Born in Taipei City and started his DJ career in 1998, ELVIS.T is an active DJ in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. He is one of the founders of Acupuncture Records, Lantern Club and INTRO Festival. He also contributed enormously in developing the electronic music culture in Asia. With creativeness, his music has been released by labels from Germany, Britain, Japan, and Switzerland. In 2010, ELVIS.T was given the title of “Best DJ of the Year” by leading lifestyle magazine Timeout Beijing, as well as in 2011 and 2015 by City Weekend Beijing. You started your DJ career in 1998, and moved to Beijing in 2007. As a DJ resident in Beijing for many years, what do you think about the development of electronic music of the city in the past couple years? I moved to Beijing in 2007, it has been almost 10 years. Actually, the electronic music development in Beijing is always been vigorous. The only problem we have to face now is the venues. Clubs and other venues in Beijing open and close very frequently, even now the city still doesn’t have many stable places for electronic music. I think the number of venues influences the development of electronic music of the city. But now, more and more young people start putting their heart into electronic music and a lot of new electronic music festivals have been started. In general, the electronic music scene in Beijing is better than before. A lot of your friends know that you are very interested in synthesizers. Can you introduce some synthesizers that you use the most? With the development of digital synthesizers, what are some changes they brought to your music production and live set? Modern digital music production technology is very well developed. Since 2000, I started to make music by using digital synthesizers with some hardware synths. Recently, I like to make music with old synthesisers and effects within the synthesizer module, hoping to bring out a different feeling. You brought us an unforgettable DJ set at Boiler Room in China. People from all over the world can now listen to electronic music sound from China. What impressed you the most playing at Boiler Room? It was a great honor to join this show. I think this is a remarkable project to promote Chinese electronic musicians and let the local sound be heard by the rest of the world. I felt very close to the listeners because everyone was standing behind the DJ during the set. What happened that night was in a bit chaotic, drinks got spilled on some equipment by random people and they stopped working. But it was a fun experience after all. Recently, electronic music has started to become mainstream and caught a lot of attentions. Local electronic music festivals and parties have grown dramatically. Do you think this is the brightest time for electronic music in China? What is the most difficult thing in developing the electronic music scene in China? It is the brightest time for developing electronic music in China right now. Electronic music parties and festivals were only held in first tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in the past. Now they are all over China. But overall, we can say that it is the best time for electronic music in China. Talking about the difficulties, although there are a lot of electronic music parties now, the quality of the music is still not good enough. For me, the most important part the music is its sound. If a DJ wanted to tell stories through music, the sound must be the most important one. However, the entire sound thing has to be done in a budget. So the difficulties come from many directions. The biggest problem is that this is still not a very well-organized market. If the supply and demand could be balanced, I believe it would get better and better. What do you think about how we should approach commercial electronic music and underground electronic music? I think we can’t put music into commercial or non-commercial these two categories. Listen to whatever you like and do whatever you want. Can you introduce us your upcoming album? What kind of surprises are you going to bring us? It has been 4-5 years since I released my last album. I’ve been focusing on exploring new sound and techniques these couple years. It is kind of a self-exploration to me. I’m going to release a new track at the end of the year, please stay tuned!
Interviewer: Bruno Song
Please enjoy a track from ELVIS.T: