Yang Pei-An (traditional Chinese: 楊培安; simplified Chinese: 杨培安; pinyin: Yáng Péi'ān; Wade–Giles: Yang Peian, born June 5, 1971 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan), also known as Roger Yang, is a Taiwanese rock singer known for breaking out as an "undiscovered" talent at the age of 35 in the Taiwanese music industry with the hit song, "I Believe" (我相信) that established his powerhouse, octave-jumping vocal skills, leading him to be dubbed as the "Iron Lung Prince" (鐵肺王子) by the Taiwanese media and the "Treble God" (高音之神) by his fans. He's also been praised as "Music's 101" (音樂界的101), referencing how his high notes pierce the sky like the Taipei 101, while his singing is often compared to the late Zhang Yu-Sheng (張雨生) due to his penchant for singing the latter's songs and their similar ability to sing high notes effortlessly and clearly without using falsetto. Yang's songs are often used in commercials or by contestants like Jing Chang in singing competitions due to their level of difficulty.
Born to a firefighter father and a working mother, Yang spent his childhood singing cartoon jingles and show-tunes. His admiration for rock bands like Europe, and later Jon Bon Jovi and Journey, that led him to discover his natural talent for singing high notes.
At age of 17, he began attending the Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages and was discovered by Dick Cowboy, 迪克牛仔 aka 老爹, a music instructor at the school, who was impressed by Yang's raw and unrefined singing talent, inviting Yang to join as backup vocals to a rock band he was mentoring called the "Dirty Fingers". Yang then competed in a 1990 college singing competition (熱門音樂大賽 - Popular Music Contest), where he would win the Best Singer Award, besting out David Huang (黃大煒). He began idolizing, Chang Yu-Sheng, whom he met backstage as Chang was a presenter at the competition, when Chang offered words of encouragement, "剛剛唱得不錯喔 - you just sang quite well." Around this time, he was also offered a recording contract, but turned it down in favor of his studies, when it was revealed the contract would require he discontinue his studies and move away from Kaohsiung. The following year, after graduating with a degree in English from Wenzao, on August 1, Yang officially took over as lead singer for the "Dirty Fingers" when he competed with the band in the 4th Annual YAMAHA Taiwanese National Top Pop Competition (第四屆YAMAHA全國熱門流行音樂大賽), performing "Rising Force" where he would win the Best Singer award, while the band won second runner-up for Best Band.
On October 1, 1991, immediately following his success in the singing competition, Yang had to hold off his music aspirations to begin his conscription military service duties and the "Dirty Fingers" disbanded.
Struggles as a pub singer
Upon returning from his conscription duties, Yang, along with former "Dirty Fingers" guitarist and drummer, formed a new band called, "TNT," with Yang headlining as lead vocals. Around 1994, with aspirations of signing a record deal, Yang and the band began performing in local Kaohsiung pubs for the next 10 to 11 years, often playing for prominent Taiwanese music record label executives, but always failing to impress them enough for a record deal.
During his beginning years as a pub singer, Yang often butted heads with customers due to his preference for rock, while patrons would prefer more traditional Chinese and Taiwanese songs. Eventually succumbing to their demands and realizing his limitations as a singer, Yang began in earnest to learn as many Chinese and Taiwanese songs as he could, hoping to develop the natural talent he had, while gaining appreciation for other genres of music outside of rock. As he continued singing in pubs, opportunities would occur, but never officially materialize. Around 1998, he and his band had been performing the now famous song, "永遠永遠" for three years as a part of their lineup in the pubs, as it had been given to them by the song's lyricist, 吳梵, who was a good friend of Yang's, but when renowned Taiwanese singer, Yi Jun Li 李翊君's manager, heard the band perform the song and realized the song's potential was being squandered in a pub atmosphere, requested the band give up the song to her. Unable to refuse as the song was not his, Yang agreed.
Soon enough, Yang began feeling resentful to his occupation as a pub singer and the lack of interest from record labels as he watched fellow pub singers like Xiao Huang-Chi, Shin Band and even Kang Kang sign contracts in 2002. His resentment escalated to the point he often directed his anger at customers by purposefully contesting against their wishes. A situation escalated to the point where a drunk customer drew out a gun and demanded Yang finish singing the song the customer had ordered after Yang had smart-mouthed him. Realizing his inability to control his frustration and anger was not only scaring his band mates and negatively influencing his job, he withdrew from the band and from his occupation as a pub singer.
At the age of 33, having quit as the lead singer for TNT and his job as a pub singer, Yang needed other sources of income and began moonlighting as a radio host in Kaohsiung's FM 98.3 and as a singing teacher (高雄真善美樂器行歌唱教師), having taught and mentored famous students like, Yoga Lin. By 2004, he was receiving bit jobs such as singing the theme song, "天地無聲" for 劫之末世, the 49th season of the Taiwanese Pili series and singing and song-writing for the Taiwanese Professional Baseball League (中華職棒)'s 16th theme song, "Challenge" (挑戰).
Rise to fame with "I Believe"
From 2004 to 2005, Yang then sank into what he considers, the lowest point of his life, as he truly considered withdrawing entirely from the music industry and contemplated whether a career in singing was an aspiration he still wished to pursue, especially as he was approaching his mid-30s and felt he did not possess the physical profile the industry wanted. Even when his old friend, Chen Guo-Hua (陳國華), had, on the behalf of the president of Skyhigh Entertainment Co., Ltd. record label company, journeyed from Taipei to Kaohsiung to offer Yang the record deal he had longed for all those years singing in the pub, Yang rebuffed the offer believing his career was over. At this point, he had begun immersing himself into preparations for a concert (2005 紀念寶哥演唱會) dedicated in memory to the late Chang Yu-Sheng in Kaohsiung and so when Chen arrived a second time to offer Yang a record deal, Yang rebuffed it again as the stress of the concert was affecting him. Finally, on the Chen's third and final visit to Kaohsiung to offer Yang the record deal, Chen convinced Yang that despite the latter's age, the record label didn't care about his appearance or age, they had been searching for a refreshing sound and they had found it in Yang's voice, and they were willing to gamble on signing Yang if he was willing.
Moved by his friend's perseverance and figuring he had nothing to lose, Yang signed the deal on the spot without even reading the conditions.
Yang moved from Kaohsiung and began crashing at 迪克牛仔's home as he recorded music in Taipei, working with Chen to complete his album. In 2006, Yang's voice shocked the music industry, when the Taiwanese beer company, Taiwan Beer began airing its commercials with a song Yang had recorded called "I Believe" (我相信) on all major Taiwanese TV broadcasting channels and Yang's powerful vocals belted out the song's inspirational and uplifting message, which was a refreshing change in the Taiwanese entertainment industry. "我相信" instantly became a hit, but the singer remained a mystery, triggering heated discussions amongst message-boards demanding for the singer's identity while debating whether the song was an unreleased song recorded by the late Chang Yu-Sheng prior to his death, because there had not been a voice in the music industry that could compare to Chang's high notes. Yang was then revealed to the public as the singer behind not only "我相信," but other hit songs that year such as "愛上你是一個錯 - Loving you is a mistake" which was the theme song for the Taiwanese broadcast of The Return of the Condor Heroes Chinese drama; "這該死的愛," which Yang had written, and "男人心," both of which were also the theme song and in the OST of the Taiwanese broadcast of Rain's A Love to Kill Korean drama.
The years of singing in pubs had refined Yang's voice to progress from a thin, raw sound to a more robust sound, but it was his ability to control his voice effortlessly even while singing high notes, without using falsetto, that prompted Taiwanese media members to marvel at his voice and for music critics, Bao Xiaosong (包小松) and Bao Xiaobo (包小柏), to dub him as the "Iron Lung Prince" (鐵肺王子) while noting because of his age and experience, that he was a "late bloomer" (大器晚成) heralding a "new age" of music in Taiwan as an "elderly new guy" (高龄新人).
Since its debut, "我相信" has been one of the most demanded songs requested on networks, as well as a "大學生必頂必唱的勵志歌曲" song favored by college students to sing for inspiration, used in elections, and was chosen to be the ending theme song for the 2009 Taiwanese drama, Recruit's Diary. Yang even performed the song on March 14, 2010 as the opening song to the exhibition game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Taiwanese Professional Baseball League All-Stars in Kaohsiung.
The song has not only been extremely popular in Taiwan, but also in China, though nearly three to four years later after its initial release. It was featured in the August 2008 Beijing Olympics, playing during competitions held in the Bird's Nest stadium and the Water Cube. Most notably in China, Yang was crowned as the "80s Youth God" (80後青年之神) due to the overwhelming response to "我相信" by the generation of college students born from 1980-1989. Since the song's sudden boom in popularity in China, the song has been featured in commercials for Master Kong Green Tea and as the theme song for the hit drama, 第五空间.
With his hit single "我相信" taking over the airwaves and receiving critical acclaim from critics and college students, Yang finally achieved his long-awaited dream, officially debuting with "我相信" and releasing his debut album, 2 AM After Midnight (午夜兩點半的我), on June 2, 2006 at the age of 35. The album debuted at number five on the Taiwanese G-Music chart's 21st week. The album would stay on the chart's top 20 for 17 weeks, before bowing out on the 38th week. Yang had achieved widespread fame and acclaim across Taiwan for being a hidden gem and a source of Taiwanese pride.
Yang began competing in singing shows like 藝能歌喉戰 and making rounds in the Taiwanese talk show circuits, demonstrating the range of his singing abilities and his outstanding command of employing vibrato while singing high notes by often using Shin Band's "死了都要愛" or Chang Yu-Sheng's "我的未來不是夢" and raising them six keys, which led to Chang Fei's endorsement of Yang as the "Iron Lung Prince" (鐵肺王子) and for Bao Xiaosong (包小松) and Bao Xiaobo (包小柏) to further claim he was "Music's 101" (音樂界的101).
When asked if he feels any resentment and indignation at being "discovered" by the public and the music industry at the age of 35, when he had been performing for ten or more years, he says when he was younger he did, but now, he feels many of the past trials he endured have shaped him to become appreciative of the opportunities he received. His burden (at being discovered so late) is his most precious gift, "這個包袱是我最珍貴的禮物", while acknowledging if he had achieved fame at a younger age, he would have lost touch with reality, "名利來得太快。他們都是被眾人捧在手心，但一旦捧你的手鬆開，就沒法回到現實"
With his breakout success in 2006, Yang became highly sought after in 2007 by major companies to have him record music for commercials. Taiwan Beer worked with Yang again to release another batch of commercials featuring Yang singing "盡情看我", which he had written as well. Beijing Perfect World signed Yang to sing the theme song "完美世界" for its MMORPG online game, Perfect World. In February 2007, Yang released his second album, A Perfect World (完美世界) a.k.a. Pei-An Yang's Album No. 2 (楊培安II), which debuted at number four on the Taiwanese G-Music charts. Like his first album, many of the songs in his second album would be selected to be use in Taiwanese broadcast dramas. He would then dabble as an actor, appearing in the stage play, I Want To Be Famous (我要成名) with Dai Ai Ling (戴愛玲). In the play, the two powerhouse vocals would join forces to sing the duet, "Just to See You Again" (只要再看你一眼) to great responses. The success of their collaboration on the duet would prompt him to include the song in his third album. With the success of his second album, he was nominated for a Best Mandarin Male Singer award at the 2008 19th Golden Melody Awards.
Aside from being nominated for his first Golden Melody Award, in 2008, Yang released two more albums and held his first joint concert. That year, he would release his third studio album, Pei-An Yang's Album No.3 (楊培安III), on February 6, which debuted at number 17 on the Taiwanese G-Music Mandarin chart's 5th week, before moving up to the sixth and fourth spot in its second and third week of release respectively. The album would feature a more diverse genre of music than his previous albums, including two duets and two rock songs. Besides the duet with Ling, Yang recorded the second duet on his album with best friend, Xiao Huang-Chi. The duet, "You Are Always Here" (你一直都在) was composed by Xiao, written by Yang, and dedicated to Chang Yu-Sheng. In honor of Chang, he also covered Chang's classic "大海." He then held his first joint concert tour, joining forces with Xiao, to stage the best-selling joint tour, Xiao Huang-Chi & Yang Pei-An 2008 Tour (蕭煌奇&楊培安2008巡迴演唱會). With the success of the tour, Yang released his fourth live album, 10,000 Thanks ... Live & More, which featured live recordings from his concert with Xiao. He gained even more exposure and recognition when he served as a guest judge on the third season of the hit TV talent show One Million Star (超級星光大道).
Though it had only been two years since his breakout, Yang received the honor of being chosen by the 2009 Kaohsiung World Games committee to sing the games' theme song, recording it both in Mandarin, "See the Whole World" (看見全世界), and in English, "High Five" for his hometown. Additionally in 2008, Yang was recognized for his humanitarian efforts when he gave his song "風中的羽翼," from his first album, to become the charity single for the 2008 Sichuan earthquake disaster.
After promoting the World Games, Yang would return to recording music in the studios and in May 2009, he and Marty Young held a series of joint concerts called, Yang Pei-An VS Marty Young - Rock the Night, a first time collaboration between the two artists. And on July 31, 2009, Yang would release his fourth CD, the extended play entitled 抒‧情, which features five songs, four of which were all being aired with either Taiwanese broadcast dramas or Chinese broadcast dramas, and two which were duets, including a duet with Meeia (符瓊音) called, "有你有明天." He would then spend at least the remainder of the year in China, filming episodes for the TV show, 我愛記歌詞, as first a contestant and then as a regular.
By 2010, the name Yang Pei-An was now highly associated with singing high notes, and Yang wanted to distinguish himself as more than a singer that could sing high notes. Thus, on July 21, 2010, he held his first large-scale solo concert, called Yang Pei-An: 2010 Back to the Ego (楊培安【2010 Back to the Ego：回歸自我】演唱會) at Legacy Taipei, to tell his story through his music, about his 12-year struggle on the pub circuit before landing a record contract and releasing his debut album at the age of 35. At the concert, he would perform his newest song tentatively titled, "彩虹的盡頭," written by himself, that has yet to be released. In December, one of his new songs, "就是要你管" was chosen as one of the theme songs for the Chiayi City's International Band Festival. Throughout the month, Yang was slated to perform at many events, but became gravely ill and hospitalized mid-December, forcing him to cancel many scheduled events. Though still recovering, he would make his return at the 2011 E-Da World's New Years Concert in Kaohsiung to perform three songs.
Yang confirmed on January 13, 2011, that he has been in the studio working on his new album, with 8 songs recorded and completed, which would be released some time after Chinese New Years. After a two-year hiatus from recording music, the album, entitled, The Seeds of Hope was officially released on March 11, 2011, debuting in at fourth on the Taiwanese G-Music Mandarin chart's 11th week and rising to third place in its second week of release. Unlike his previous albums, all ten songs featured in The Seeds of Hope contains positive lyrics and inspirational messages. Due to the uplifting nature of the album and the album's coincidental release timing with the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Yang and his record label decided to donate the album to charitable organizations wishing to use any of the album's songs.
Turning point in 2013 In 2013, Roger Yang joined the music program "Dream Star Partner" of CCTV with Xiao Huang-Chi. Though a competition among star partners, this program focuses on children welfare and charitable work. Roger Yang, collaborating with Xiao Huang-Chi, receives high praise among audiences. Lastly, they got the third place and become the spokesperson of Osteogenesis imperfecta children care program. Through this music program, Roger Yang gained reputation and fame in mainland, China.
Yang ended his five-year contract with Skyhigh Entertainment in 2013. With the help of his current agent, Mou Zhong-En, Yang became a member of Warner Music Group. Having met many ups and downs throughout his career, Yang valued this opportunity to work with Warner in the next three years. Based on the contract,Yang will publish two albums in the future. On Jan.7,2014, Warner Music held a signing creremony in Taibei during which the new album of Roger Yang was formally released in Taiwan area. Roger Yang said he really appreciated his new company, especially Chen Ze-Shan(the current managing director of Warner Music's Mandarin Branch).Beast In The Dark is the first album of Roger Yang after he joined Warner Music.This album will be a milestone in Roger Yang's career, as the album exhibits the real aspects of Yang,and his ability to perform different music styles, such as British Rock, Hard Rock, R&B, etc.Roger Yang stated firmly that this album shows and reflects his true self as well as his understanding about music. This album has achieved a breakthrough, reaching the top of popular albums list on iTune store after its initial publishing in Taiwan.
Though Yang is private regarding his personal life, he has been willing to discuss to the media about his struggles in the pub circuit and his relationship with close friends, mentors, and mentees. He considers his mentor, 老爹, to be a second father figure.
Around 2002, through the suggestion of a mentor that felt Yang's singing was not expressive enough, he was introduced to Xiao Huang-Chi, who was then unknown and was performing at a pub near Yang. Yang obliged to attend Xiao's performance and upon listening, became so moved by the blind singer's performance, he immediately strived to become Xiao's friend and better himself as a singer. Over the years, the two became best friends, even opening a joint concert in 2008, attending award shows together (with Yang attending the 2010 Golden Melody Award in place of the nominated Xiao when Xiao could not attend the show due to scheduling conflicts), and singing duets on each other's albums. Their duet "你一直都在" would be dedicated to Chang and feature Yang as the lyricist and Xiao as the composer. For Xiao's 2008 album, 我是蕭煌奇, their duet, "共鳴," is a song about their friendship.
Understanding the difficulty of succeeding in the music industry, Yang has been supportive of burgeoning artists at his label, often singing duets with them, performing songs written by them on his albums, or promoting their albums with them. For his recent album, The Seeds of Hope (希望的種子), the first single released was a nu metal collaboration between himself and his fellow record label mates, Chemical Monkeys (化學猴子). In 2006, he recorded a duet with Xu Jinhao (許晉豪), a cover of the Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney collaboration "The Girl is Mine," called "心愛的她," which would be released on Xu's only album with Yang's record label. With Meeia, he recorded the duet called, "有你有明天," which was released on his EP, 抒‧情, and when Meeia released her first EP in January 2010, he performed the song with her at promotional events. In early 2010, he also went on a series of talk show circuits in Taiwan with Kelvin Tan to promote Tan's third album release. Later in May 2010, he would do the same to promote his mentee, Lin Zongxing's (林宗興), first extended play release, having mentored Lin since Lin graduated from high school and offering words of encouragement to former student Yoga Lin.
Yang has currently released four solo albums, one live album and one extended play.
|Year||Cover||Album Details||Chart positions||Track Listings|
|2006||午夜兩點半的我 ||5|| |
|2007||楊培安II ||4|| |
|2008||楊培安III ||4|| |
|2008||10,000 THANKS ... LIVE AND MORE ||10|| |
|2009||抒‧情-EP ||N/A|| |
|2011||希望的種子 ||3|| |
As featured artist
|2006||"心愛的她" (許晉豪 featuring 楊培安)||N/A||我愛你|
|2007||"光輝歲月" (迪克牛仔 featuring 楊培安)||N/A||風飛沙|
|2008||"共鳴" (蕭煌奇 featuring 楊培安)||N/A||我是蕭煌奇|
|2010||"只要再看你一眼" (戴愛玲 featuring 楊培安)||N/A||跳痛|
|2010||"不能等" (符瓊音 featuring 楊培安)||10||很久没哭了|
|1989||"就是我" (楊培安)||N/A||彩色的年纪 (Colorful Age) OST - May 26, 1989||Singer|
|2005||"天地無聲" (楊培安)||N/A||劫之末世 OST||Singer|
|2005||"挑戰" (楊培安)||N/A||中華職棒 OST||Writer, Singer|
|2008||"看見全世界" (楊培安)||N/A||2009 Kaohsiung World Games OST||Singer|
|2008||"High Five" (楊培安)||N/A||2009 Kaohsiung World Games OST||Singer|
|2010||"就是要你管" (楊培安)||N/A||2010 Chiayi City's International Band Festival Theme song||Singer|
|2011||"夢見" (楊培安)||N/A||Original demo of 夢見 by Chang Yu-Sheng||Singer|
Yang has released two CD+DVD albums.
|Year||Cover||Album Details||Chart positions||Track Listings|
|2007||楊培安II ||4|| |
|2008||10,000 THANKS ... LIVE AND MORE ||N/A|| |
Live Concerts and Tours
In addition to performing nearly 100 performances for live events, live concerts, promotional events, and small scale venues; Yang has also held two joint tours and one headlining solo concert within Taiwan.
|Year||Title||Duration||Number of |
|2008||Xiao Huang-Chi & Yang Pei-An 2008 Tour (【蕭煌奇&楊培安2008巡迴演唱會】)||May 2, 2008 (Kaioshung) |
May 10, 2008 (Taichung)
May 17, 2008 (Taipei)
|Yang's first concert tour experience was with best friend, Xiao Huang-Chi. The joint concert was held in three cities, starting first at Kaioshung, then in Taichung, before ending in Taipei. The tour was a success, selling out at all venues.|
|2009||Yang Pei-An VS Marty Young - Rock the Night (楊培安 VS Marty Young - Rock the Night)||May 6, 2009 (Taipei) |
January 16, 2010 (Taipei)
|Through a co-worker's suggestion, Yang collaborated with Marty Young and the Marty Young Band on two concerts that occurred in 2009 and 2010. The first was on May 6, 2009. The second on January 16, 2010|
|2010||Yang Pei-An: 2010 Back to the Ego (楊培安【2010 Back to the Ego：回歸自我】演唱會)||July 21, 2010 (Taipei)|| |
|Yang's first solo concert held in Taipei. The concert was Yang's test to see if he could successfully headline a concert, while reaching out to the audience by using his music to tell his story.|