Huayi – Chinese Festival Of Arts 2020

High hopes for affirmation

Award-winning singer-songwriter Eve Ai (above) says her upcoming showcase next month will feature songs fans can groove along to.
Award-winning singer-songwriter Eve Ai (above) says her upcoming showcase next month will feature songs fans can groove along to.

Taiwanese singer-songwriter Eve Ai, known for her raspy, sultry vocals, has high expectations.

Ahead of her Feb 8 sold-out solo showcase at the Esplanade Annexe Studio, the 32-year-old soul singer says she would be "very disappointed" if her future albums or songs did not win awards.

Her four studio albums so far have received acclaim from the Golden Melody Awards (GMAs), Taiwan's equivalent of the Grammy Awards.

Her debut album If You Luv Me (2012) got her nominated for Best New Artist. The song Sophisticated Game, from her second album Grown Love (2014), received a nod for Best Single Producer.

Talk About Eve (2016) won Ai the Best Mandarin Female Vocalist award while also scoring several other nominations. And last year, the song Forever Young from her latest album Fade To Exist (2018) landed her the Best Composer award.

She tells The Straits Times she is thankful for the awards, but adds: "I think the greatest boost from the GMAs is to (serve as) a milestone, encouraging singers to continue striving for their music.

"Given the trends in the industry, it is getting harder and harder (for musicians)... and there is a worry everyone's taste will suddenly change.

"I am thankful to the GMAs for always seeing what we (musicians) do for music, and hope my next album will also receive affirmation."

The musician, who rose to fame after winning the fifth season of reality singing competition Super Idol in the early 2010s, has also written songs for many well-known singers such as fellow Taiwanese A-mei, Rene Liu and Lala Hsu.

 
 
 
 

Ai previously performed here with A-mei and the superstar's niece Anna during a Chinese New Year live showcase at the Resorts World Ballroom last year, where she sang the ballads Harmless Loneliness, Forever Young, as well as covers of Australian singer Sia's Move Your Body and American musician Alicia Keys' If I Ain't Got You.

Recalling that performance, Ai says: "I was initially nervous because I sang some sad songs, but the audience's response was very warm and enthusiastic. There were also fans who came from places such as Malaysia, Taiwan and Beijing, and it felt very much like home."

Unlike that sit-down performance, her upcoming showcase is a free-standing affair and will feature some songs fans can groove along to.

Her performance is part of in:: music, which showcases Chinese singer-songwriters and bands performing their original compositions. It is also part of Huayi - Chinese Festival Of Arts 2020. There will be an autograph session after the show.

Benson Ang

• Eve Ai's concert is sold out.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2020, with the headline 'High hopes for affirmation'. Print Edition | Subscribe