!
I think coming on earth is really a very special journey! We should take the most out of it! Meaning experience what you want to experience, generously give love and of course “be the best of yourself.” Then inspire other people to have a meaningful/ open-minded life.
Life is fantastic as long as you keep loving, caring, sympathy and honesty!