The CMU Great Escape Special was a magazine distributed at The Great Escape 2018 featuring articles linked to the three conferences CMU Insights presented there and other CMU reporting and research. Here are some features related to The China Conference.
LEAH DOU: QUICK QUIZ
Chinese artist Leah Dou is playing The Great Escape this year and will also discuss her career to date and her experiences performing in Europe as part of The China Conference. To get things started we asked Leah four very quick questions – find out more with the full interview on stage on Friday afternoon.
Q: Do you think there are opportunities for Western artists to find an audience in China?
A: China has a very big audience that is eager for more Western music, so that’s definitely something to take advantage of. Personally I would love to see more Western artists sharing their music with China!
Q: As an artist who is very successful in China, what what is the appeal of performing in the UK?
A: I think since I write mostly in English, I want to share my music with more people that may resonate with it.
Q: What’s been your biggest challenge as you’ve grown your audience at home?
A: I think the hardest thing for me at the moment is writing in my mother tongue. I find it very difficult to express myself with the language I grew up with. It puts me in a vulnerable place and is something that I have yet to find my way around, which sometimes keeps me from connecting with more people in China with my music.
Q: How does performing in Europe compare to performing in China?
A: It’s definitely very different. I always feel the need to be more energetic on stage when I’m in the West. The West is definitely more expressive when it comes to performance.
GET GOING IN CHINA
We also asked some of our China-based panellists for their top tips for getting started in the Chinese market…
“Like in any other music market in the world, you need to find good local partners and then invest time and money to make it work for your business. The Chinese market may well become the world’s biggest in the next five to ten years. That said, be careful of the hype, and unrealistic expectations and promises. Proceed carefully and steadily”.
Philipp Grefer, Fake Music Media
“The first step for international artists, labels and publishers is to understand and then undertake the convoluted process of licensing their music in China. Then focus on the oft-neglected activity of creating context for your music with the Chinese audience in the absence of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and a chronological order of releases in the market”.
Mathew D, NetEase Cloud Music
“Rule number zero, never talk about politics or religion and don’t do anything vulgar – not in China, not outside China. It will end your career here. Forever. Also, a lot of back catalogue music gets online legally every day now in China, but remember: it is essentially brand new music to the local listener. So, you need to promote it. Now is a good time because very few Western labels and artists are doing it. Get local industry partners. Don’t rely on companies who ‘understand’ the market – work with people who are the market!”
Tinko Georgiev, Kanjian Music