It’s becoming ever more common for parties and promotional nights to morph into independent labels. We’ve seen Out of Fashion Boys, formed by Beijing DJs and producers Luxixi and TsingLung, as well as S!LK, from another Beijing-residing producer Puzzy Stack, make the leap from club night into publishing music over the past couple of years.
Shy People is another that is making the jump, but its origin story is a little bit different.
The platform was founded by Wang Yijun in 2018 as a self-blogging account on WeChat. Coming from a background in media, he was seeking a space to put his thoughts on a variety of differents topics. The account gradually became more focused, with a particular emphasis on promoting electronic music and club culture. “I am a participant and observer of raver culture, the nightclub ecosystem, and you could say that the nightclub is my other ‘home’,” Wang tells us.
It follows, then, that Shy People has morphed over time from a blog into something more, putting on events in nightclubs, galleries and record stores.
These events have taken a decidedly experimental slant, as Wang tells us, “I will create a different theme for each party. The first event was what I defined as the ‘music equal rights’ event, playing various types of non-dance music in the club.”
View this post on InstagramA post shared by 害羞的人 (@shypeoplecn)
A post shared by 害羞的人 (@shypeoplecn)
The next step in Shy People’s evolution is the foundation of a music label, and Wang explicates his thoughts on the importance of small, independent platforms in giving musicians the freedom to create and experiment. “As a small label (currently only me), Shy People can’t achieve the scale of traditional record companies, but I hope to present music in a more flexible way.”
For Wang, the idea to release music under the Shy People name came after he heard music by a young university student called Night Swimmer. “I found that he didn’t seem to be good at publicity, and I tried to get him to send demos to other labels to listen to, but to no avail. So I began to wonder if I should start a music label to help young musicians?”
Night Swimmer’s album is set to be the first release on the label, and Wang is seeking to explore how electronic music is perceived and interpreted from a Chinese perspective.
“Shy People is doing this kind of exploration: making electronic music sounds that belong to Chinese people.”
Cover image: Night Swimmer and thruoutin play in front of Miaoying Temple courtesy of Shy People
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