China’s music scene has remained unchanged for decades, however that has changed in recent years because of the internet. Virtually overnight, Chinese individuals were exposed to thousands of bands from countries across the globe.
Although Chinese listeners have the option to stream music from sites including Apple Music, Tidal, and Pandora, the dominant music site is Douban.com
Despite it’s utilitarian appearance and interaction, Douban engages 40 percent of Chinese internet users each month. It is a place for individuals to stream music and other media, find new music, and connect with others.
Ever since its development in 2005, Douban has inspired musicians across China. While many new Chinese bands began as knock-offs of American bands, popular music has shot off in many different, and experimental, directions.
One of the most talked about new bands called Chui Wan began because of connections made on Douban. Chui Wan produces psychedelic/ experimental music. Its lead singer Yan Yulong said of Douban, “Douban is the most important website for the music scene in China.”
It excites me to see not only the desire for artistic expression and experimentation in China, but to see individuals actually make it despite the odds of living in a communistic society.