Aristophanes is a 25-year-old Taiwanese rapper, who raps in Mandarin Chinese. Her recent collaboration with Grimes on the track “SCREAM” from Art Angels has brought her unique voice to the forefront of the international hip-hop scene. Her debut EP No Rush To Leave Dreams, which will soon be released, features genre-crossing, intercultural production.
Aristophanes是一位來自臺灣的25歲國語嘻哈歌手。她近來在Grimes的《Art Angels》專輯中與其在《SCREAM》一曲中的合作，將她獨特的嗓音推向了國際嘻哈樂界的最前沿。她即將發行的首張EP《No Rush To Leave Dreams》是一次跨界及跨文化的製作。
Listen to the exclusive premiere on Neocha of “I Am Not A Metaphor”, a new track taken from her forthcoming EP No Rush To Leave Dreams:
Listen to Aristophane’s collaboration with Grimes, “SCREAM” off of Art Angels
“I Am Not A Metaphor”，來自她的新EP《No Rush To Leave Dreams》。現由Neocha獨家首播，歡迎試聽:
Growing up in Taiwan, she had little exposure to pop culture, not even owning a TV at home. After high school, she started to slowly get into music. Five years ago, Aristophanes, whose real name is Pan Weiju, started making her own music after discovering artists such as Taiwanese rapper Dan Bao, and American rappers Jean Grae, Talib Kweli, and Bahamadia.
成長於臺灣，她自小並沒有受到多少流行文化的影響，家裡甚至一臺電視機也沒有。讀高中後，她才開始慢慢對音樂產生了興趣。五年前，Aristophanes（真名為潘韋儒）在得知了如臺灣說唱歌手蛋堡，美國說唱歌手Jean Grae、Talib Kweli和Bahamadia之後，便開始嘗試創作自己的音樂。
Recently, she quit her job as a creative writing teacher to focus all of her time on music. Aristophanes’ songs are full of literary references, and she often cites the novels of Gabriel García Márquez and philosophy as her influences. In describing her singing style, she admits, “It is hard to say what kind of style I have, it always changes. Every artist has a different style. My own style is not anti-commercial or anti-pop. It’s just what I like and what I’m comfortable with. Trying to describe it as a certain style is dangerous. Usually it’s only after I start something do I have an idea what specific style of music I want to do.”
最近，她辭去了創意寫作老師的工作，專心投入到自己的音樂創作上。Aristophanes的歌詞中充滿了文學典故，她常引用作家Gabriel García Márquez的小說橋段，和哲學。描述自己的說唱風格時，她坦言: “其實很難講我是哪種風格，它常常在變。每個藝術家都有不同的風格。我自己的風格並不是反商業或反流行，它只是我喜歡並且感覺舒服的這樣。把它說成是一種特定風格是危險的。通常我只會在開始著手之後才知道我要做具體什麽風格的音樂。”
“Some rappers first write the words,” she says, “then they work out the melody, and how it will come together. However many artists I work with are foreigners, and they don’t know what I’m singing about in Chinese, so they tend to focus on just the melody and the sound first. I focus more on that part too.” Grimes first discovered Aristophanes through her Soundcloud page, where Aristophanes sings exclusively in Mandarin. “People must have listened to it, thought it sounded very interesting and became obsessed with it.” She continues, “At first I wasn’t very confident, but then I realized the power of sound and language. Everyone thinks it’s quite interesting. A lot of engineers and producers don’t understand Mandarin, but they can still hear the meaning and visualize what the contents of the music – this is because of their understanding of both sound and music.”
Writing music is like “discovering something deep in the sea, it is unreachable now, but one day you can eventually reach it.” She tells us, “the work process is always changing. I have a very specific aesthetic with my own music, and I use my voice like an instrument.” Influenced by experimental vocal styles, her biggest inspiration comes from Erykah Badu, and she started paying a lot more attention to special ways to produce sounds. As one of the few female rappers in the male-dominated industry in Taiwan, Aristophanes says, “It is only natural that there will be females, and it will only become more common, as more and more women develop an interest in doing this.”
寫歌如同“找到深海中的某洋東西，當下妳無法得到，但終有壹天妳會得到它。”她告訴我們，“創作過程中變數很多，我對自己的音樂有明確的審美，然後用自己的嗓音作為樂器去把它演繹出來。”受實驗性演唱影響的她，最大的靈感來源是歌手Erykah Badu，她會花大量精力研究各種特殊的發聲方式。在以男性嘻哈歌手為主流的臺灣市場中，作為少有的女性，Aristophanes說: “女性音樂人自然是有的，在將來只會是越來越普遍，因為越來越多的女性開始對做這壹行感興趣了。”