Chinese Name: 杜振熙（蛋堡）
Date of Birth: December 07, 1982
Place of Birth: Tainan, Taiwan
Did You Know?
Tu Cheng-hsi, more popularly known as Soft Lipa, is a rapper, poet, and founder of music label RSDR. Tu is particularly known for his breezy, jazzy rhythms and melodic flow. At the 2021 Golden Melody Awards, his most recent album “Home Cookin” saw him walk away with the awards for Best Male Mandarin Singer, Best Mandarin Album, and Best Music Video.
Tu Cheng-hsi is a rapper better known by his stage name, Soft Lipa. While studying at Tainan First Senior High School (TNFSH), he came across a demo tape by Yao Chung-jen, also known as pioneering Taiwanese rapper MC Hotdog. This sparked an interest in rap, and he quickly went on to record his first track on tape. In his senior year of high school, he and his younger brother RPG (short for Rap Guy) won the annual Tainan First Senior High School x Tainan Girls’ Senior High School Interschool Music Competition with their track “Skool Life,” which went on to become an underground anthem among the students at TNFSH. During his studies, he also founded his own rap group, Bamboo Gang.
After completing his high school studies, Tu Cheng-hsi went on to pursue a major in Visual Communication at National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, where, in his senior year, he was recruited as a producer by Kao!Inc, a newly formed record label focused on producing and releasing rap and hip hop. In 2006, he joined forces with the rap group The Huangs, releasing a collaborative underground mixtape entitled “The Quality Not Guaranteed Yet (QNGY) Mixtape.” To further satisfy his desire to create, he began releasing a series of tracks under the name DJ Kusoul, including “Branding the Bottom of My Pants,” “Stephen Chow Rap Battle 1 & 2 (Stephen Chow Rap),” and “Indian Michael Jackson in the Club.” In 2008, he collaborated with rappers JNCO and Manchuker on the EP “Golden Age,” which was praised by MC Hotdog. It was with this record that Tu Cheng-hsi finally made a name for himself in the underground music scene. He released his debut album “Lotion” in 2009, from which the track “Bear" made him famous in the rap scene, subsequently taking the Best Hip Hop Single award at the inaugural Golden Indie Music Awards (2010).
In 2010, he released his third album, “Moonlight,” in cooperation with Japanese jazz group Jabberloop. Tu Cheng-hsi both wrote and performed the lyrics, making a tremendous impact on the market at the time. The reception was split into two camps: the mainstream scene was impressed by the novelty of the album, while the hip hop scene considered it too commercial, too light, and “not hip hop enough.” The album was named in the Top 10 Albums of the Year by the Association of Music Workers in Taiwan and received the Best Hip Hop Album Award at the 2nd Golden Indie Music Awards, as well as the Best Hip Hop Single Award for the single “Process.” It was also nominated for the Best Mandarin Album Award at the Golden Melody Awards. 2013 saw the release of “Secrets of Tu Cheng-hsi: Renovate,” his first double CD album with a total of 26 tracks. This album, too, was nominated for Best Mandarin Album, along with Best Album Producer and Best Mandarin Male Artist at the 25th Golden Melody Awards. It also won Best Hip Hop Album and Best Hip Hop Single (for “An Epic”) at the 5th Golden Indie Music Awards.
In 2019, Tu Cheng-hsi announced that he was parting ways with Kao!Inc and starting his own label, RSDR. Released in 2020, the album “Home Cookin” is themed around the family experience and was created in a studio apartment with a laptop, mixing interface, sampler, and vintage synthesizer. After the release of the album, Tu chose not to put it on streaming platforms, instead selling the album digitally through his own website, RSDR Online. In March that year, he also set up a physical pop-up store. In 2021, “Home Cookin” saw Tu Cheng-hsi not only come out on top at the 24th Association of Music Workers in Taiwan Awards, but also walk away with the awards for Best Male Mandarin Singer, Best Mandarin Album, and Best Music Video at the 32nd Golden Melody Awards.
Tu Cheng-hsi is known as a “hip hop poet” for his lyrics that combine melodious flow with a literary flavor. Modestly, he says that all he does is follow his own sense of what would be best for the track. In the end, Tu considers the label “hip hop creator” to be one that better fits him and his career than that of “rapper.”