Tencent, Sony Launch Liquid State Electronic Dance Music Label

Liquid State, a music label created by Sony Music Entertainment and Tencent Music Entertainment Group, is set to cater to electronic dance music fans

Play Club - one of the most popular nightspots in Hong Kong - bustles and even when the night is still young. And it is packed now with locals, expats and visitors as the electronic dance music fad catches on. And the EDM scene in the region is set to get hotter with a new music label.

Norwegian record producer and DJ Alan Walker best known for his 2015 single, Faded - which has so far sold more than 9.4 million units worldwide in addition to being streamed more than 1.6 billion times on digital platforms - was recently in Hong Kong for the launch of Liquid State, an EDM label created Sony Music Entertainment and Tencent Music Entertainment Group.

The 20-year-old Walker will release a string of exclusive collaborations on the label in 2018.

Speaking about the EDM scene in the region, he says: "Each time I return to China, I sense the growth of dance music here. And with the birth of the new label, I expect to work with Chinese musicians and possibly get inspired by typical Chinese music elements."

According to Andy Ng, the vice-president of Tencent Music Entertainment Group, a leading online music service company in China - which has three major music service providers including QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo and a combined 700 million monthly active users - Liquid State is the new home for electronic and EDM artists from Asia and internationally.

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He also says that EDM is taking hold in China, and that statistics of the three music services under the company show that EDM is in the second place among the most played music types online.

"The label will discover, showcase and develop local talent to create original content, while providing support to international artists in the region," says Ng.

In 2017, Walker took the number one position on the QQ Music charts with a record number of over 6 bil-lion audio streams, and featured as the highest climber on a poll of Top 100 DJ Mag, a British monthly magazine dedicated to electronic dance music and DJs.

"We have many great clubs in the big cities of China, such as Shanghai. But most of the DJs performing at those clubs are from the West. Now, we want to offer Chinese DJs a stage to display their talent, and with this label we will also provide opportunities for Chinese DJs to work with Western DJs," says Ng.

Separately, Denis Handlin AO, Chairman & CEO, Australia & New Zealand and President Asia, Sony Music Entertainment, says: "These are exciting times for the music industry, and Liquid State has been created to support and enhance the discovery and development of electronic and EDM talent across the Asia region.

"Together we will make Liquid State the destination for a wide range of highly talented new and established global and local artists," he says.

In addition to Walker, Liquid State's initial roster has other talent from across the electronic music spectrum, with Grammy-nominated global star Zhu, and multi-award winning Dubai-based duo Hollaphonic, both set to release music through the label in the coming months.

China's DJ Lizzy and South Korean duo Junkilla are the first artists from the Asia to be signed to Liquid State.

Signs of the growing popularity of EDM in China have been seen in recent years, with many local and Western electronic music festivals held in the country.

For example, the Budweiser Storm Music Festival, one of China's biggest electronic dance music festivals launched by Shanghai-based promoter A2LiVE, visited 11 Chinese cities in 2017, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

And Miami-based Ultra, one of the world's most recognizable EDM festival brands, landed in China for the first time in September 2017 with a two-day event in Shanghai.

Besides, three of Asia's most popular stars have signed on as ambassadors for Liquid State across the region, with Chinese pop star Li Yuchun, who is known as Chris Lee in the West as ambassador for the Chinese mainland; Hong Kong singer-actor Nicholas Tse as ambassador for Hong Kong and Taiwan and a member from South Korean boy band Big Bang, Lee Seung-hyun, known by his stage name Seungri, as ambassador for South Korea.

On Nov 11, 2017, Li released her latest digital album Liu Xing (Popularity) through the online music streaming platforms of Tencent Music Entertainment Group, and sold 5 million yuan ($793,800) worth of music in just seven hours. The singer-songwriter worked with Chinese-American electronic musician and singer Zhu for her song, Privacy.

Speaking of the EDM scene on the mainland and the new label, Li says: "I've attended electronic dance music festivals in Berlin and Tokyo, which are great parties for young people. I don't think it'll take long for China to catch up with the scene in terms of size and spectacle.

"And Liquid State will grow to play a significant role in breaking new artists from Asia on a global scale, as well as enabling Chinese artists to unleash their potential on the EDM map."

chennan@chinadaily.com.cn

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Top: Sony Music Entertainment and Tencent Music Entertainment Group announced the launch of a new electronic dance music label, Liquid State, on Jan 31. Above from left: Norwegian record producer and DJ Alan Walker, Hong Kong singeractor Nicholas Tse, Chinese pop singer Li Yuchun and South Korean singer Seungri. Photos provided to China Daily

(China Daily 02/10/2018 page20)

Source : http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2018-02/10/content_35680819.htm

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