May 1 is the Labor Day holiday in China. As in many countries around the world, it’s technically a celebration of the workers, though these days it’s become associated with consumerism and going on holiday.
This year, as the country tentatively emerges from widespread Covid-19 lockdowns, China’s holiday period will be watched closely for signs of just how comfortable the population is with getting out and about, given that the break has become one of the biggest times of year for travel in recent years.
But whatever happens in China, and whether you’re doing the WFH thing or throwing off your chains on May 1, we’ve put together the perfect soundtrack. Over on the RADII Spotify — and embedded below — you’ll find a playlist of 14 songs from China-based artists about work, labor and making that money.
Opening with the 工工工 Blues (“工” = work/labor), the playlist features songs about work and overtime being annoying, while if cash rules everything around you, you’ll find a few choice Chinese hip hop cuts full of flexes on how much the rappers have in their digital wallets. The playlist rounds off with a comedy choral track about working long hours and a song dedicated to Labor Park from Dalian post-rock band Wang Wen.
Happy International Workers’ Day — don’t work too hard! And don’t forget to follow us on Spotify for more playlists showcasing the best contemporary music coming out of China.
Cover photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash
We highlight our top stories each week in an email newsletter that goes out every Monday - hot, fresh, and straight to your inbox.
Don't worry, we don't spam