Jam Hsiao is a Taiwanese Mandopop singer. At the age of 17, while still in high school, he started working as a restaurant singer. In May 2007, Hsiao rose to fame after only three brief appearances in the first season of China Television (CTV)'s star search show, One Million Star, which was the Taiwanese equivalence of American Idol. His wide vocal ranges, unique singing style, diverse music genres, and astounding charisma quickly capture the attention of the Taiwanese music industry. He chose to accept a contract with Warner Music Taiwan Ltd. in 2008, and became a professional musician. Jam Hsiao's music career took off with a blast. His first album was released in June 2008. It not only got fervent reception in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia, but also received favorable comments from fellow musicians. He successfully released 2 more albums in 2009, and completed his 5-concert tour from 2009 to 2011. Then he spent time from October 2010 to April 2011 to act as the leadman in a movie, "The Killer Who Never Kills", and won the Best New Actor Award in Hong Kong's 31st Golden Film Award in 2012. In June 2011, Hsiao released his 4th album. In this album, he was also credited as the music producer. In August 2011, Jam started his second world concert tour. His fifth album, Mr. Jazz is released in May 2012.
Born to a father of Chinese descent and native Amis aboriginal mother, Hsiao inherited beautiful singing voice known for Taiwanese aborigines. Other family members include two older brothers and one older sister. Both his parents are devoted Christians. Since childhood, he participated in local church activities including singing in church choir. He suffered from a reading disability and was once a rebellious youngster. He was under youth counseling services to prevent him from involving in street fights. One counselor discovered his musical talents and advised him to focus on music instead. The advice changed the course of his life.
Actually, Hsiao's love for music started in sixth grade when he came across Bon Jovi's album "Crush" at home. He fell in love with the rhythm in the song "It’s My Life". He started asking his mother to let him have drum lessons once he discovered that the rhythmic sound came from the drum set. When he was 15, his mother finally let him take drum lessons. Due to financial reasons, the lessons only lasted three months. But the 3-month introductory lessons were enough for him to begin study and practice on his own. He often practiced over 10 hours a day. A year later, he was good enough to be a volunteer drum instructor at a youth activity center. Because of the volunteer teaching work, he was a recipient of the Taipei Municipal Good Samaritan Award for two consecutive years.
At the same time, Hsiao also formed a rock band named "Diapason" with his brother and their friends. In this band, he was the lead singer and drummer. They sang mostly Rock'n Roll songs by Bon Jovi, Mr. Big, and Skid Row.
As a Restaurant Singer(2004-2007)
After Hsiao had mastered the drum set, he began to learn keyboard on his own at a music store. Without formal training, he was able to sing while playing accompaniment by watching and listening to other musicians. Several months later, at the age of 17, he found a singing job in a restaurant and became the youngest singer in that restaurant. Due to job demands, he had to learn Mandarin pop songs and techniques. Music of Jeff Chang, A-Mei, Jacky Cheung, and Na Ying had significant influence on Hsiao in this period. Since Hsiao was also a high school student, he could only work as a singer after school. He often set his keyboard in the front of his motorcycle and carried the music books in his backpack. He rode his motorcycle between different restaurants, from one city to the next, to make his shifts that lasted into the early morning hours. The peak of his workload reached 50 hours a week. His colleague remembered Hsiao putting on a raincoat for the keyboard and one for himself then rode off into the heavy rain.
Rose to Fame(2007)
In May 2007, Hsiao got accepted in the second season of a TV show, One Million Star. This show was the Taiwanese equivalence of American Idol. The show’s production unit recognized his talent and wanted him to appear as a challenger in the already unraveling first season. Hsiao was arranged to be in a Point Kick(PK) style singing match against the show's 10 best remaining contestants. He won the first two rounds. Although he lost in the third round, the show's rating shot up to a historical high. He became the third most searched celebrity in Yahoo! Taiwan, and his name the second hottest keyword for Taiwan Show Business in Google.
Although Hsiao did not sign a conctract with any record company for almost a year after he became famous, he was invited to appear on many TV variety shows to boost ratings. The restaurants where he sang were always over-flowed with people during his shifts. Hsiao’s powerful vocal and sudden popularity got A-Mei's attention. A-mei is known as Taiwan’s Queen of Pop. She asked Hsiao to sing with her in the duet “Moment of the First Sight” in her 2007 music album Star. It became the instant No. 1 hit. In December 2007, Hsiao performed a medley of four nominated original themes in the Golden Horse Award, the most significant event for film industry in Taiwan. At this time, Hsiao was still an ordinary 20-year-old student and freelance musician. Needless to say, many record companies fought to recruit this young and fresh talent.
Debut and Career(2008- )
In March 2008, Warner Music Taiwan and Hsiao entered a four-year contract. His first album, the self titled Jam Hsiao, debuted in June 2008. It was the No.1 hit on the billboard for 7 weeks. In July 2008, Hsiao's New-song Premiere Concert at Taipei Danshui Fisherman's Wharf Attracted over ten thousand fans. This album was also the No.1 hit in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. In June 2009, He was nominated as the Best New Singer in the 20th Golden Music Awards in Taiwan. Although he did not win the title, his extraordinary performance had won hom a solid position in Taiwan music industry.
Jam Hsiao visited Italy in December 2008. Inspired by this visit, he published a book, "Listening to Italy" and wrote a song "To My Beloved". This song was released as an EP with video to raise funds for the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation.
"Princess" and "Love Moments" (2009) Albums
Following the success of his first album, Hsiao's second album "Princess" was released in July 2009 with even greater success. The title rock song "Princess" was a No.1 hit for as long as 3 months. This 12-song album included four songs written by Hsiao himself. These four songs showcased his creativity, and each one of them had its own distinguished style. He then announced his first large-scale live concert, "Mr. Rock Concert", in Taipei Arena scheduled in December 2009.
As part of the pre-concert activities, hsiao released in November 2009 his third album, "Love Moments". This album included 10 classics originally sung by top female singers. Hsiao recorded them in a live-band style. Among them, "Silent Flower" was in Taiwanese dialect, and "New Endless Love" was the song he sang and got defeated at the PK show back in 2007.
Hsiao's two albums in 2009 gave him five more No.1 hits. He had six songs in top 100 on KKBOX Digital Music Billboard, and five songs in top 100 Golden Songs of 2009 on Hit FM Radio. He won the Best Male Singer Award in the Singapore Golden Music Awards. In 2010, he was nominated as Best Male Singer in the Taiwan Golden Music Awards.
"Mr. Rock Concert Tour" (2009-2011)
Jam Hsiao's Mr. rock Concert at Taipei Arena in December 2009, was a huge success. It was sold out in advance. The stage was designed to mimic a chess game. In lavish costumes, he performed songs in Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, English, Japanese and Korean. He also incorporated his drumming and keyboard skills on stage. Without dancers or guest singers, Hsioa single-handedly completed his first large-scale concert and earned enthusiastic praise. He toured four more cities- Singapore, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, and Shanghai - till February 2011. He tailored each concert with local and seasonal flavors and was highly appreciated by fans.
"The Killer Who Never Kills" (2011) Movie
In 2010, Jam Hsiao delayed the release of his next album to join the cast of a movie, "The Killer Who Never Kills". In this movie, he played the leading role, and wrote the theme song. The movie was a box office success, and he won the Best New Actor Award in the 31st Hong Kong Golden Film Awards in 2012.
In the beginning of 2011, Hsiao was voted one of the most desirable singers by the audience in China, and was invited to perform in a trio with Li Jian and Khalil Fong on CCTV New Year's Gala. This is a 5-hour variety show on Chinese New Year's Eve. Watching it annually has become an ingrained tradition in most Chinese families. Therefore, it is a great honor to appear on this show. However, Hsiao fell ill with influenza and laryngitis just days before the event. He managed to run through the rehearsals but his conditions worsened. On the night of the show, he could hardly speak. As a performer, Hsiao knew that he had to fulfill his commitment. And as one of the trio members, He also realize that this could be once-in-a-life-time opportunity for his two partners. Therefore, he did not cancel the appearance and refused to do lip-sync. he bravely faced the vast audience with a far less that perfect voice. His only explanation after the show was "I did my best". Although his performance was a disappointment, his attitude and courage earned the respect of the production unit, the fellow musicians and the heart of the audience. After the New year, his saga became a hot topic of discussion, and his popularity soared in China.
"Jam Wild Dreams" (2011) Album
Hsiao's long overdue album was released in June 2011. This time, he was not only the singer but also the music producer of the album. He worked as lead singer, background singer, and drummer in many songs. In addition, he wrote music and/or lyrics for 5 of the 13 songs. Hsiao showed his talents and ability as a well-rounded musician. Like before, his New-song Premiere Concert at Taipei Danshui Fisherman's Wharf Attracted over 10 thousand people. The album also produced a number of hit songs.
"Jam Hsiao World Concert Tour" (2011-2012) Concerts
Jam Hsiao's second production of concert tour started from Hong Kong in August 2011. Originally, it was going to have only one concert in Hong Kong. However, this show was sold out in a matter of minutes. Many fans failed to get tickets and were very disappointed. Then a second show was added and it was also sold out in 6 minutes.
The tour went to Shanghai in December 2011, Singapore in January 2012, and then headed for Taipei Arena in February 2012. In Taipei, the same scenario played out. The second show was added and sold out after the first show was sold out in one afternoon.
He received many more invitations to bring this concert tour to different cities including many cities in China, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia.
Style and Characteristics
Hsiao’s solid and manly vocal carries an explosive force, yet it is also sensational and often touches the deepest part of the hearts of his audience, especially through his live performance. His deep, clear and penetrating voice stands him out from most Chinese singers. Hsiao is a soul of rock; nevertheless, his performance for songs of other genres is just as impressive — including love song, pop, jazz, R&B, oldies, and even Taiwanese country, to name a few. One of the judges in One Million Star, Kay Huang, once said when she heard Hsiao’s voice for the first time, "I was so carried away… I felt intoxicated…it’s sentimental”. "This voice makes me want to marry him". Another great singer and musician, Sky Wu, commented, "Jam Hsiao's lower range voice is magnetic, his middle range has reached level of saturation, and his high voice is explosive." Although Hsiao is will known for his vocal ability, his music talents go way beyond voice. Besides the drum set, he learned keyboard, piano, saxophone, flute and guitar mostly on his own, with occasional tips from other musicians. He has also composed and released many songs. "Calla Lily Love" in his first album, was composed by Hsiao at 17, with lyrics by his brother.
Although his singing voice is explosive and powerful, he is a man of few words. He is shy in person, especially in an unfamiliar environment. Small S, a famous variety and talk show host once said, "Jam is so pale and slim, he does not look like a singer. But when he starts to sing, he sounds like a heavenly angel." Hsiao enjoys a variety of sports. He is very good at basketball, billards, table tennis, badminton, golf, and skating. He also loves drawing, painting and photography. His other hobby is playing magic tricks.
Jam Hsiao is an animal lover. he loves all kinds of animals. Due to his busy touring schedule, he only keeps two cats as pets. He describes them as his two doughters. Their images are often displayed in Hsiao's photographic artworks.
Ever since he became famous, his popularity has been on the rise. Hsiao was voted to win many titles by fans. Whe he first started, he had no prominent family background, no formal music trainings, no show-business connections, and no support from recording industry. It was almost a miracle that he could make it to the top of the pile. With the star-search show, his personal charisma attracted many fans over the TV network and the Internet. His fans call themselves the "Hsiao Band", and Jam Hsiao, the chief. With his concert tour travelling to different countries, he has opened new frontiers for his career.
Momo Love (GTV, 2009, ep8)
Fated to Love You (TTV / SETTV, 2008)
The Killer Never Kills (2011)