As a native of Hsinchu, Zi-Xuan Huang’s father has Minnan ancestry while his mother is a Hakka from northern Hsinchu. He is fluent in both Minnan and Hailu Hakka, and is one of the few folk rock singers in Taiwan who can write songs using two mother tongues. Currently the leader of the band “Zixuan and Slow Train”, he won the Golden Melody Award for Best Hakka Album in 2013 and 2016 with his albums The Road Home and The Stranger respectively.
Although he mostly writes songs in Hakka and Taiwanese, the music of Zixuan and Slow Train is a departure from the clichéd imagination of songs in Chinese dialects other than Mandarin, blending jazz, reggae, soul, and hip-hop and leading Hakka folk songs into a whole new realm. Through creating music, he reflects upon his relationship with the land. Perhaps the songs he sings are not only about the specific shapes of home, but more about his actual state of being in the land in which he lives.
This year, Royal Explorer will look at the city of Hsinchu from the perspective of Zi-Xuan Huang, and explore the new ways of enjoying oneself and discover the unique charm of the old Hakka city, just like how everyone who listens to his songs will have various imaginations and feelings, be them shallow or deep.