The founder of Rockinchina.com: ”The typical pop music forms in Asia start to lose their attraction on the youth”

Chinese "wall of death" at Midi Festival.

Text: Heini Strand
Photo: Midi Festival

Yang Yu is the founder of the site Rockinchina.com, which has provided web users with English database of Chinese rock scene for 10 years now. He is also one of the speakers in the EARS seminar held in Helsinki this Friday.

Below he tells more about the site and his current work as the head of international in Midi Festival. He also explains why he loves Finnish rock band Knucklebone Oscar who were touring China a while ago.

Yang Yu

You’ve spent your whole life between European and Asian cultures. How do you think that helps you with your current job at Midi?
”Yes, I have spent a significant time working on international projects between Europe and China. That is actually why I work at Midi now. Besides dealing with international band applications for the festival, the main focus of my work is international collaboration projects. I’ve been helping Midi since I got to know them. Now I’m glad I’m on the same boat.”

You are the founder of Rockinchina.com. Why did you start the site?
”I’m doing a lot of international communication and most of the questions I’m being asked are more or less about the same topics of interest. That’s why we founded a database of Chinese rock and alternative scenes.”

Rockinchina.com is turning 10 years now. How has the site evolved?
”Time goes fast, doesnt it? We’ve come very far and expanded to the entire Chinese music scene, not only rock or alternative genres. But we’ll maintain the style how we provide information and spread the word about Chinese music.”

I heard that Finnish band Knucklebone Oscar made an impress on you in Beijing. (Read their interview here.) What in them caught your attention?
”They are a great live band! First of all I like their music, the songs are very vivid and powerful. But their ability to interact with the audience is incredible! No matter if it’s two thousand or twenty people listening.”

What do you think are the biggest trends in the current Asian music markets?
”I actually don’t know and that is also not really a topic of my interests. But it seems that the typical pop music forms in Asia start to lose their attraction on the youth. Niche forms, such as indie, rock and other alternative music genres, start to burst out, and not only within the underground scene. That makes the whole Asian music scene more interesting.”

Yang Yu’s top 3 picks – favourite bands from China:

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