Dakanow: Singer, Composer, Producer
A child of Dawu Mountain in southern Taiwan born in 1961, Dakanow (whose name means “Crested Serpent Eagle”) is a creative musician of Paiwan and Rukai descent. After graduating from the Sociology Department of National Taiwan University and studying at Yu-Shan Theological Seminary in Hualien, Dakanow taught middle school for seven years and worked as an assistant researcher at Academia Sinica. During this time, memories of his participation in the early Indigenous Rights Movement during college along with Ara Kimbo (Paiwan, Piyunaman) shook him to his core. He could no longer endure the empty form of Indigenous heritage when all around him he saw signs of cultural loss and aimlessness. Thus he discarded a much coveted, secure job and began to find many occasions to perform and publish his creative work.
Dakanow is one of the leading figures in Taiwan’s social movement music scene. To him, music is more than just a vehicle to record one’s life experience; it is also a weapon with which we can confront injustice. With a knack for languages and a wealth of unconventional experiences, Dakanow writes songs in Taiwanese Indigenous languages, Mandarin, Taiwanese Hoklo, Hakka, and English with a bluesy, roots, and old school soul feel. His songs express a longing for one’s homeland, but also joy, as he engages in an internal dialogue. His deep, multidimensional care for society comes through in every song about his friends and the small, but touching, stories of Taiwanese Indigenous communities. A songwriter who conveys Taiwan’s multilayered histories, Dakanow remains nomadic. He continues to brew up touching songs of hometown legends.