When 8days.sg spoke to Tan Boon Wah, it’s been more than three weeks since the homegrown tunesmith won the Golden Horse Award for Best Original Film Song for ‘Your Name Engraved Herein’, the theme song of the Taiwanese coming-of-age drama of the same title.
The last time Tan — who works full-time as a real estate lawyer — checked, he’s still acclimatising to his newfound fame. “The truth of the matter is, I never quite expected to be associated with the Golden Horse Award,” he tells us over Google Meet. “So I’m trying to come to terms that this is going to be a part of my identity for a period moving forward.”
Set in late 1980s Taiwan, when martial law has been lifted, Your Name Engraved Herein — now available on Netflix — tells the bittersweet story of two high school students (Tseng Jing-Hua and Edward Chen) and their illicit love affair.
Directed by Liu Kuang-Hui, the movie — Taiwan’s highest-grossing LGBTQ-themed film of all-time, with earnings of over NT$100 million (S$4.8 mil) — picked up five Golden Horse Awards nods, winning two, Best Cinematography and Best Original Song. Tan shared the honours with co-composer/lyricists Keon Chia and Hooi Yuan Teng and the song’s performers, pop singer Crowd Lu and Edward Chen.T
The ballad’s music video is a hit, too: since its August premiere, it has drawn 20.4 million views on YouTube.
Has Tan been busy fielding offers from film producers after the win? Nope, but he’s been asked by his firm’s managing partner to perform the song at company events and gatherings.
“I think winning this award made me realise that people out there are more excited about it than I am sometimes!” says Tan, whose songwriting credits include Chou Hui’s ‘Don’t Want to Let You Know’ and the Stefanie Sun-Tanya Chua duet ‘The Origin’.
It’s almost as if they had won the award vicariously through him, he jokes. “Sometimes when I meet my friends, they’re very excited for me and I really appreciate all of that. It’s a good talking point with them and it breaks the ice easily — I’m glad it brought some joy to them to some extent.”
Here, Tan lets us in on his experiences working on the movie, his dream of penning of a Bond theme song, and a bizarre encounter with Mark Lee at the Golden Horse Awards.