Interview Miss Ko, the Missy Elliot of Taiwan

Article By Winston Hsu
Photo by Emily Cheng & Niko

AsianInNY is honored to have an exclusive interview with Miss Ko before her performance on October 18 at CMJ Marathon 2013. Miss Ko is a rapper and songwriter from Queens, New York. She quit the Masters degree program at New York University and left for Taiwan to pursue her music career in 2011. After two years of  training, she is able to rap and sing in both English and Chinese Mandarin, making her the only artist to ever blend the two languages together in such a manner. Her debut album “Knock Out” successfully topped the indie charts in Taiwan, making her the first female rapper to release a No. 1 album in Asia, truly placing her as pioneer in her industry. She also recently won the 24th Annual Golden Melody Award (The Taiwanese version of a Grammy) in July, 2013.

AsianInNY: How does it feel to be invited to perform at Webster Hall during CMJ festival?

Miss Ko: I am honored. I think it’s a great opportunity, because this time I am back to represent Taiwan. It’s ironic; I was born here in New York, lived in Taiwan for 2 years, and now I’m asked back to perform in New York as a Taiwanese musician.

AsianInNY: Will you be visiting any family and friends here in New York? And will you extend your stay after your performance?

Miss Ko: For the next few days, I will be working a lot to prepare for the CMJ. I might stay a little longer, consequently, after the performance to take some time for myself. But before that, it’s all work. I will probably see my father, and perhaps have a family reunion.

AsianInNY: We know that you mentioned on the news that your father was very upset that you had left business school to pursue music; what does your father think of you now?

Miss Ko: I don’t know. I think he’s in denial. He says, ‘You have to go back to school. I’ll give you two years max.” He accepts it, but he still wants certain things for his daughter.

AsianInNY: Does that mean you plan to go back to school, to NYU?

Miss Ko: We’ll see. I think everything happens for a reason. I left Taiwan to America so I can finish school. But I left school because the album made it on the charts without any promotion, and it felt like a pity not to maximize on its potential. So I returned to Taiwan, with surprising success, and now I thoroughly enjoy what I do.

AsianInNY: That’s interesting. How is it possible that people knew of the album when there was no promotion held?

Miss Ko: I think it’s just word of mouth: we built up anticipation for it and when we finally released it, people listened. After I went back, some celebrities had actually heard of it and started listening to it, and we were featured on certain television shows.

AsianInNY: Did you make an appearance on Kangxi Coming ”康熙來了”, the popular Talk Show in Taiwan?

Miss Ko: Yea, Dee Hsu (小S) is very sweet. She is a good supporter of mine. A lot of singers and artists all express great interest in working with me and have made it known that they like my music. I think it’s great, and I really appreciate it.

AsianInNY: Do you plan to sing “The moon represents my heart”, “月亮代表我的心” because you called yourself as the Teresa Teng in the rap world (饒舌界的鄧麗君)?

Miss Ko: Yes, but I can’t sing like her. I think I always had the idea that if I put my voice into music, it would sound kind of soothing. In the end, it worked well with it. So, I am grateful for that. As far as rapping, I don’t know. It just kind of happened. I am happy to see that it’s receiving well.

AsianInNY: Another thing, I want to talk about your outfit today. You look amazing. I heard that you work with a really popular Taiwanese fashion designer?

Miss Ko: I do, his name is 古又文 Johan Ku. He has some great designs. However, I can’t wear heels when I perform so he didn’t pick out today’s outfit. I just can’t rock it with  heels. We have to keep it more hip-hop.. This one is from Adidas because they sponsor us now, until next year. In return, we’re representing on a campaign – Me, 蛋堡、MC Hotdog, and other celebrities will represent the Adidas of Taiwan.

AsianInNY: Do you have anything you want to say to the audience in New York? Your hopes or any advice?

Miss Ko: I hope one day to inspire someone who didn’t think something was possible, or maybe your parents didn’t support you on whatever path you choose. I think it’s important for someone to determine what is better for themselves. To do your best, so you don’t disappoint yourself. Everything else is secondary. For me, following a career in music is not the thing my parents support. But, I do it anyway because I love it and it makes me happy and I am in a position to inspire people to think or do the same as I have. I’ve been able to get to this point, and I am grateful for that.

AsianInNY: Are you excited about the CMJ? Are both of your parents planning to come?

Miss Ko: Yes, It’s going to be good. My mom convinced my father to come. I am so excited!

From the interview, we can sense how excited Miss Ko is about visiting and returning to New York City. We also feel her enthusiasm and dedication to her music and career. We wish the best of luck to her in her upcoming performance and future projects!

Below are the photos we took during her performance at CMJ Taiwan Music Showcase ay Webster Hall. Miss Ko totally got the night started!

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