A groundbreaking Taiwanese modern Hakka band
29, May 2005 11:14
Styles: World music, Taiwanese Hakka music
About The Hohak Band:
The Hohak Band was formed in late 2003 by three former members of the Labor Exchange Band, bassist Chen Guanyu, drummer Chung Chengda, and suona player Kwok Chinchye, plus erhu player Shiao Shihwei and electric guitarist Ke Chihhao. The Labor Exchange Band was a groundbreaking group which performed in the language of Taiwan’s Hakka minority, combining traditional instruments with elements of rock, and was the winner of several Golden Melody Awards (Taiwan’s equivalent of the Grammies), including one for Best Popular Music Band in 2002. The Hohak Band has continued to combine traditional and modern music, but has added some traditional elements and at the same time has added elements of jazz, West African music, and even a little hip-hop.
“Hohak” literally translates as “good to guests”, i.e. hospitable, but could also be read as “good Hakkas”, a reference to the band’s Hakka identity. Both from the band’s name and from their music, it is obvious that they feel music is first and foremost about having fun. Not only do they obviously have a lot of fun making music, but they impart this feeling to their audiences, whether or not the latter understand a word of what is being sung. The music of the Hohak Band is playful and joyous, and invites the listener to join in the fun.