Sheng Xiang & Band is an indie folk band that delves into social issues with their music. Singing in the Hakka language, the band's lyrics are concerned with the land and people of Taiwan, tackling topics such as pollution caused by the petrochemical industry. Their award-winning album "Village Besieged” has been recognized by the Golden Indie Music Awards for best album and best folk single, as well as by the 28th Golden Melody Awards with the Jury Award.
Formed by lead singer Lin Sheng-xiang (林生祥), lyricist Zhong Yong-feng (鍾永豐), guitarist Ken Ohtake (大竹研), bassist Toru Hayakawa (早川徹), drummer Noriaki Fukushima (福島紀明), percussionist Alex Wu (吳政君), and suona player Huang Po-yu (黃博裕), the band was originally established in Tamsui in 1992 as Guanyin Music Pit (觀子音樂坑). It went through a period of changes and became renamed with today's title in 2011.
As a Hakka singer-songwriter, Lin started working with Zhong since 1999 when the band was still called the Labor Exchange Band (交工樂隊). They first collaborated in making the song "Night Bus (夜行巴士),” which is about the protests against the construction of the Meinong Reservoir in Kaohsiung.
Since then, the band has gradually developed into one that makes social issues, such as the struggles of farmers and ordinary people, the main theme in their songs. Through incorporating traditional Hakka music with modern rock, the band also established their music style as new Hakka folk rock.
The anti-reservoir campaign in Meinong led to the band's first album "Let Us Sing Mountain Songs (我等就來唱山歌).” Covering nine songs in the Hakka language, the album documented the 2000 social movement and uses music as a powerful conversation starter for social issues.
The band later released four albums that explore the situation and problems faced by youths and women in the Hakka community. Based on real stories that many audiences can relate to, their music brings out not only collective memories but also social issues that need to be addressed.
"Village Besieged,” the band's latest concept album, explores topics encompassing the Kuokuang Petrochemical Project, naphtha cracking plants in Yunlin, and the petrochemical industry in Kaohsiung.
The band believes that music has the power to touch people's hearts and bolster spiritual strength. Thus, by raising awareness of contemporary issues with music, the band hopes to make some changes in society and document the social movements of Taiwan.