Today, January 17, 2022, is a big day for all of us at RADII, as we officially launch our newest podcast — China From All Angles, hosted by hip hop guru and all-around audio production savant Wes Chen. The podcast aims to unpack industry insights, the latest trends among Chinese youth, East-West cultural differences, and bridge different viewpoints through interviews with influential people.
Chen has spent roughly equal parts of his life living in the US and China, which affords him an excellent position when analyzing the relationship between the two nations and China’s rising global stature.
“As someone born and raised in the US, and spent the first 20 years of my life there, then to have come to China, and lived here for another 20 years, my perspective on many things has changed,” says Chen, who lived in Beijing from 2000-2014 and is currently based in Shanghai.
He adds that living in China has helped him get in touch with his roots. It has also allowed him to connect with people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and industries, all of whom have helped him grow and further enriched his outlook on who we are as a people and the world we live in.
This unique perspective — and Chen’s blunt analysis and witty sense of humor — is something that we hope listeners will resonate with when diving into China From All Angles.
Chen began creating audio content roughly 15 years ago, when he started China’s first broadcast hip hop radio show, thePark, in 2006. He has hosted and produced the Chinese-language program ever since, with new episodes dropping weekly.
“While thePark is a platform where I can share music and discuss topics from both China and the US, it is still a format in which I am putting my own thoughts and tastes to the listeners, who are mainly Chinese, as it is done in Mandarin,” says Chen.
In 2017, Chen launched another podcast called 声疗SL.podcast, which is entirely conversation-based. He notes, “声疗 provided me the opportunity to have on more guests who were not necessarily involved in music, and allowed for an exchange of ideas, as it is more likely to happen in a candid discussion versus a hosted show like thePark.”
Since joining RADII last year, Chen has contributed to various undertakings, from offering insight on video and editorial content and documentary projects to crafting a well-received introduction to China’s hottest sneakers.
But it is in the realm of audio content that Chen truly shines.
Prior to the release of China From All Angles, he has been co-hosting and producing RADII’s SoundCheck — a monthly exploration of the hottest new music from China — alongside music aficionado and former RADII culture editor Bryan Grogan. The duo discusses new music releases and plays tracks for listeners to enjoy.
China From All Angles, though, is a different beast entirely, allowing Chen to chat with new guests every week and unpack their experiences to help listeners gain a more nuanced understanding of China.
“When RADII said they wanted to do an interview-style podcast in my native language, English, I jumped at the chance. It finally gave me a way to host many of the interesting people I’ve come across in China and have those same kinds of exchanges that I sought out in my own podcast,” says Chen.
“That is how we came up with China From All Angles, where we talk to guests from different backgrounds and various industries, each with their own story, in the hope of challenging some of our perspectives by hearing things from another angle.”
In the inaugural episode of China From All Angles, Chen chats with members of the rap collective Straight Fire Gang, discussing anti-Asian sentiments in the US, their experiences as overseas students in the country, and their artistic influences, among other topics.
“China From All Angles” is brought to you by East-West Bank, the premier financial bridge between the US and China. Listen to the new podcast’s first episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, SoundCloud, and 小宇宙.
Cover image by Sabina Islas
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