Composer Tony Chen Wins Best ‘World Music’ Song at HMMA

November 5, 2014 Updated: November 5, 2014

A young composer originally from Beijing was in Hollywood on Tuesday for the fifth annual Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA).

Chinese-American musician Tony Chen won the HMMA for best song in the World Music category. He was also nominated in two other categories. It was the second year he was honored at the awards show.

“I’m happy and honored to present Chinese classic music with Western technique and that it could be given such an award,” said Chen. “This is a good way to share traditional Chinese culture with Western people.”

Chen’s song, “Taste Asia – Delicious Chinese Cuisine” was written as the theme music for the “Taste Asia” Event, presented by New Tang Dynasty Television & Epoch Times in June.

LISTEN the song here.

During his acceptance speech, Chen jokingly asked the audience, “Do you like Chinese food?”

“Making music is like cooking, you have to be sincere, and put your heart and soul in it,” he said. “To me the most important thing is that music will make people happy.”

Another top awards went to drummer Antonio Sanchez. He opened the 2014 award show on Tuesday night with a powerful performance of a portion of his unique percussion score for the movie Birdman. Sanchez won the HMMA for best original score for a feature film.

Before he performed, he said he was a bit nervous.

“I’ve never done this before, playing to a moving image, playing to a couple of clips from the movie, so it’s going to be really interesting,” said Sanchez.

Songwriter Gregg Alexander, known for his band New Radical’s 1998 song “You Get What You Give,” performed live for the first time since he left the band and the spotlight 15 years ago. 

Alexander sang his song “Lost Stars” from the film Begin Again, which won best song from a film. Actors Keira Knightley and Adam Levine performed the song in the movie.

Canadian composer Howard Shore was the winner for best original score in a sci-fi or fantasy film for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. 

The popular song “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie won best song from an animated film.

In 2013, Tony Chen won HMMA’s best song for an Indie Film, Documentary, or Short for the song “The Courage to Believe” from the award-winning documentary film Free China.

He was also the first place winner of the 13th Annual Great American Song Contest in 2011 and is a Grammy voting member. Chen graduated from the University of Huddersfield in England in 2010, and is based in New York.

The Hollywood Music in Media Awards was created to celebrate the music of both mainstream and independent music artists. Nominees and winners are not selected based on record label, sales, or popularity, but purely on excellence in music.

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @dadasarahle