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HOME > MUSIC >

The COMPASS Group > July 2011

Emily DavidBy Emily David
Translated by Angel Pu

Emily David is DJ at International Community Radio Taiwan (ICRT).

Big dreams pay off for IO

Big dreams pay off for IO

Big dreams pay off for IO

For a band that has only been "around" the music scene (officially) since 2008, IO has come a long way.

IO is comprised of four regular Taiwanese-Canadian guys whose collective passion for music led them to give up their desk jobs in Vancouver and return to Taiwan to pursue full-time careers in music. But that wasn't as easy as it sounds. During their first year, they were rejected by ALL the major international labels in Taiwan. A little after that, their bass player decided to leave the band. It's safe to say that there was a time when IO didn't seem destined for great success.

In spite of their struggles, the band pushed on, and became ICRT's Battle of the Bands Champion in 2009. Later that year, the band welcomed new bass player Sho into the fold, and it has been the four of them since: Sho, plus lead singer Angus, guitarist Hans, and drummer Cody. Together they put everything on the line on Christmas Day, 2010, when they released their first album, "Even If You Win Today, So What?". That title reflected exactly how the band members felt about their careers at the time.

Their biggest risk ended up being the career-making turning point that they needed. As IO's music began to gain recognition in Taiwan and other parts of Asia, they finally started reaping the benefits of years of hard work. Aside from being invited to perform at major music festivals in, around and outside of Taiwan, their hit song, "Real", was recognized as one of the Top Ten Songs of the Year by The Association of Music Workers in Taiwan. They were invited to represent Chinese-Asian music at this year's Sound City International Music Festival in Liverpool, UK. In May, IO was nominated Best New Artist of 2010 and Best Band of 2010 at the 22nd Golden Melody Awards, inarguably the most prestigious music award in (Chinese) Asia. IO also attended and performed at the awards ceremony at the Taipei Arena on June 18, 2011. This, according to the band, is a dream come true.

Largely considered the first modern rock band in Chinese Asia, there is a uniqueness to IO's sound that can only come from experiencing the best of both worlds as part of their Taiwanese-Canadian upbringing. With a combination of Mando-pop melodies and Western rock elements in songs that convey hope, faith and love, the band's message is simple: Follow your heart and dream big. Just like IO.
For more on IO, visit http://www.wretch.cc/blog/ioband, or "like" io on Facebook.

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