By Jocelle Koh

In celebration of the one year anniversary of Taiwan passing the marriage equality bill, organisation Red Hot (a nonprofit that spreads awareness about AIDS through pop culture) joined forces with the Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan and some of Taiwan’s finest indie artists to produce compilation EP ‘T-POP: No Fear In Love‘, a collection of indie cult classics and newer gems that coalesce together to present a unique perspective on the sounds of Taiwan.

A shimmery pastel blend of sensitive electronic sounds combined with optimistic, sentimental elements, the five songs are also a representation of the island’s attitude towards being the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. Although the aesthetic is not showy or in-your-face, there is a subtle sense of acceptance, respect, and most of all love in the face of fear which presents itself for all to see.

From Japanese DJ StarRo‘s atmospheric, dissonant take on star-on-the-rise 9m88‘s song ‘If I Could 如果可以‘, to experimental American DJ Xiu Xiu‘s grungy, searching take on out-and-proud artist Enno Cheng 陳宜農‘s mesmerising track ‘Jade 玉仔的心‘, we were inspired to build on the EP’s unique take on love and fear, fleshing it out to a mix of tracks across the region which embody the same spirit and sounds.

Other highlights on our playlist include Dizparity and Evangeline Wong 王艷薇‘s fresh EDM track which sheds light on the cosmopolitan, global youth culture of Taiwan, Thai global citizen Pyra‘s soft-spoken strength on ‘To Infinity‘, the safe space Japanese-British artist Rina Sawayama has created on ‘Chosen Family’, as well as Hong-Kong-Australian Artist Rainbow Chan and DJ MOLDY’s intimate expressions of love on ‘Love Isn’t Easy‘.

For while Taiwan is but the first to solidify their response to marriage equality, we hope that the buck does not stop there. Instead, I hope it encourages us all to continue expressing our love with courage and respect in our own very unique ways.

Listen to the ‘No Fear In Love’ Playlist here: