柯文哲 (Ko Wen Je) won the 2014 election for Taipei mayor. He ran as an independent candidate, with endorsement from the DPP. One of the ways he raised funds for the campaign was through an album called 台北調 (Taipei Tone).
The songs for the recording began with an open invitation to submit demos. Songs were chosen through online voting and a selection committee. The demos are available on SoundCloud. The track info has the artists’ thoughts about Taipei and song lyrics. A total of 82 demos are available. The language of each song is also listed on the demo page: 英語 is English, 台語 is Taiwanese, 華語 is Mandarin, 演奏曲 means instrumental, and 客語 is Hakka. The artists include established independent artists, up and coming artists, and people from the community.
Twelve songs are on the final recording: eleven songs chosen from demos, and a campaign song that was already written. In addition to being available on Spotify, the album is also available on YouTube, iTunes, and kkbox. There were multiple concerts held to promote the campaign.
I’ve included some tidbits about the tracks and artists. The links in the track name are to lyrics at SoundCloud or kkbox, and links to artists are to FB or StreetVoice pages.
1. 台北天晴 by 嚴正嵐 (Vera Yen)
In Mandarin. A lovely voice. “A sunny Taipei, after the rain, is the prettiest.”
2. 寄望台北城 by 洪立 and 張詠承
In Taiwanese. A song about finding one’s wishes and dreams in Taipei. Taipei has long been the “big city” for many in Taiwan as a place where dreams can come true. There’s concert footage of their performance
3. 台北! 夢想起跑點 by 白芯羽 (Cindy Pai)
In Mandarin. 白芯羽 might only be eight years old, but she’s not a stranger to political events. She performed during the Sunflower student movement. The song continues the theme of Taipei being the beginning of people’s dreams. An upbeat song for a young and cute voice! She is the generation for whom we want a changed Taiwan.
4. 阮住佇艋舺 by 勞動服務 (Community Service)
In Taiwanese. A hip-hop song about 艋舺 (Bang Ka; Monga), the old name for the current 萬華 (Wan Hua) district. 艋舺 is the oldest district in Taipei. The song combines traditional instruments and describes the changes to 艋舺 that happened throughout history.
5. 我愛的台北 by 游景棠
In Mandarin. kkbox lists the artists as 游景棠, 曾翊維, 黃國晏, and 顧典晉, who are the members of 木眼鏡 (Wooden Glasses). A song about the many stories in Taipei. It encourages people to look down their own alleyway, and experience the warmth that people bring to the city.
6. 親眼目睹 by 楊宗翰 (Jerry Yang)
In Mandarin. A song about a different day, inspired by the words of 柯文哲. Describes a world where doing the correct thing is encouraged, and all live in good times with no hardships.
7. 我有一個夢 by 流氓阿德 (Ardor Huang)
In Taiwanese. “I have a dream, a small dream, I wish for a day, where there are no longer people who hurt. I have a dream, a small dream, I wish that people who love each other, can be forever, forever.”
8. 台北調 by 南西樂團 (Nasyy)
In Mandarin. A lively song that plays on the word 調. When pronounced 調（ㄉㄧㄠˋ）, the word means melody or tone. When pronounced 調（ㄊㄧㄠˊ）, the word means to mix or to adjust.
9. 從你我開始 by Dark Eyes Gypsy Jazz Band
In Mandarin. Very direct lyrics about the failure of the government. “Taiwan’s recovery, starts with Taipei; To save Taipei, starts with you and me.”
10. 站穩了 by Story Teller and 周照棠
In Taiwanese. A song about everyone, from the young to the old, working hard to make a living, despite the inequalities of the city. “There are many lovely things waiting for us to dream, there are many stories waiting for us to write. I will also stand firm, because I am a child of Taipei.”
11. Big City by 李振全 (Jeremy Lee)
In Mandarin. 李振全 has been paralyzed from the neck down after a car accident in January 2013. He was an up and coming artist – check out his performance at the 2012 Hennessy artistry competition. A song about gathering energy to continue to move forward, even while not being able to afford anything, and a sense of not belonging in the city. The original music video is on YouTube, and he performed at a campaign concert.
12. 白色力量 by 包子丸
In Taiwanese. This song was the campaign song. 包子丸 was a composer and lyricist and wrote many Taiwanese songs. He passed away in July 2014. Some of his works can be found at 包子丸的音樂 blogspot and Wang J.D (包子丸) G+. “Daylight slowly comes, what are you waiting for? A new day, or an unchanged past. The fear is that you are accustomed, to this city that never improves. Let us recover its fairness and justice.”