Vinyl records gain­ing ground in China

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO - By CHEN NAN chen­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

board games.

In a pic­ture from 1990 (above), peo­ple in Bei­jing en­joy a Chi­nese chess con­test in Di­tan Park.

Nowa­days, the in­ter­est has ex­tended from adults to kids. Chil­dren learn board games as a way to de­velop their in­tel­lect or as part of school ac­tiv­i­ties.

In July, more than 300 stu­dents from 33 teams from around the coun­try (right) take part in a Western chess event in Wen­zhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

China is wit­ness­ing an in­crease in the pop­u­lar­ity of vinyl records in line with a trend in other coun­tries.

In Novem­ber, pop singer Lao Lang re­leased Dust in theWind in the retro for­mat that was once very pop­u­lar with mu­sic lovers ev­ery­where. The Bei­jing-based singer had launched the de­but al­bum in 1995. The vinyl ver­sion is now stir­ring nos­tal­gia among his fans. The singer-song­writer is ex­pected to re­lease more such records in the fu­ture.

Univer­sal Mu­sic China also re­leased three vinyl records in Novem­ber: Hong Kong-based singer-ac­tor Jacky Che­ung’s clas­sic al­bums, Love Fire Flower (1992) and Born­tobe Wild (1994), and Taipei-based pop singer Tsai Chin’s 2007 Love Without End Hong KongCon­cert. Both artists are icons of Chi­nese mu­sic.

“In 2015, sales of vinyl records in the United States grew by an as­tound­ing 30 per­cent. We hope vinyl sales in­crease in China as well,” Garand Wu, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Univer­sal Mu­sic China, said.

His com­pany plans to re­lease more vinyl records in the next three to five years, he said.

The In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of the Phono­graphic In­dus­try said in its an­nual re­port that mu­sic sales in China last year rose 63.8 per­cent to $170 mil­lion.

“In an era when the mar­ket is largely dom­i­nated by dig­i­tal mu­sic, we want high-qual­ity vinyl to be as pop­u­lar,” Wu said.

In China, vinyl records were pop­u­lar in the 1920s and ’30s, when films, mu­sic and fash­ion from Shang­hai were tak­ing off. At the time, fans of Pek­ing Opera also lis­tened to the an­cient art form on vinyl.

Be­yond vinyl, this year saw a di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of the coun­try’s mu­sic mar­ket with re­gard to niche gen­res, such as jazz and hip-hop.

The first China branch of the New York-based Blue Note Jazz Club opened in Bei- mil­lion jing in Au­gust.

Shang­hai once had a vi­brant jazz scene, but the mu­sic had lost pop­u­lar­ity in China in re­cent decades. There are only four or five jazz venues in the coun­try — one of the most fa­mous be­ing the East Shore Jazz Cafe in Bei­jing.

Modern­sky, one of the na­tion’s big­gest in­die-record com­pa­nies since 1997, re­cently founded a hip-hop branch, named MDSK, with the aim of sup­port­ing lo­cal tal­ent. Among the first group of artists the la­bel signed are rap­per Vinida, whose real name is Weng Ying, ac­tor-singer Edi­son Chan and Chi­ne­seAmer­i­can hip-hop mu­sic pro­ducer Jeff Liang, aka Soul­s­peak.

“Transition is the key word when we talk about China’s mu­sic in­dus­try,” Zhang Qian, a mu­sic pro­fes­sor at the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Univer­sity of China, said.

Mu­sic and in­ter­net com­pa­nies are work­ing to­gether, and a boom­ing live-show busi­ness is help­ing in­die mu­si­cians sur­vive at a time when tra­di­tional ways of sell­ing mu­sic — like CDs — are dy­ing.

China’s mu­sic in­dus­try is ex­pected to pick up more steam next year. Pop diva Faye Wong will hold a con­cert in Shang­hai on Dec 30. In­stead of tour­ing dif­fer­ent cities as has been the trend among top Chi­nese artists, she will have one show that will be live-streamed by Chi­nese in­ter­net gi­ant Ten­cent Inc.

By Dec 5, 390,000 tick­ets to watch her live show on­line had sold out at record prices from 1,800 yuan ($259) to 7,800 yuan.

On Jan 18, Me­tal­lica will make its Bei­jing de­but as part of the band’s world tour next year. The in­flu­en­tial heavy metal band will also per­form in Shang­hai ear­lier next month.

worth of mu­sic was sold in China in 2015, a phono­graphic in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion said.

LI BING / FOR CHINA DAILY

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