The Taiwanese entertainment circle has no shortage when it comes to talent. Many Taiwanese artists are multi-talented and wear many different hats, both on-screen and off. There are many famous celebrities who are both singers and actors, like Aaron Yan, Rainie Yang, Joanne Tseng, and Show Luo. However, there are a few actors that you might not have known who are also talented musicians. Here is a run-down on five talented actors who also happen to be great singer-songwriters!
Most people know Marcus Chang as an actor who starred in the hit film and drama “Café. Waiting. Love” and “Back to 1989.” Besides being an actor, he is also a singer-songwriter and a music video producer. The University of Auckland performance arts graduate said music has always been a big part of his life. His family moved from Taiwan to New Zealand when he was 13 and it was a difficult time for him to adjust to a new foreign place. Music helped him to combat his loneliness and he picked up the guitar at 15. When he entered university, he pursued sound engineering and performance arts and the education gave him the foundation to use in his music career.
In August 2018, Marcus released his very first album “±1 正负1 (Plus or Minus 1).” The title of the album represents his dual identities: actor and musician. Marcus said in an interview that it is meant to signify him being known as an actor first which is a +1, but to deduct from that and go back to zero, he is moving forward as a singer-songwriter which is +1. The album consists of songs that were featured in his drama, “Between” including the theme song “Still Love You,” “You & I,” and “Between Us,” a duet with his “Between” co-star SpeXial’s Sam Lin. Considering his background, it’s no surprise the multi-talented actor produced the album plus wrote the lyrics and music to his songs.
Check out Marcus Chang’s song “Still Love You”:
Start watching him in “Back to 1989”:
Taiwanese artist Ben Wu (aka Xiao Le) always had a passion for music and dancing from a young age. He made his entertainment debut in 2008 on the popular variety show “Mo Fang Bang Bang Tang” as a fixed cast member. After serving his mandatory army service in Taiwan, Ben started his music career in 2014 with his first album “The Best.” One of the most notable songs in his debut album is “The Biggest Flaw (最大的缺點)” that was used as the ending theme song for the Korean drama “When a Man Falls in Love” when it aired in Taiwan.
Ben’s popularity received a huge boost after starring in the popular 2015 drama, “Love Cuisine” and in the same year, he released his sophomore album “Hide and Seek.” The album features his mature thoughts about life, including his self-penned song “Fearless Love (放手去愛).” Three of the songs from his album were also part of the OST for the drama “Be With Me,” which include “Don’t Say It,” “Fly with You,” and “Fear of Laughter.”
It’s been a while since Ben last released an album, but he did release his latest song “All About You” earlier this year. He also released an English version and a dance practice video for the catchy song.
Currently, Ben has been keeping himself busy, as he recently opened up his own coffee shop and is currently starring in the drama “Let’s Go Crazy on LIVE.” Here’s to hoping Ben will make a big music comeback with a full album soon!
Check out Ben Wu’s song “放手去爱 (Fearless Love)”:
Start watching him in “Iron Ladies”:
The gender-bending romantic comedy-drama “Bromance” was a big hit when it first aired between 2015-2016. It was also Bii‘s first major acting role playing Wei Qing Yang. For drama fans who may not be as familiar with Chinese music and artists, Bii is actually half Korean and half Taiwanese. He was born and raised in South Korea to a Taiwanese father and a Korean mother and took on Taiwanese nationality due to Korean laws. His stage name Bii stands for Be-I-I which represents his dual identities. His Korean name is Pil Seo Jin and his Chinese name is Bi Shu Jin.
Bii has always loved music and was the lead singer in his high school band. He was even scouted by an SM Entertainment agent during high school, but his mother did not approve of him being a singer. Not giving up on his dreams, he went to China to find his father who worked there. His father’s friend took him to Taiwan and introduced him to the boss of Eagle Music. Bii signed with the company at the age of 17 and started his music career.
Bii debuted in 2010 with his first album titled “Bii.” The album was a moderate success, but it wasn’t until his song “Come Back To Me” from his second album “Bii Story” that heightened his popularity. What makes the talented singer unique is how he mixes Korean and Mandarin in his songs. Even though he also has Korean versions of his songs, he mainly works in Taiwan.
As a singer-songwriter, Bii composes his music and writes the lyrics to his songs. Many of his songs have been featured in dramas or used as theme songs. Some of those dramas include: “Love Around,” “Someone Like You,” “Bromance,” “Prince of Wolf,” “Better Man,” “Memory Love,” and “Sweet Combat.” Avid drama watchers will surely recognize Bii’s distinct soothing and velvety voice in the background of many Taiwanese dramas. Even though Bii works primarily as a musician, I’d love to see him continue acting in more dramas or films.
Check out Bii’s song “我比從前想你了(I Miss You More)”:
Start watching him in “Bromance”:
Singer-songwriter and actor Nick Chou (aka NICKTHEREAL) debuted in 2010 under Warner Music Taiwan with his self-titled album “Nick Chou.” The heart-throb is most well-known for his leading role in the drama, “Love, Timeless.” Nick instantly gained immense popularity in Taiwan thanks to his handsome looks and talents in singing, acting, songwriting, and DJ-ing.
Prior to his debut, Nick was also scouted by an SM Entertainment representative when he was studying abroad in the United States. At the time, he was almost recruited to be one of the members to form Super Junior. However, both he and his mother declined the offer after they learned the contract term was 10 years.
While studying in the United States, Nick was heavily influenced by Western music, including his love of hip hop and rap. It’s no surprise he decided to take part in “The Rap of China” in 2018 and he ranked fifth overall on the show.
Nick is an all-round music artist as he composes, arranges, and produces his own music. He is also experimental with his music, using pop, rock, punk, hip hop, R&B, and EDM influences. To date, Nick has four albums, his most popular songs include: “This Is Your Song (這是你的歌),” “Get on My Level,” and “帥到分手 (So Handsome We Broke Up),” which was also used as the theme song for the sports drama, “Swimming Battle.” His most recent album, “What a Life,” was released in August of this year. Through his self-produced album, Nick shares his insights about life, love, and the world.
Listen to Nick Chou’s iconic song “帥到分手 (So Handsome We Broke Up)”:
Start watching him in “One And a Half Summer”:
Many people know Wang Zi as Yan Li Zheng from the popular romantic comedy-drama “Attention, Love!” Wang Zi, whose real name is Qiu Sheng Yi, debuted in 2006 in the Taiwanese boyband Lollipop. After Lollipop’s artist management contract ended, Wang Zi formed a new group called JPM with his younger brother Mao Di (Chris) and former Lollipop member Liao Xiao Jie in 2011. Wang Zi released his first solo album in “2017, Attention!” after his popularity exploded after starring in “Attention, Love!”
Despite being only 30 years old this year, Wang Zi has been in the entertainment industry for 13 years working as an actor and musician. Just like his extensive list of film and drama work, Wang Zi can be credited for many musical compositions throughout his career. Some of the songs he contributed to in Lollipop include: “Great First Experience (夏日初體驗),” “Noisy Silence (吵鬧的沉默),” and “Tell Me (說說).” When he was in JPM, some of the songs he composed include: “Because of You (因為有你),” “Loved You For a Long Time (喜歡妳好久),” and “365.” Besides composing for his own groups, he also wrote songs for other artists including boyband Choc7 and Zhang Wu Wu. In his solo album, Wang Zi wrote the song “愛上了妳 (Love At First Sight)” inspired by his drama “Attention, Love!”
Wang Zi recently wrapped up filming for his upcoming drama “Amensalism,” and we hope he’ll be releasing new music soon!
Check out Wang Zi’s song “我怎麼可能與妳無關 (How Can We Be Irrelevant)”:
Start watching him in “Attention, Love!”:
blacksesame88 is a long-time Asian drama and entertainment addict. She enjoys discussing her favorite dramas and sharing her knowledge of Asian entertainment. When she’s not watching dramas, she’s busy snapping aesthetic photos of delicious food on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter and join her for recaps of the current dramas she’s watching, also feel free to say Hi and have a chat!
Currently watching: “The World Owes Me a First Love,” “Standing in the Time,” “The Flower and the Beast”
All-time favorite dramas: “Nirvana In Fire,” “Queen In Hyun’s Man,” “A Witch’s Romance,” “Love O2O,” and “My Mr. Mermaid”
Looking forward to: “Sword Dynasty,” “Some Day or One Day,” “A Little Thing Called First Love“