After winning several awards in Golden Melody Awards in 2011, Ilid Kaolo is becoming one of the most popular singers in Taiwan. That was also the first time when I discovered her music. There are four languages sections, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka and Indigenous in the awards. I have to admit that I barely listen to any other languages music besides Mandarin and Hokkien, my parents’ mother tone. However, through her voice, I found my peace.
An Amis aborigine, Ilid Kaolo’s voices incorporate music styles of jazz, bossa nova, and Amis singing. Her music contains both a rich urban tone and a yearning for the rural life. It was a rare success for modern singers, especially because she picked a non-majority language and style in the pop music industry. Living in the same land for decades, I’m glad her voice exists, finds some of us and strays in the air.-Chialun Chang
Chialun Chang was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. She is the author of One day, we become whites (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press, forthcoming). Recent poems can be found in The Home School, The Brooklyn Rail, Bone Bouquet, iO poetry, and No, Dear. In 2015, she was a recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Artist Mentoring fellowship.