Jason Goldwin Chang has today premiered his new single titled ‘New Century Kid’. I think we could all agree that it is a strange time to be alive. We receive an onslaught of terrible news everyday, and yet we have to carry on with our everyday lives. Just like generations before us, we have to carry the horrific and the beautiful with us at all times. And that’s exactly the juxtaposition Jason Goldwin Chang explores in his debut single, “New Century Kid.”
Goldwin Chang is a person with many homes – China, Singapore, Austria, and NYC. In his years of traveling and exploring, he’s also worn many hats. He’s an actor one moment: a songsmith the next. With plenty of classical piano training, Goldwin Chang combines dynamic chord changes with rapping and singing.
I think most artists would be pleased to release a song like “New Century Kid” as a first single. The beat is reminiscent of the lo-fi resurgence. Mournful piano chords provide the perfect backdrop for Goldwin Chang’s flow. His verses cut through the chilled-out sonic landscape to snap us back to reality. In the chorus, he repeatedly sings, “Make me happy.” It’s a simple request, but one that is undeniably human. As Goldwin Chang raps about school shootings and the endless stream of content fed to us, the chorus helps in some small way to resolve that pain. The musical switch reminds us there is a different way to live. Maybe someday, we can all live in harmony.
There’s a unique perspective in this song. The artist is awake and alert to the ways in which our world has failed us. And yet, there’s a hopeful spirit buried beneath the wreckage. Jason Goldwin Chang is a voice we need in these trying times.
Stream “New Century Kid” and stick around for an exclusive interview!
This song was inspired by an act of senseless violence. How do you think pop music can help us deal with the weight of bad things that happen in our world?
I think growing up with pop music and music in general has helped me deal with a lot of the inner struggles and outer pressures that I otherwise would have likely pushed down or ignored. Perhaps with music being a kind of escape, it’s much easier to digest “darker” themes in a song as opposed to something like the news. Particularly with New Century Kid, I don’t think I’d have been able to talk about these acts of violence or the struggles of consuming mindless content since I was a kid were it not in the form of a song.
You wrote this song in Singapore while you were filming, but waited until you were back in NYC to record. Was it difficult to keep the song in your mind until you could get back to NYC to record? Did it help to have that time to think through the arrangement?
I don’t think it was particularly difficult to keep the song in mind, as I always write everything down as soon as it comes up, and also make sure to record everything in voice memos just for future reference. I’ve had to learn the hard way of just trying to remember things, so I’m glad I diligently recorded everything for this song… However, the extra time did help! I had the basic structure of the song done, but I actually wrote the last verse once I got back in NY!
Do you think acting has affected the way you make music?
Definitely. With most of the music I’ve written, I think it comes from a storytelling perspective, whether it’s literally singing and rapping about a situation, or communicating a specific feeling. I believe this tendency does come from my experience as an actor, as I like to think of each of my songs being a character trapped in a space in time whilst going through something deeply personal.
What do you hope people take away from this single?
I hope this single can shed some light into the sometimes darker realities of a kid growing up post 2000’s. I was born in 2001, and like most of my peers, technology advanced quickly while we were children, having access to new iPhones every year in middle school and the internet for as long as we can remember. Though it has provided countless benefits, we were also the “guinea pigs” for social media, online ads, unrestricted adult content, and endless Youtube videos to pass the time. Coupled with the current “loneliness epidemic” and the rampant growth of school/mass shootings, it’s no wonder quite a few of us are feeling lost. That was the mindset I was in and was hoping to communicate whilst writing this song.
What’s next for you? Will we see you on our screens again soon? Are you planning to release more songs?
Yes! With acting, I have a new show coming out in Singapore titled ‘Alienated’ later next month, as well as a TV show titled ‘What’s Missing’ which was shot here in New York coming out hopefully early 2024!
I am definitely planning on releasing more music! I have a couple lined up, with the next song titled ‘I’ll Never Wake Up Again’, which unlike New Century Kid, is more of a ballad that I wrote envisioning a character in war, influenced by the invasion of Ukraine early last year.