By now, we expect most readers of this site will have heard of Converse. The sneaker brand. Who sponsored 2 x Chinese independent artists on a proper road trip around China, in 2008. Converse Love Noise made quite a stir as a good way for brands to actively engage with the new creative class that is coming out of urban China.
And where once there was one, now there are many. 10 days ago, we were down at Yuyintang in Shanghai for a show with Beijing ex-emo band Tookoo and their sidekicks Bigger Bang. We had heard that Vans (the “other” sneaker brand) was supporting Tookoo, and it seems like that now extends to Bigger Bang. In between bands, we wandered around the venue, only to see that the Chinese sneaker brand Feiyue were getting in on the act with a media party at the same venue. So without further ado, this is what’s happening in the increasingly branded world of indie music:
Something that came onto the Radar a few weeks ago, but has slipped under the international media net a little is the Summer Pilot Music Festival, put on by Pilot Records. Pilot Records is one of a “big three” Chinese independent labels that include Modern Sky and Maybe Mars. Pilot is also 3 years old, and home to the likes of Reflector, Ziyo and Spring and Autumn.