Singapore’s Tanya Chua wins big with four Golden Melody Awards, including record-breaking Best Female Singer win

Chinese rock icon Cui Jian, Flesh Juicer, and Collage also emerge as notable winners

Singaporean singer Tanya Chua has won four major awards at Taiwan’s Golden Music Awards (GMA), often dubbed as the “Chinese Grammies”.

At the awards, which took place last Saturday (July 2) in Kaohsiung, Chua took home four awards out of a total eight nominations, including Best Mandarin Female Singer. The win marks Chua’s fourth win of that award, which marks a GMA record. Chua beat out Waa Wei, Tia Ray, Karencici and Amis singer-songwriter Ilid Kaolo for the prize.

“My first Golden Melody Award saved me – as if a hand reached out to me and said: “keep singing.” I’ve continued to sing for 25 years,” Chua commented about her win at the ceremony.

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“After doing music for so long, I am very afraid my voice will get forgotten, or that listeners will get bored of it. So I hope I can always continue to hold my passion for music and a curiosity for the world – and that my music will always be your friend.”

The singer-songwriter’s first Golden Melody Award came in 2006, where she also took home the same award for her album ‘Amphibian’.

Chua’s wins come off her 12th LP, ‘DEPART’, which also took home Album of the Year and Best Mandarin Album. The record also won Best Vocal Album Recording. The latter award came as a surprise to Chua, as the singer-songwriter recorded the album with a bare-bones setup under pandemic conditions.

Chinese rock icon Cui Jian won Best Mandarin Male Singer for his work on the album, ‘A Flying Dog’. He beat out artists including Crowd Lu, YELLOW, and Beijing’s Jude Chiu for the award. Cui – known as China’s “Godfather of Rock” – was not present at the ceremony. The Chinese rock artist is known for anthems such as ‘Nothing To My Name’, which became a rallying cry for youth at the 1989 Tiananmen protests.

“I’ve only realised at this moment that all of my destinations in my albums are temporary – but they they carry no terminal destination. The Golden Melody Awards is a transit station, full of history, furnished intricately with detail, with a little warmth of its own. It’s told me the direction of my next stop, as if to say: “a new generation is waiting for you – are you ready to alight? The experience and doubts that you’ve once had will become a new ticket, to embark on a musical train towards a world even more full of challenges and questions,” Cui commented about his award through a representative.

Metal quintet Flesh Juicer took home Best Band for their record, beating out six other Taiwanese acts including dream-pop outfit I Mean Us, Amazing Show, TRASH, Undecimber Fin. and No-nonsense Collective. Check out the complete list of winners and nominees here.

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Experimental pop duo Collage bagged Best New Artist, in a field that included indie rock quartet Modern Cinema Master, singer-songwriter Haezee, and Taiwanese rock outfit Tsng-kha-lâng. The band is known for blending aboriginal and Taiwanese lyrics with J-rock stylings. A solo track by Collage’s vocalist Natsuko Lariyod, ‘fu’is’, also won Best Arrangement at the ceremony.

Meanwhile, pop trio EggPlantEgg won Best Song for the track ‘Oh Love, You Are Much Greater Than I Imagined’, beating out songs by artists including Malaysian singer-songwriter Namewee, rapper ØZI, and Waa Wei.

The list of winners at the 33rd Golden Music Awards are:

  • Album of the Year: Tanya Chua – ‘DEPART’
  • Song of the Year: EggPlantEgg – ‘Oh Love, You Are Greater Than I Imagined’
  • Best Band: Flesh Juicer – ‘GOLDEN TAIZEI BRO’
  • Best Mandarin Album: Tanya Chua – ‘DEPART’
  • Best Taiwanese Album: Lilium – ‘Road to…’
  • Best Hakka Album: Ayugo Huang – ‘Mountain Of Doom’
  • Best Female Mandarin Singer: Tanya Chua – ‘DEPART’
  • Best Male Mandarin Singer: Cui Jian – ‘A Flying Dog’
  • Best New Artist: Collage – ‘MEmento⋅MORI’
  • Best Female Singer (Taiwanese): Joey Chiang – ‘Kuu’
  • Best Male Singer (Taiwanese): Wang Jun Jie: ‘Don’t Know’
  • Best Singer (Indigenous Language): Osay Hongay – ‘To Wait In Silence’
  • Best Singer (Hakka): Ayugo Huang – ‘Mountain Of Doom’
  • Best Vocal Group: New Formosa Band – ‘Jian Jian Hua’
  • Best Composition: HUSH – ‘Shadow Song’
  • Best Lyrics: Kumachan, Xinkuan Xiong – ‘88BARS’
  • Best Music Arrangement: Huang Shao Yong, Natsuko – ‘fu’is / Star’
  • Best Album Recording: Tanya Chua – ‘DEPART’
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