Meet Taiwan Music @ CMJ with Panel Discussion and Networking

Photo credit Hip Hop USA

By Candace Lee

Set in a cozy Mexican eatery called Gonzalez y Gonzalez off West Houston Street in the heart of Greenwich Village, the first ever “Meet Taiwan Music” networking event was hosted, gathering those in-tune and invested in bringing together famed Western and Eastern performers onto the same stage. Among the attendees were DJ Noodles, Miss Ko and Joanna Wang, bringing together music fanning across vastly different genres of Taiwan’s building music industry. AsianInNY is a proud sponsor!

With the collaborating organization of MusicDish’s founder Eric de Fontenay and Hip Hop USA, Gonzalez y Gonzalez that night became a place to find those interested in your work and eager to bring their support and perspective from their own respective areas of expertise. The hosts themselves mingled throughout the crowd, more than willing to talk person-to-person about their passions and how they arrived at what they believed to be a momentous point in their careers.

Ed Yen, Terry Nelson, Jack Hsu, Rabbi Darkside, Derek Graham

The Q&A session followed the hum of conversation throughout the bar, an enlivened hush soon taking the crowd as they gathered around the small stage where Fontenay held the microphone with a margarita in hand to welcome his guests. Next to him was an all-star cast dedicated to bridging the music industry across the seas between Taiwan and New York, including Ed Yen, Founder and Creative Director of GCA Entertainment; Jack Hsu, Lead of the Hsu-Nami band; Rabbi Darkside, Hip Hop USA; DJ Noodles, the 2006 DMC Taiwan Champion, and Derek Graham, Founder of Vertusent Music Group LLC.

Individually, the panelists brought their pasts and experiences to the table to provide a broader approach to more fully connect Taiwan and the United States musically. Rabbi Darkside, an MC rapper and beatboxer, works with the local New York public school system, contributing particularly to a hip hop recreation project that helps students pass their standardized tests, and has had experience working in Seoul, Korea, introducing American hip hop through classes to interested students. Derek Graham is a 25-year veteran of the music business, working with many independent and prominent labels and musicians, even overseas, such as with well-known Singaporean rapper Kevin Lester.

Ed Yen, Terry Nelson, DJ Noodles, Jack Hsu, Rabbi Darkside, Derek Graham

MusicDish represents already successful Taiwanese and Chinese performers and provides them with opportunities to perform internationally, inviting American artists to share the 4 billion-listener market between the two music industries. Its founder, Fontenay, came to Taiwan, recognizing Taipei as the musical hub that plays a role very similar to New York, in that it maintains for musicians and performers a meeting place for intermingling culture and people. In that moment, Fontenay declared, “I got married to Taiwan,” and hopes his work can service those similarly enthralled with Taiwan and Chinese music.

Through this eclectic mix of musical professionals, some performing on stage and others behind it, Meet Taiwan Music provided a glimpse the United States of the value Taiwan’s musical talent has to offer and signified more collaborations to come. For more about this event:

Photo credit Hip Hop USA


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