Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Am444 - Interview
Coverage of the music coming out of China has always been limited, and when the western media do cover them it is often down to their political message, or tangible acts of rebellion as opposed to on the merit of the music they are producing. We fell in love with AM444 back in the tail end of 2011, and were absolutely delighted when we ChaCha (the Chinese half of the duo based out of Shanghai, Jay’s Dutch by birth) convinced them to do an email interview with us. Without further ado:
For people who hadn’t heard you before, how would you describe the music of AM444?
Our music is mixed with different music elements, from hip-hop, funky soul beats to trip-hop, moody dreamy dubby style.
Very fresh beats from Jay. Soul and I sing in Chinese. AM444 for me, is a way to release my feeling and thought about the city we are living in.
Being an act with roots in both western and Chinese music, do you see one culture as having a greater influence on your music then the other?
All musicians are influenced by different music and come with very interesting music background, but good musicians are always open minded and would love to try something different. Because you always learn new things and get fresh ideas from musicians that you work with, that helps us to create more interesting music. I think one of a very important reason that me and Jay can continue making music together is we respect each other's musical background, cultural background, taste and skills. Working with other musicians is like doing chemical experiment, sometimes you can get very interesting results, but we need to keep the balance, because it’s not only one person's music.
The Chinese music scene is a mystery to a lot of people in the west, how would you describe what’s happening in Shanghai?
The scene is growing very fast for sure, back to 6 years ago, you couldn't even find any independent party in this city. we don't have club culture in China i have to say, most Chinese people still like Hong Kong, Taiwanese pop music, or Korean and Japanese pop, also because the media control, it was very hard for people to find more interesting music in china. But now is different. Shanghai is the biggest international city in China, lots people from different country mix in here, they bring new and fresh musical information to us, that helps the local scene grow now, almost every weekend in Shanghai has rock shows and electronic music parties, people now have more options and more Chinese young people start to go out to listen to different music, it affects them, then more local Chinese musicians start to make more interesting music. The future view is positive!
Are there any particular artists getting you excited?
I really like a producer from QingDao called SIG, first time I met him was 3years ago, I was running a monthly trip-hop, downbeat night in shanghai, he sent me an email asking if he could come and play, I listened his music, it was a big shock really, I can't believe the music was made by a Chinese producer, but during this 3 years, I easily can tell he has learnt a lot and growing a lot, his music also getting more and more mature. Every time I listen to his new productions, it makes me excited and proud!
How did the two of you meet, and what led to you starting to make music together?
3years ago Jay was in shanghai to visit his gf(now wife:)) ,he found The Shelter club which is the venue we do parties all the time in shanghai, we met in there and had very nice chat about music. After that Jay moved to shanghai, we like each others stuff so we decided maybe we can try to make music together.
Your debut Eye Wonder came out back in April, having you been working on any new material since then?
Jay and I both very busy and 2011 seems was a crazy year for both of us, so we couldn't find time to make more music after last April, but finally from this year, we back to studio start to make more music for our new album. We are both very excited about it coz from what we have now, we can tell there are something more fresh and interesting.
What’s the plan for 2012? Will you be touring?
AM444 will start to tour Asia from March of this year; we are making more music and practicing for our new live set. And also we are working on summer Europe tour too, hopefully in 2012 we will bring AM444 to more places to show people what happening in china and yeah, if the earth is still exists after this year, 2013 we will blow up!
神经末梢 (Shen Jing Mo Shao) by AM444
Eye Know by AM444
Want to hear more? Head over to their Bandcamp.