Why the Global Music Industry Needs China
This panel will discuss the importance China currently plays and will play in the near future in the global music industry. Practitioners from very different areas of the music business will explain their involvement with the Chinese music market and why they think the world can benefit from China's fast development. We will explore how musically China has already caught up in less than 30 years what took more than 60 years in the West, and try to elucidate what will happen in the next 30 years. Will China take away the musical spotlight from the USA/UK, or will it follow Japan's footsteps and be the promise that never really took off? Are Korea's current crop of pop stars something of an omen?
Charles Saliba is a founding partner of Beijing music club D-22, and 兵马司/Maybe Mars Records, the second largest independent music label in China. He spent four years working in technology consulting in New York and London after Columbia. He moved to Beijing in early 2004 at the insistence of his friend and business partner, Michael Pettis.
In early 2006 he helped open D-22 and it quickly became a home for Beijing's underground musicians. Within a year of opening it started receiving accolades and international recognition. As a former New York resident, Saliba enjoys the frequent comparisons to the old CBGBs. D-22 is credited by many, most recently by The Economist, as being the epicentre for Beijing's burgeoning alternative music scene.
Maybe Mars was started by artists who had found a home at D-22. In its four years of existence, it has already signed more than 40 different rock, experimental, noise and folk musicians, including most of the acts at the forefront of China’s music underground. Despite their youth, several bands on its roster have collected an impressive list of accomplishments including extensive tours of Europe, USA, & Asia, opening for Sonic Youth, and being chosen by Time magazine as 'one of the 5 bands to watch in Asia'.
Charles Saliba graduated from Columbia College in 2000 with a B.A. in Political Science and recently graduated with a Master's in International Development from Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Tony Ward is the owner of Hong Kong based music marketing consultancy Man On The Ground providing international music managers, labels, bands, and entertainment companies “on the ground” marketing, touring and industry contact services for Asia.
Tony is also Program Director for Music Matters, Asia's leading music industry convention and festival. The conference takes place this year at the Ritz Carlton in Singapore May 24 & 25th. The 2011 event was attended by over 1,200 industry executives, artists, agents, managers and thousands of music fans from around the world.
Prior to moving to Asia, Tony held various executive marketing positions at US major labels including Sony Music, BMG, Arista Records, and EMI Records.
Li Sisi is the co-founder of one of China's largest and most respected promotions team S.T.D., and is also head of PR Converse China where she is heavily involved in all their music affairs.
After completing her International Marketing degree, Sisi became one of the first independent local promoters organising shows for Chinese bands in 2005. In 2007, she co-founded S.T.D. with her partner Reggie Ba-Pe and their events quickly became one of the hottest talked about topics in Shanghai, combining live music and DJs. Since then, S.T.D. has become one of the most influential promotions team in China having put on well over 200 shows throughout the mainland, booking for top music festivals, consulting for brands and consistently exposing alternative music of all types to China.
Xi is lead singer of the band "snapline", which started since 2005. Involved in China music scene in a certain depth that his simple mind may have (only) a couple of interesting ideas.
Josh Feola is a Beijing-based booker and promoter. His primary focus is on experimental and avant-garde Chinese music. He organizes shows, film screenings and other multi-media art events throughout Beiing via his organization pangbianr (http://pangbianr.com). He was the booking manager of D-22, Beijing's premiere underground music venue, from November 2010 until D-22's closure in January 2012.
Josh has written about experimental Chinese music for web and print publications including The Wire, Altered Zones (http://alteredzones.com/), and Tiny Mix Tapes (http://tinymixtapes.com/).