Article by Kevin Young
Photo credit Xue Liang
Luantan Ascent one of Taiwan’s esteemed musicians dons long black hair and black leather boots solidifying his image as a rocker. Having a deep rough voice creates music that is unforgettable. Ascent composes music with meaning and facing one’s true self with integrity.
In the following interview he talks about what music means to him and about his career.
1. So how does it feel to be here in New York to perform at CMJ?
I’m very happy to be here in New York. It’s my first time, I really want to try Shake Shack and see the statue of liberty. I really want to see the play Sleep No More.
2. How do you describe your musical style?
It’s hard to describe so I prefer people just listen and not really categorize me. A lot of people describe me as a rock musician because of the way my voice sounds. I supposes it’s thick.
3. Main influences of music outside of Taiwan?
There are so many different genres of music. I tend to listen and adapt my music based on everything I hear. So I don’t have a specific artist or gene of music that influences me the most. I’m influenced by everything. I actually listen to more music than I can say music that influences me.
4. Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
There are so many that I would like to work with but for now I think the most important goal is to make sure everyone understands my music.
5. When people listen to your music, what’s the message you want them to take away?
I just want listeners and fans to hear the music and to just have thoughts about the music. Everyone thinks differently, so I encourage any sort of feedback.
6. Do you have a favorite song to perform?
I’m performing a total of 9 songs and all of them are in the Taiwanese dialect. There’s no song that I like the most because every song can always be improved. I just want to continue to grow as a musician.
7. How did your career start?
In high school I never liked to study. I started a band and starting making music. Since then people started to like my music and my career has expanded.
8. Where do you see your career in the future?
I’m also a composer. I want to continue to make more music to present to my fans. I want to be able to get out of comfort zone and mix different genres of music to create something new. I want my vocal ability to improve and use different instruments.
9. What does having international fans mean to you?
Music doesn’t have any boundaries. Through the internet I think the world is becoming more closed off. It makes it harder for people to distinguish different genres of music. I prefer people come out and watch shows live again.
10. Any final words?
Taiwanese music is very unique and different because of the use of different instruments. I just want people to have fun and enjoy themselves after while watching me perform. Ascent a humble musician, and a staple in Taiwan hopes to use CMJ as a platform to reach a new fan base. Having released nine albums since 2002, Ascent continues to grow as an artist. He is aware of the changing music industry and is willing to adapt with it.