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British Council Taps Beijing’s Merrie Records for New Musicians in Residence Program

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Since 2011, British Council has been bringing UK artists to cities around China through its celebrated Musicians in Residence project. But given this year’s ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, they launched an all-online residency program instead called Distant Dialogues — which connects three British to three Chinese musicians — featuring artists from Beijing-based indie music label Merrie Records.

Founded in mid-2019, Merrie Records have quickly become one of China’s most impressive new labels. An offshoot of Beijing’s D-Force Records, they have since released music from some of the country’s most exciting bands, producers, and artists, including the likes of experimental artist 33EMYBW, Kunming rapper Zeming Xu, and Hangzhou producer Guan.

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This year’s Distant Dialogues project will feature three artists from around mainland China: singer-songwriter Shii, who released her previous two EPs on the label; Shanghai-based producer Gooooose, whose project with experimental artist 33EMYBW, Yadae, previously released an EP on the label; and audiovisual artist gogoj (Sheng Jie), who has yet to release with the label.

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The trio will be joined by three British musicians for the residency: multi-faceted electronic music producer Hector Plimmer, experimental sound artist Kayla Painter, and blender of hip hop, soul and electronic music, Wonky Logic.

Beginning on August 28, the six musicians will be sharing updates and getting feedback from netizens through their personal accounts on both Chinese and international social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, Facebook, and Instagram. Tracks made during the six-week residency will later be compiled into an album at the beginning of October.

Bryan Grogan
    Bryan is RADII's Culture Editor. He is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with an interest in culture stories with a social bent. He can be found at a music show, usually with pint in hand.