Chinese Rock Goes North... To Mongolia
Shanghai garage rockers Banana Monkey took part in the second annual Rock Naadam tour of Mongolia earlier this month
Much of the focus of the music community in China's relationship with the international music community is connecting it with more established markets. Recently, Shanghai hard rockers Dabei have been scheduled to play the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan; Beijing-based label Maybe Mars bands were represented at South by Southwest in Austin, USA; and numerous DJs based in mainland China have performed in Hong Kong.
And while the music industry in China is only recently getting widespread media attention and more consistently attracting internationally touring acts, one Chinese band recently had the opportunity to perform somwhere that gets almost no exposure from international acts. In fact, they were the first group of Chinese nationals to perform in that country.
The band in question is Shanghai garage rockers Banana Monkey, who took part in the second annual Rock Naadam tour of Mongolia earlier this month.
Rock Naadam is an annual music and philanthropy exchange between China and Mongolia I started last year to promote, among other things, the Mongolian music community's promotion and exposure to the China-based music community in Mongolia. Obstacles have included the previously mentioned lack of infrastructure, surprisingly high travel expenses, and lingering tensions between Chinese and Mongolian peoples that go back about 800 years ago, when Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan) supposedly told his followers to keep their eyes on the Chinese.
Both Rock Naadam tours of Mongolia have been successes. In the most recent tour, Banana Monkey played a club show in Ulaanbaatar that the bassist Enerelt for Mongolian band Mohanik described as the first real rock show of the year. In person and on social media, Mongolians expressed appreciation that an international band, especially one from China, would play in their country. I'm currently working with promoters in Mongolia on follow-up projects.
While there is a certain prestige organizing and playing in high profile and established locales all over the world, promoters and performers in China shouldn't forget that less established markets might be just as happy to see Chinese artists, maybe even more so.
Banana Monkey is currently working on their debut album. Brian Offenther/DJ B.O will perform the first DJ shows in North Korea in August.
Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» Mongolian Metal Night @ INFERNO in Shanghai, June 22 - Mongolian Metal Night @ INFERNO in Shanghai, June 22 to raise money for Rock Naadam II (2012-06-07)
» Can I Have Some Mohanik? Mongol Garage Rock Tours China - Mongolian garage rockers will be touring China January 12th through 15th, playing Hohhot, Beijing, Ningbo, and Shanghai (2012-01-05)