Chinese Name: 王俊傑
Place of Birth: Taipei City (Northern Taiwan)
Did You Know?
Singer Wang Jun-jie's Taiwanese-language album "Don't Know (看無)" combines two musical genres, nagashi and jazz, to create a new musical style called "nagajazz." In this album, listeners can hear how Wang blends nagashi, long a part of the culture of Beitou in Taipei, with rhythmic jazz to create his own interpretation of the two.
Born in 1977 in Taipei, Wang Jun-jie was diagnosed with congenital optic atrophy and is totally blind. In 1978, he and his family settled in Lukang, Changhua, and later, when he was in the fourth grade, to Yilan. In 1992, he was admitted to the National Institute of Fine Arts (now the National Taiwan University of the Arts) from the Junior High Division of Taipei School For The Visually Impaired (臺北市立啟明學校), majoring in cello, but later interrupted his studies when his father fell ill.
Wang began studying classical music at a young age, laying a solid musical foundation, and officially entered the music industry at the age of 17. Despite his youth, he quickly became Taiwan's premiere visually impaired songwriter and record producer, establishing long working relationships with some veterans of Taiwan’s music industry. Blind from birth, Wang has relied on a combination of talent, hard work, and keen listening to become a skilled singer, performer, and songwriter.
After Wang’s father was hospitalized and his mother had to take care of him, Wang himself, the oldest child, had to take a break from school and sing in bars around town to make money and help the family make ends meet. According to Wang, the people and things he experienced doing so proved to be an even more valuable education; after a year, he found that his horizons had broadened and the experience had made him more aware of what he wanted, which was to continue pursuing his music dream. He set about learning how to arrange music, accumulating skills and strength little by little, and eventually record companies began to approach him to compose songs. The voice and music together can create a record of all kinds of emotions, he says, and imply many interesting and intriguing stories.
A lover of music and the creation thereof, Wang enjoys using songs to record various aspects and elements of everyday life. In each song, he draws upon his own observations and imaginations of the people and things around him and beyond. Through notes and lyrics, he can freely let out the surging emotions inside him.
He has produced several albums in the Taiwanese language, including albums of his own. In 2007, he won the first prize in the Taiwanese Language Category of the Taiwan Music Composition and Songwriting Contest, and in 2011, he launched a music performance event focusing on the land and literature, inviting many outstanding local singers to join him in hopes of using music to build a kind of social movement and convey his ideas to the public through it.
In 2015, Wang collaborated with Dialogue in the Dark Taipei (DiD Taipei) to create Taiwan’s own model of "Theater in the Dark." Working with the visually impaired community, DiD Taipei aims to help the visually impaired and to create a more friendly working environment by challenging and changing common societal prejudices against the visually impaired. In addition, Wang has also hosted a music program for Cheng Sheng Broadcasting Corp, interviewing many talented musicians and singers. To become a radio host has been one of his dreams since he was a child.
In 2022, Wang won the 33rd Golden Melody Award for Best Taiwanese Male Artist with his Taiwanese-language album "Don’t Know," in which created a musical style called "nagajazz," a fusion of nagashi and jazz. Nagashi music originated from Japanese drinking establishments, and its performance style mostly consists of performers with sheet music, guitars or accordions, and other accompanying instruments, who go from restaurant to restaurant, nightclub to nightclub, performing. The origin of nagashi music in Taiwan is closely related to hot spring hotels, for which the Taipei district of Beitou is particularly famous, so it is considered the birthplace of the genre. At its height in the 1980s, each hot spring hotel in Beitou had three to seven nagashi bands. Jazz, meanwhile, originated in the African-American community of New Orleans in the United States and is now considered a mainstream form of musical expression worldwide.
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