Being a Rock Star in China

I have tried to write about this a few times from a few different angles … here is a story on the Rock Music scene in China for, a long meandering story that follows my friends Proximity Butterfly as they make their way to a show in Nanjing.

The rock scene is something all of my friends have been involved with at some point or another, either as performers or promoters or as part of the audience. The music scene here is truly a baby compared with any other place in the West, but if we take those comparisons out and just peep what’s going on, then it reminds me of Minneapolis Hip Hop, hardcore and hard working. Sure in China, most of the serious bands are in the shadow of wak groups and mediocre musicians, but we all know what happens to medicority — its either forgotten or made into a joke.

So it’s inevitable that at some point in the near future, we’ll see some groundbreaking, interesting stuff come out of the China music scene. Can’t wait. For now peep the realness at

For some related reading:

Bumping it in China and Chinese Beats

Silicon Hutong

China Music Radar

and for some unrelated lolz:

Sascha Matuszak
Sascha Matuszak

2 thoughts on “Being a Rock Star in China

  1. I gotta disagree. China will be playing cultural catch up for a generation, or more, and there’s virtually zero chance of any ground breaking music emerging here (whether rock or otherwise).

    This is nothing like hip hop in the 90’s, punk in the 80’s, or disco in the 70’s. I’d be willing to bet that 90% of foreign band gigs in China are contract cover band jobs playing Hotel California at car dealership openings. The vast majority of Chinese aren’t looking for something new; they’d rather hear Lady Gaga.

    I realize this is a jaded perspective but it’s what I’ve taken from years of performing and promoting events in China.

  2. Well yes. a lot of the bands suck and a lot of the music is straight copied. But i take a perspective that the changes the country has undergone have been so rapid and the minds of the new generation have been adapting so quickly that instead of decades with dominant musical styles like we saw in the West, we’ll have years or a couple of years for styles to emerge, flounder and sink and then reemerge again slightly weirder.

    so in that type of environment, only the groundbreaking will ever be heard outside of China. So if we use that logic, then it is inevitable that we’ll hear something cool, someday.

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