So here is a lil blurb about the music scene in China and below is my man Himmler’s response:
the article is pretty accurate. one point I’d add though is that the falling cost of producing music (the digital era – hardware is effectively obsolete at this point) happened ten years ago and hasn’t yielded significant gains in china. they absolutely play to the lowest common denominator and anything that rises above that bar is thoroughly suppressed. I’m under constant pressure at my gigs to play music that (dumb) chinese people can understand and relate to. but I generally don’t comply as it’s not in the best interest for myself or the handful of people in a club of 500 that are actually listening.
All of my people in China are mixed in with the music scene in some way. My man Big Tenz just finished a many month many city tour of China with his girl Aliya and they made somewhere between 5 – 6k US a month. Music is lucrative in China. Djs can make 400 US a show at least. Some more some less. Peep Himmler’s website and you can get a feel for what’s going down.
I have an earlier post here about Eli, a rapper in Chengdu. He’s aight (sorry homie) for US standards, but he is an ambassador of hip hop in China. He might make bank, he might just be rappin in front of a newly opened supermarket in a dumpling suit with a band of laowai playing pop behind him.
Proximity Butterfly have made music in China their Great Quest. They are all up in the scene — going to the MIDI Festival, shows everywhere, making CDs and such.
My man Boogie cracks-out in dingy Chengdu apartments puffin herb he grew and synthesizing ill beats and grafting them onto old Chinese tracks to make a palatable hybrid for the discerning Chinese listener. Of which (evidenced by the quote above) there are few.
But the scene is growing. Mad love to my peeps, whether you be in dumpling suits, Mule Uniforms or just picking up hot Chinese women as the house Dj at Babi … its all good.