Nick Chou on finding his identity and the influence of Billie on his music career

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Many of you might know Nick Chou as the son of famous singer Billie, or as the idol heartthrob who appeared in several idol dramas and sang on the side. But we’re here to tell you that that’s not all he is. When I met with Nick after his DJ-ing set at the Golden Melody Awards Festival Showcase a couple weeks back, these skewed misconceptions of Nick were one of the key points that our conversation continually strayed back to, and I could tell that it was an issue that weighed on him deeply. In fact, I’ve always known that Nick was a talented singer-songwriter and producer. But have you?

“Actually, I’ve been producing all my songs- I mean since SNG I produced the whole album, but it just -I don’t know if its my look or my background- but nobody gives me credit for that which I understand and I’m okay with being an idol or whatever, but I just feel that it’s time for change and it’s time for me to share more of the real me with my audience.”

So it’s been four years since Nick’s last album, and he’s seemingly disappeared from the scene since. However, hardcore fans would know that Chou has never stopped creating, and has instead taken his creativity behind the scenes, by writing songs for other artists and picking up DJ-ing.

“People know me as an idol and blah blah blah, but I produce for other artists and I produce for movies like GATAO, I wrote the theme song and I signed to DJ-ing, so I want people to know more about me through my music. Now finally I get to use different identity to share the real me with my audience, so I stopped for a while but now I’m ready and working on my next album and I’m excited. Give me a couple more months, maybe 1 or 2 and people will hear my new songs.”

As for his new album, Nick spilled the beans on an exciting cross-cultural collaboration that will be taking place:

“We announced the collaboration between me and top 100 DJ Basejackers like two weeks ago which is very crazy. I learned DJ-ing myself overnight and now here I am, working with top 100! So it’s very exciting and it’s a blessing so I cant wait to share with people the music, it’s going to be great.”

And Chou’s passion and love for music is clear to all who meet him. Despite just having gotten off a flight from Beijing and running on no sleep for almost 48 hours, the guy pulled off an amazing set, bouncing around the stage like an energizer bunny on steroids. Chou shares with us some of the struggles he went through while trying to preserve his unique passion:

“You’ve just gotta love what you do and you’ve just gotta overcome the wave, you know what I’m saying? Like me, I go through a lot of stuff… I was by myself, there’s no (record) company, my family is sick and nobody recognised me no matter what I do; no matter if I DJ, I write songs or whatever – its hard for me because me as a producer or as a musician or as an artist. I think every artist wants to feel appreciated as the real you, and I feel like I’m stuck in this box. You know? So I need to overcome a lot of feelings, you’ve just gotta believe in yourself. You don’t give up. (You’ve) just gotta do it.”

Not only is Nick a guy who’s truly passionate about his music, we like to say that he’s something of a family man too! He asserts that his mom Billie has been a huge influence on his music:

“I will say yes, cuz like she never really taught me or she never be like ‘hey, you’ve gotta be a musician’ or ‘I know a lot of producers, I’ll introduce you to them’ or whatever – never. I think its just the vibe and environment I lived in since I was a kid. There was always music there, you know since I was a kid my mom would play music. Or even till now like before we go out, we get dressed, we play music, we listen to a few songs; it’s just the environment, I think.”

And the sweetest thing is that when asked which artist he would most like to collaborate with, the friendly singer immediately thought of his mom:

“Honestly I don’t want to sound corny there’s many people I want to work with, but I guess, my mom. Come on like working with Kanye West is cool but not everyone’s mom is a singer, but my mom is a singer and she’s cool so I wanna work with her. [Me: So did you ask her?] She’s too expensive (laughs) I don’t have the budget for her. I’m just kidding. It’s hard to work with your mom cos she’s your mom and you guys know each other so well, it’s so hard. But I think sooner or later-she always ask me to do a song for her, but it’s a lot of pressure because I wanna give her the best.”

So on a final note, you could say Nick is one of the undiscovered gems of Taiwan’s music industry. Silently working hard to create astonishing results that reflect his drive, perseverance and wealth of musical talent, it’s only right for me to bring this hardworking fellow’s achievements to light. As he continues to persist in showing the world who the real Nick Chou is, I can testify to the fact that he’s a real outstanding dude.