- Michael Ohlsson on talent exchange and export of Chinese artists
I manage and work with a Chinese music producer named “B6″. We’ve been on tour together around Asia and Europe a few times now. Our most recent trip was to Denmark for a new talent showcase festival called SPOT.
As one of the few non-European talents to get invited to SPOT, B6 did a collaborative project and performance with a local Danish act called “Akiri”, who we worked with in China last year.
Last year, 2010, Shanghai hosted the World Expo, with over a hundred countries participating. Most of the national pavilions held music events, flying out some of their country’s music talents to perform. One of the most active and frankly, high quality, was the Denmark pavilion. Scandinavian governments have been active for years in China, actively participating in music festivals, and funding chosen acts to send over to China. Until recently, it was quite rare for Chinese audiences to see foreign live music acts — a large percentage of those that have come out over the past decade are Scandinavian. Danish act “Reptile & Retard” have toured China with over 20 gigs, probably the most of any foreign act here. We also regularly see Finnish metal bands and Swedish experimental pop, as the only “foreign acts” on the major festival bills.
So it was nice to see, finally, some love back — a Danish festival flying out a Chinese talent. B6 and Akiri met and rehearsed together in a basement in Aarhus, just days before the festival, and worked out a collaborative live set, performed at two different stages/days at Spot Festival.
Spot is exactly the kind of festival we’d like to see happen in Asia — a focus on new talents, a solid variety of music, an urban festival that works with and promotes the city it’s held in, and a fair mix of networking/industry functions along with great parties. Not to mention the excellent production values and organization we so need in China.