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Matzka taps the soul with aboriginal music

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

09:56, March 15, 2013

Taiwan's Matzka brings a fresh sound to his mainland audience. (China Daily/Zou Hong)

With his shoulder-length dreadlocks and sunglasses, Matzka looks like a rock star. But the 28-year-old singer-songwriter, who grew up in Taitung county, Taiwan, insists that his main musical influence came from his Paiwan tribe's ancestry and his mission is to spread the aboriginal music.

His band members include drummer Atuhuy, guitarist Sakinu and bassist Alisin from the Paiwan and Puyuma Taiwan aboriginal tribes.

Matzka says they are ready to showcase their combination of the traditional tribal music of their hometown with the contemporary reggae and rock to audiences in Beijing and Shanghai during the fifth Jue Music and Art Festival, an annual arts and music festival in the two cities.

"I hope our music offers something fresh to the audience there," he says.

Indeed, the singer-songwriter's fresh perspective has won him popularity in Taiwan, where mainstream music is dominated by pop singers.

When he heard his music played in shopping areas and dance halls, he was proud of his contribution toward aboriginal music.

"Young people from aboriginal tribes in Taiwan consider it out-of-date and boring to sing in their own native language. But I like the language," he says. "I grew up with it, and it's beautiful to me."

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