Taipei-based acoustic folk/pop duo Neci Ken (consisting of singer Neci and singer/guitarist Ken) came together in 2017, and immediately set about putting together a simple, honest sound with the aim of creating a warm, healing atmosphere through the power of song. The pair, who met in college, quickly found their rhythm, with Ken formulating the bulk of the music and lyrics, while it is Neci who contributes to choral melodies while serving as front woman and focal point for the band.
The tail end of 2017 saw the release of Neci Ken’s debut single, “Fireworks,” a song which quickly catapulted the twosome to the forefront of Taiwan’s “bands to watch” conversation. Published on the Taiwanese digital platform StreetVoice, the dreamy, mournful ballad snapped up honor after honor, taking the site’s awards for Top Song of the Month, Song of the Day, and Singer of the Week, on the way to racking up over 400,000 streams in short order. Subsequent singles generated similar hype and ever-increasing views on digital platforms, leading to demand not only for Neci Ken to take to campus and livehouse stages throughout Taiwan, but also for the duo to put out debut disc for the clamoring public.
The wide and vocal call for the latter has since been satisfied with the February 2020 release of the band’s first EP, "The Way I Was, The Way I Am". Produced by Lin Yi-qi of Vast & Hazy, the recording is a perfect representation of the pair’s gentle sound, the real, raw lyrics full of visceral hope, confusion, inspiration, and everything in between—the virtual gamut of emotion run through the warm, colorful lens of this rare and talented tandem of musicians.
A tour in support of the EP in 2020 ran from February to early March, delighting audiences from one corner of Taiwan to another. Now, with their home turf well and truly conquered, Neci Ken is ready to bring their modern yet traditionalist take on the storied folk/pop oeuvre of their peers to new territory.
2020.03 EP "The Way I Was, The Way I Am"