Beijing Today has been interviewing indie bands and players in China. Here are some of the most popular ones. Don’t miss their concerts if you like their style.
Founded by a group of Ningxia Province kids with no musical experience in the summer of 1995, Buyi has grown to become one of China’s most foremost indie rock bands.
The band won fame in 2004 after performing its song “Autumn” at the Beijing MIDI Music Festival. Since then, Buyi has built a reputation with on its quality lyrics and emotional songs.
Hoochie Coochie Gentleman
Hoochie Coochie Gentleman is set to rock Jianghu Bar this Saturday with a live blues show.
2014 has been a breakout year for the band after four years of relative obscurity. Their latest albums, Sky Blue (2012) and Sadly Dying With You (2012).
The group plays a very unique style of blues with lyrics based on the artists’ understandings of life and truth. Their songs tell the stories of city people who maintain an optimistic attitude toward life in spite of their struggles.
Longjin Band, founded in Beijing in November 2007, is a folk, funk and reggae fusion band that blends understated melodies with fresh rhythms. In spite of popular labeling, its sound offers much more than “Chinese reggae.”
Longjin’s song “The South” was nominated for Best Rock Song in the Abilu Music Awards held by Douban in 2011. A year later they won the award for Best Band and 4th place for their album The City Light.
The success of Longjin owes as much to its members its producer. Longjin’s first EP Feng Yun and The South released in 2012 were produced by Micheal Wagner, a man whose credits include Queen, Oasis and other Grammy Award winners.
The Beatloves, one of Beijing’s many Beatles tribute bands. Guitarist Huan Xuan plays the part of John Lennon, Jiang Yiping of George Harrison, Cao Shuonan of Paul McCartney and drummer Han Yaqiang of Ringo Starr. The band’s fifth member – and its only female – is keyboardist Li Kundi.
The Beatloves were founded in 2010 by three high school classmates who shared a love for The Beatles and a passion for rock. The group copies the look of the Fab Four down to their instruments and obsession with British Mod fashion.
Named as a creative rendering of WHAI is a young band with some wild ideas about life.
WHAI’s music is a complex and careful blending of trip hop, post rock, Chinese folk and techno in spite of the band’s “avant-garde” branding.
Their free-roaming rock conjures up more powerful emotions than what we’ve come to expect from most young Chinese bands. By using a careful layering of melodies, bass lines and ambient effects, WHAI creates an intellectually satisfying soundscape for the brain to pick apart.
But WHAI’s real strength is the quiet behind its rhythms – a creative playground it leaves open for the listener’s imagination.