Mandarin folk artist and bandleader/guitarist for Beijing rock band Amazing Insurance Salesmen Zhang Si'an (aka Jean Sebastien Hery) sat down with Josh Feola for MusicDish*China. From D-22's death to its rebirth as XP, his online platform Pangbianr and views on the evolving Beijing scene, Josh illustrates how despite his short stay thus far in Beijing, he's carved an important role building its local music industry.
How long have you been in China and what pushed you to come here?
I've been in China for just over three years now. Originally, I came because the first job I found after graduating university was at an internet startup in Beijing. Previously, I had spent a semester in Yunnan province studying archaeology and anthropology, and for some reason felt compelled to come back to China despite no formal training in Mandarin. After a year of working in Beijing, I became interested in the music scene and decided to quit my job and focus on music.
What was your role at D22 and what is your role now at XP?
I started at D-22 as a booking assistant in November 2010. Eventually, I was doing almost all of the booking, and kept that position until D-22 closed in January 2012. At XP, I am the general manager, so I oversee all booking/event programming, the bar, the cafe, the record store, etc.
Why did D22 close and why did it re-open as XP?
D-22 reached a natural end. The bands that started out there have by now gone on to a fair amount of success and recognition. By the end, the most interesting shows at D-22 were the weekly Tuesday night experimental shows, called Zoomin' Night. So we wanted to open a new space focusing specifically on this aesthetic and this scene.
Read the full interview at http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=13232.