Latest music news, features and opinion covering all musical genres from rock, dance, rap, hip hop and K-pop to Western classical and Chinese opera.

Fans call out Taiwan pop star Jay Chou’s new hit song for being ‘sexist’ 
Despite breaking the Chinese internet with a new hit song, Taiwan’s “King of Asian Pop” Jay Chou has received some heat for promoting “sexist” values with a music video that features the female lead sacrificing for her boyfriend.  The star’s latest single, Won’t Cry, has sold millions of digital copies and topped charts in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan hours after its release on Monday night.  But for some fans, the song depicts an ancient and tired archetype of a self-sacrificing woman expected to exhaust herself in order to support her man. In the video, the female lead, played by Japanese actress Ayaka Miyoshi, supports her boyfriend’s dreams of becoming a professional photographer
Inside the reggae empire built by a Chinese-Jamaican family
Almost five years ago on a local TV show in New York, the host was taken aback when the Jamaican reggae artist Gyptian was introduced by a diminutive, elderly Asian woman. “He was not expecting to see a Chinese woman talking about reggae,” Patricia Chin, now 82, recalls with a laugh, during a telephone interview from New York. But the half-Chinese, half-Indian Chin, who was born in Jamaica, knows just about everything there is to know about reggae.  She and her late husband, Vincent “Randy” Chin, helped build the nascent reggae music scene in the late 1950s from their home in Kingston, Jamaica, along with the likes of the legendary Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. In 1975, the Chins emigrated to t
Karaoke no more as 6,000 hit songs removed in China
Karaoke fans in China are upset that they can no longer belt out some of their favorite songs. That’s because more than 6,000 songs have been removed from KTV machines in the country on copyright infringement grounds. Many of these songs are massive hits by artists from Hong Kong and Taiwan. It’s actually the latest attempt by authorities to crack down on copyright infringement in China, a widespread problem which has attracted criticism from other countries. Among the affected songs – many of which are from the 1990s and 2000s – are  works by top Hong Kong artists Eason Chan, Twins and G.E.M., as well as Taiwanese superstars like A-Mei and Jay Chou. (None of Kris Wu's songs were removed, by
Who is Kris Wu and why are Ariana Grande fans so pissed at him?
Kris Wu? Who? That was the question on the minds of many a pop music fan, as he shot to the top of the iTunes charts over the weekend – pushing Ariana Grande off the list completely. Beast Mode all the way up #antares #1 pic.twitter.com/BrHtCtSJ62 — Kris Wu (@KrisWu) November 2, 2018 The Canadian-Chinese singer, who is huge in Asia but lesser-known in the west, has been accused of using bots to boost the performance of his new album – knocking American pop stars including Grande and Lady Gaga off the top spots. Now iTunes appears to have removed his music from the charts entirely. Kris Wu’s album and songs have been removed from the US iTunes Charts after accusations of boosted sales have su
Spotify with karaoke: what to know about China’s big music IPO
Get ready to face the music. China’s largest music-streaming company Tencent Music filed on Tuesday to go public in the US. The company, which is both part of social media giant Tencent and also backed by industry leader Spotify, is expected to become another mega listing by a Chinese company in the US.  While Spotify is struggling to turn a profit, Tencent Music has been making money for two years. Here are four things you need to know about it. 1) It owns the most popular music apps in China. Tencent Music was formed in mid-2016 as a spin-off from Tencent, which acquired a number of large music services to merge with its own music business. Across its platforms, it had more than 800 milli
A classic ballad is being revived by Crazy Rich Asians
Legendary Taiwanese diva Teresa Teng is going through a revival, after blockbuster flick Crazy Rich Asians used a big band cover of her classic melody “When Will You Return” (also known as “Waiting For Your Return”) to open the movie.  Composer Christopher Tin, who adapted the song for the film, tells Inkstone about remaking a classic, and explains why Crazy Rich Asians has finally given the Asian community a voice in Hollywood.
Chinese hip hop makes a calculated comeback
Last summer, an online reality show single-handedly ignited China’s passion for hip hop, racking up more than 2.5 billion views and shooting its contestants to stardom. Now The Rap of China is back for a second season, and it’s determined to keep hip hop in the mainstream -- even as audiences and censors alike get tougher. Here’s this season’s opening, which features the show’s five judges spitting bars: The show’s debut in 2017 brought the hip hop subculture into the national limelight for the first time and injected a huge amount of cash into the industry. Season two boasts of giving an even bigger platform to Chinese-language rappers. Auditions were held worldwide, including in the US, w
Chinese fans mourn after young American rapper shot dead
The death of American rapper XXXTentacion has saddened not only American fans and celebrities, but also the growing number of hip-hop lovers in China. The 20-year-old rapper died on Tuesday after being fatally shot during a possible robbery in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to the Broward County sheriff’s office. XXXTentacion’s Chinese fans are also mourning. Zhang Hongxing, a 19-year-old art student in the southwestern city of Chongqing, said he fell in love with the rapper when he was preparing for his college entrance exam last year. The rapper’s emotional lyrics, which depict XXXTentacion’s own struggle with depression, had resonated with him, Zhang said. “I was going through somet
Is kid rapper Lil Tay just another child with a tiger mom?
Lil Tay is a foul-mouthed Asian child rapper and rising internet star whose videos are viewed by millions. She has more than 1.5 million followers on Instagram, although describing them as fans would be a stretch – they mostly delight in heaping her with abuse, in racist or crude terms that match her own lexicon. The supposed nine-year-old has gone viral by flashing wads of $100 bills, railing against “f***ing broke-ass n*****s” and making ridiculous boasts of buying Lamborghinis, wearing $100,000 watches, hanging out with Kim Kardashian and living in a Los Angeles mansion after making a fortune “moving bricks” (selling drugs). About the only thing that seems genuine is the vitriol hurled a
‘Stone Sister’ Jessie J just won China’s American Idol with a Whitney song
Singer Jessie J has just won the Chinese version of “American Idol,” with a stirring rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” Whitney Houston’s version of the Dolly Parton song is hugely popular with Chinese audiences. In China, she has become known as “Stone Sister,” a name which sounds similar to “Jessie J.”  The British singer, best known for her hits “Price Tag,” “Domino” and “Bang Bang,” was the first non-Asian participant in “Singer,” a televised competition for professional musicians. She won at the final broadcast last Friday evening.  The show assembled some of the region’s most respected musicians, although none of the others have the international profile of Jessie J. Other competi