By Marlina Azmi (Pulse Radio)

Asia’s got talent – and these days that talent is successfully branching out across countries and continents, showcasing the individual abilities of its artists to rock the crowd right. As part of our focus on the growth of the Asian electronic scene in the lead up to this year’s IMS Asia Pacific, we wanted to throw a spotlight on some of the talented individuals leading the charge. Coming from various locations within the Asian region, we’ve listed out some of the most exceptional artists that have been making an impact in the scene both at home and abroad. If you don’t know these names already, it’s time you paid attention…


It is hard to believe that Thailand’s most prominent underground female DJ, Nakadia, grew up in an environment that didn’t have running water; she has come a long way since then. Not yet in pursuit of a music career, Nakadia first made her way to the west of Europe in 2002, but after experiencing her first taste of techno in a nightclub in Frankfurt, she soon abandoned all other missions to focus intently on learning the craft of dance music. “It was German producer Marusha’s party. It made such an impression on me to see a famous female DJ. The very next day, I went to the record shop and bought two vinyl,” she said in an interview with Thump. Her musical mission clear, Nakadia soon gained success behind the booth on the island of Koh Samui. This was the foundation of a healthy international career which has seen Nakadia spin her tech mastery in over 80 countries, including gigs at iconic underground havens like Berlin’s Watergate, London’s The Egg and D Edge in Sao Paulo. While she did release tracks in 2005 and 2008, it wasn’t until 2012 when she took to the studio to produce more consistently, one of the most recent highlights of her studio efforts her 2015 EP, ‘The Dark Side of Tomorrow’. Fresh from a career defining set alongside Richie Hawtin and Sven Väth at Amsterdam’s Loveland festival, Nakadia is one of the strongest underground forces on the Asian scene and beyond.



Xhin is one of the priveleged few DJs from Asia who has had the privilege to play in Europe’s most celebrated clubbing venues: Berghain and Tresor in Berlin. He is undoubtedly one of the most respectable underground artists that has emerged from Singapore’s scene. He’s been creating cutting edge production since 1997 and released his first EP, ‘Xycle’, in 2003, shortly followed by his debut album, ‘Supersonicstate’ in 2004. He got his big break in 2006 when independent record label, Meerestief, discovered his talent. Xhin’s remix for Dublin’s Five Green Circle’s track entitled ‘Ronan’s BBQ’ created a storm over in Europe. He eventually found a new home – Berlin’s Stroboscopic Artefacts – to showcase his dark, and experimental persona. An artist full of surprises, Xhin released an eponymous, full-length prog-metal album in 2015, a departure from the genre he’s most famous for. His recent release is an EP that contains beautiful remixes of ‘Silent Dawn Departure’ taken off his 2015 album. The piano driven track has been bestowed with perfect remixes from legendary Singaporean musician Case Woo and Berlin ambient producer, Køldd.


Japanese DJ and producer, Hito, quickly became an integral part of Richie Hawtin’s ENTER Experience and resident at his iconic nights at Space Ibiza since 2012, after connecting with the techno legend. While the series has left the white isle, Hito is still actively part of the brand touring it from city, to city all over the globe. Hito’s love for minimal and emotional music presented in vinyl records developed when she moved to Berlin in 1999. Her forward thinking vinyl sets and energetic presence (while dressed in stunning kimono outfits) are what drives the crowd in droves. Her sense of individual style in music has turned her into one of the most successful Japanese exports in the international techno scene.


Hayze remains to be one of Malaysia’s most celebrated house music heroes. His early achievements in the noughties came from the success of ‘Changes’, a track he did with Kings of Tomorrow that topped the UK dance charts. His classic Ibiza anthem, ‘Freak’ with Sandy Rivera managed to hit the sixth spot in the Dutch charts. ‘Around’ released with Noir made its round all over the internet and successfully sealed his status as an established artist in the international music scene. The remix by Solomun has more than 30 million YouTube views, and it seems like there is just no stopping this legit legend. ‘Brighter Days’ released on Noir Music earlier this year was met with nods of approval from both fans and his electronic music friends and colleagues.

Gaby Endo


Born in Brazil, half Brazilian, and half Japanese, Gaby Endo has been calling Hong Kong home since she moved there 13 years ago to pursue a modelling career. Today, armed with a tech and deep house running through her veins, Endo has been taking Hong Kong by storm with her DJing career and carefully curated events, also appearing as a guest speaker at last year’s IMS China. She is co-founder of the monthly Love & Beats held at famous Volar in the city’s Lang Kwai Fong district, and one of the heads behind Rewind, a Sunday daytime party series. Endo continuously plays an important role in growing the local electronic scene with her innovative ideas and endless passion for electronic music.

Arjun Vagale


You cannot talk about India’s techno scene without mentioning Arjun Vagale’s name. He has close to two decades of experience that kicked off in Bangalore and resulted in his becoming India’s most celebrated techno exports, representing his country and craft as a speaker at IMS Asia Pacific in 2014. He has graced the decks of prolific venues like Womb in Tokyo and has released tunes on some of the world’s biggest techno labels, including SCI+TEC, Bedrock, Tronic, Suara and Octopus Recordings.The release of ‘Kill the String’ on ALiVE Recordings in 2010 propelled his production solo career followed by stellar releases on Fergie’s Excentric Muzik. Vagale’s production work has received strong support from the likes Dubfire, Carl Cox, Karotte and Kaserdisco, his track ‘Kempai’ was even licensed to Digweed’s Live in Argentina compilation. Vagale owns global record label, MakTub Music, together with Uruguayan producer Nicolas Silvano promoting fresh talent from across the world, and also co-owns UnMute Agency, which manages underground talent in India. Despite being currently based in New York, one of his missions is to further develop the I Love Music (ILM) Academy, an electronic music school in Gurgaon founded by his brother Nakul in 2009.

Discover more of Asia’s finest dance exports at IMS Asia Pacific this September.

Read the full article on PULSE

If there was any one lesson we learned from IMS’s first visit to China last year, it’s that China doesn’t operate quite like the rest of the world.

So we’ve gathered all the experience from bringing the very first electronic music conference to China and compiled a list of pro-tips to know before joining us at IMS Asia-Pacific from September 21st to 22nd!


If you’re traveling from a Western country, it’s best to start planning ahead for your trip to China. Apply as early as possible for your Chinese visa to avoid any complications and delays in the process later on.

General Steps:

  • You must apply for a visa beforehand – China won’t issue you a landing visa.
  • Choose a Visa Type:
    • L: Foreigners who intend to go to China as a tourist.
    • G: Foreigners who intend to transit through China.
  • Passport: Have an original signed passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a copy of the passport’s data page and the photo page if it’s separate.
  • Fill in the Visa Application Form:
    • Use a recently-taken color passport photo for the application. (Bare-head, full face) against a light colored background.
  • Proof of legal stay or residency: Provide original and photocopies of valid certificates (residence permit, employment, student status) that indicate by authorities where you are currently staying/living.
  • If you have a previous Chinese visa, present a photocopied page of it either from your current passport OR old passport.
  • If you picked the G VISA: Have an onward air (train/ship) ticket with confirmed date and seat to a destination country or region. This CANNOT be a round-trip, meaning the location MUST be a 3rd destination on this trip.
    • Itinerary including air ticket booking record (roundtrip)
    • Proof of a hotel reservation, OR an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity.
    • If you require an invitation letter, please contact IMS:
    • Submit your application to a Visa office of a Chinese embassy/Consulate General based on your state of residence.
  • Pay the fee and pick up your visa.


Traveling from the US:

  • Read through this “How to Apply” ( document.
  • Find the closest Chinese Embassy or Consulate General to you (a quick Google search should let you know where to go) and bring your completed form, passport photo, passport and extra documents. (Usually appointments are not needed, but double check with your local Chinese Embassy.)
  • Allow at least 4 business days for the visa to be processed and ready to be picked up. Rush services (2-3 days or overnight) are available for an extra fee.
  • All visas (single entry, multiple entry) cost $140. 2-3 days express costs an extra $20 and rush (overnight) is an extra $30.

Traveling from Europe (EU):

  • Depending on which country you are traveling from, you will either be asked to visit your local Chinese Embassy, visit a Chinese Visa Application Center or apply by mail. We recommend finding the official Chinese Embassy website for your home country and following the visa instructions from there.
  • Allow for at least 4 days for the visa to be processed (may vary depending on country).
  • Costs of the visa will also vary depending on your country.

Traveling from Australia:

  • Read through this “How to Apply” document:
  • You may apply by visa through mail or at a Chinese Visa Application Center in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane.
  • Fill out a Visa Application Form (, bring a passport photo and support documents (proof of flight, hotel stay, invitation letter, IMS Asia-Pacific tickets)
  • Allow at least 4 business days for the visa to be processed and ready to be picked up. It may take longer if you apply by mail. Rush services (2-3 days or overnight) are available for an extra fee.
  • A single entry visa to China will cost 109.5 AUD (regular fee). Find other fees and options here:


Once you’ve got your visa sorted and are readying to head to China, you may want to look into acquiring a VPN for your stay. Because of China’s stringent regulations on Internet access, some frequent websites you use may not be accessible within the country. The full list of websites that are restricted can be found here ( but popular ones include Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

A VPN (virtual private network) is an application that you can download onto your laptop and smartphone that allows you to bypass the country’s regulations and access these websites like normal. Most VPN platforms require you to pay a fee (one time or subscription). Check out this comprehensive artivles on pree VPN’s


15 DECEMBER 2016

2016 marked the ninth year of International Music Summit and another exciting trip around the world, bringing together the electronic music industry in Los Angeles, Ibiza, Shanghai and for the first time, in Malta with the debut of IMS College, a new educational initiative for the next generation of electronic music creators and thinkers.

We heard from major artists and elite music professionals and discussed conversations that ranged from technology to gender and of course, around the inspirations and progress of electronic music as a whole.

Join us in a countdown of the best IMS talks of 2016, below.

  1. IMS Engage: Marc Geiger ‘In Conversation’ with John MacFarlane

Without question, music and technology go hand in hand. It was a perfect fit for Head of Music at WME Marc Geiger to come together with CEO of Sonos, John MacFarlane, making for a deep dive into the prevalent crossovers between electronic music and the advancing realm of technology for both consumers and the industry. The IMS Engage conversation saw a sharp discussion about the important world of streaming and the digital music age today. Geiger’s intelligent insight into the industry is always incredible to hear – he views the industry in completely different ways to most.


“If you make it easier for people to have music in their life, they’ll listen to it more.” – John MacFarlane


  1. IMS Engage: Arthur Baker ‘In Conversation’ with John Singleton

IMS Engage in Los Angeles focuses on pairing electronic music leaders with peers from across different industries. This year, a highlight was the discussion between respected producer Arthur Baker and the Oscar-nominated director of the celebrated ‘Boyz In The Hood’, John Singleton. The conversation discussed music’s important role in film by tapping into John Singleton’s illustrious career and catalogue and also discussed the evolution of electronic music-centric films, with personal insight from Arthur Baker.

“Nobody has cracked the electronic music film yet. There was just that bad Zac Efron one last year.” – John Singleton


  1. IMS Ibiza: Yello – Keynote Interview

This year’s IMS Ibiza saw yet another legacy take the stage with Yello, who brought decades of knowledge and experience to the stage, discussing their prolific careers as pioneers of electronic music. Their jovial personalities shone on stage alongside their musical talent, when they grabbed a phone and made a track with nothing but an app and the sound of their own mouths.

“Years ago, if you told me that one day, you could have a studio in your pocket that costs less than a cup of tea, I would never have believed it.” – Boris Blank


  1. IMS Ibiza: Striving For Excellence & The Art of Playing Differently


A team of power players came together at IMS Ibiza to swap wisdoms about what it takes to truly “play differently” in the world of electronic music by combining their knowledge as artists and curiosity to integrate new technology and methods into their productions. Black Coffee, Dubfire, James Zabiela, Nicole Moudaber, Richie Hawtin and Carmine Conte from Tale Of Us discussed their own beginnings in production, their experimentations and the state of electronic music today. The talk was inspired by Richie’s Hawtin new technology company PLAYdifferently and the MODEL 1 mixer.

“Half of it is about technology, but half is about your natural ability as a DJ. Along the way, you learn the artform of what it really is to be a DJ. You learn about maintaining the tempo of the night. You learn about programming – what record you play when, it’s important. Then, you push it through technology.” – Dubfire


  1. IMS Ibiza: Diversity in Electronic Music

At IMS Ibiza, the Diversity in Electronic Music panel aimed to tackle the big subject – women and their role in the industry. Bringing together a diverse group of artists and industry leaders, the audience heard important facts about the lack of females in the industry and discussed ways to improve for the future from individuals on both the artist and industry front: B.Traits, Jackie Antas of Live Nation International, José Woldring, CEO / Founder of The Media Nanny, Lucy Blair of The Orchard, Maria May of CAA, Nicole Moudaber and moderated by Mark Lawrence, CEO of AFEM.

“At the end of the day, if you’re passionate about this, you can go out there and do it. Grab it. Whether you’re a girl or a boy.” – Nicole Moudaber


  1. IMS Engage: James Barton ‘In Conversation’ with Lee Anderson

The rare pairing of an agent and a promoter in conversation happened at IMS Engage earlier in 2016, providing a discussion with invaluable insight into the behind-the-scenes workings of the music industry. James Barton, then President of Electronic Music at Live Nation, spoke with Lee Anderson of AM Only in Hollywood, an appropriate backdrop for a discussion about electronic music’s roots and now status as a permanent part of the entertainment industry. Their talk covered topics from up-and-coming producers to the idea of the DJ as the new rockstar.

“For every Calvin, for every Skrillex, there are kids in their bedrooms making new shit that we’ve never heard before.” – James Barton


  1. IMS Engage: Bob Lefsetz ‘In Conversation’ with Pete Tong

What electronic music needs now, more than ever, are voices that are unafraid to say what everyone is thinking. Renowned author and commentator Bob Lefsetz is exactly that man, and when placed in conversation with Pete Tong, there is no topic too controversial or touchy to leave unturned. The discussion covered a range of topics including SFX and the state of ‘EDM’, Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza,” and the next generation of industry professionals.

“If they eliminated the dance tents at Coachella, the event would be over. The audience still wants this.” – Bob Lefsetz


  1. IMS Asia-Pacific: Meet Team Skrillex

Skrillex remains a beacon for electronic music innovation, especially in a country as fresh to the culture and sound as Asia. At this year’s IMS Asia-Pacific, Skrillex arrived with his entire team in tow including his manager Tim Smith of Blood Company, agent Lee Anderson from AM Only and OWSLA General Manager Blaise DeAngelo. The crew discussed their fascination with Asia, experience in a far and foreign market and shared their wisdom about what it takes to stand out amongst a sea of electronic music hopefuls.

“We’re not financially driven, we’re adventure driven. Music and art driven.” -Skrillex


  1. IMS Ibiza: Pet Shop Boys – Keynote Interview

Though dance music is clearly at the forefront of what’s popular in music today, there’s nothing quite like the experience of our genre’s true pioneers. The Pet Shop Boys are exactly that, arriving at IMS Ibiza and invited the audience into an incredible hour of insight about their illustrious career, discussing their own musical inspirations from then ‘til now, what it takes to remain creative throughout the years and outlining their favorite way to spend a Sunday – having brunch at Berghain.


“We haven’t taken a break. You have to exercise the muscles of your creativity to keep them strong. We’re always chasing the idea of the perfect record that’s exactly the right balance of euphoria, intelligence, sound and crazy instinct.”- Neil Tennant, Pet Shop Boys


  1. IMS Ibiza: Erick Morillo – Keynote Interview

Big announcements have always been a tradition of IMS Ibiza, from big business deals to new partnership announcements. But it’s not every year that you hear a candid personal revelation from an artist as prolific as Erick Morillo, who has been influencing the scene for well over two decades. At IMS Ibiza, he bared it all to discuss his journey battling a ketamine addiction through a prolific career. It was an incredible hour of honesty and tribulation and an important nod to the music industry’s need to be open towards discussions about the dark side of the lifestyle: mental health, addictions and dangers.

“It was ketamine, that was the one. When people ask “Why ketamine?” I say thank god it was ketamine, because it was one of the drugs that isn’t physically addictive. It was a mental addiction. It was about ego, and I had to let it go.” – Erick Morillo

Additional panels and keynotes from IMS Asia-Pacific 2016 are now available on the International Music Summit YouTube page!

Rising Stars: Next Generation of Asia-Pacific

Global Power Players – Risks & Opportunities

AFEM Presents ‘Get Played, Get Paid’

Uniting the Nations: India & China

Keynote Introduction – Shailendra Singh

One of the most exciting panels of IMS Asia-Pacific 2016 saw Skrillex bring his core team along with him to the stage in Shanghai. With his manager Tim Smith, CEO and Founder of Blood Company Management, agent Lee Anderson of AM Only and general manager of his creative collective and label OWSLA Blaise DeAngelo and interviewed by Pete Tong, Skrillex discussed the thought process behind his international career and the adventures he and his team have had exploring and uncovering the foreign markets of Asia.
Watch the full Meet ‘Team Skrillex’ panel below and stay tuned for more panels from IMS Asia-Pacific, coming soon.

1. Impressive stats about the Asia-Pacific region

Delegates from all around the world joined us at IMS Asia-Pacific to learn more about the region that still remains distant for most. EVP Insight of BBC Worldwide David Boyle opened both days of IMS with insightful presentations that revealed surprising and impressive statistics about electronic music in the Asia-Pacific region.

In China, he discovered that searches for “EDM” had gone up 26X from 2012-2016 from Google analytics alone, meaning that the actual statistic is likely much higher due to China’s Great Firewall ban that prevents most of their population from using the search platform.

See both of David Boyle’s presentations here.

2. The “first Asian superstar”


“It’s much more interesting to find the first Chinese superstar than to market and sell already existing superstars.” Co-Founder of AFEM Kurosh Nasseri on the ‘Addressing the Challenges of Asia-Pacific’ panel

The conversation about cultivating and uncovering local talent continued from 2015’s summits this year. On an international scale, there still has yet to be a break out star from the Asia-Pacific region, but now more so than ever before, it’s become impossible to ignore the many rising stars that have begun to emerge.

Day 1 closed with an exciting collection of just that with the ‘Next Generation: Rising Stars of Asia-Pacific’ panel, which saw Myrne (Singapore), Kaku (Asia), DJ L (China), Minii (Korea) and Chace (China) come together and share their own journeys, challenges and experiences as young, up-and-coming artists in their individual territories.

“The perception has to change – of course there is talent in Asia. We’re all sitting up here for a reason.” – Kaku, Artist

3. IMS Asia-Pacific teams with OWSLA for Skrillex’s Boiler Room debut


Not too long ago, Boiler Room broke records by touching down in China for the first time with Disclosure. This year, the popular platform returned to the city of Shanghai with a special debut from Skrillex, also a speaker at IMS Asia-Pacific. In tandem with IMS Asia-Pacific and OWSLA, the event took place on the Thursday of IMS Asia-Pacific and was one of the most viewed and highest streamed Boiler Rooms ever.

Watch the stream here.

4. Team Skrillex discusses creativity and Asia

“There’s many ways I could quantify the ways we’ve grown, but that’s boring. For me, it’s been most exciting to watch the evolution of the brand. It’s been exciting for us to colorize that. It feels like OWSLA has a personality, a soul.” – Blaise DeAngelo, General Manager of OWSLA

Following an exciting evening at Boiler Room, Team Skrillex took the IMS Asia-Pacific stage to discuss what it has taken to develop and explore the creative power behind Skrillex and also bring him and his vision to Asia. Skrillex was joined by manager Tim Smith, OWSLA General Manager Blaise DeAngelo and AM Only’s Lee Anderson.

“We’re not financially driven, we’re adventure driven. Music and art driven.” – Skrillex, Artist

5. Alesso and Jolin announce a new collaboration

Alesso and Jolin Tsai closed IMS Asia-Pacific with an exciting announcement about their new collaboration called ‘I Wanna Know.’ The two came together on stage ‘In Conversation’ to discuss what it takes to bridge the gap between East and West in electronic music.

“I’ve never remixed a song that was in a different language besides English. It was really cool, to be honest.” – Alesso, Artist


Do you dream of being part of the electronic music industry? Are you an aspiring DJ? Do you want to be a booking agent? A talent recruiter? Come to IMS Asia-Pacific this year and realize your dreams.

IMS is offering a special deal to STUDENTS ONLY. You will be able to purchase a delegate badge for 50% off, and in doing so, be offered the opportunity to stand at the frontier of electronic music in Asia.

IMS is one of the most esteemed conferences in electronic music. International Music Summit broke ground in Shanghai last year with it’s thematic “Awakening the Dragon” industrial focus. Not only did it open up the Chinese market to industry experts and celebrity DJs alike, it also opened a new chapter for electronic music in Asia.

This year, IMS is coming together again in Shanghai, not only to discuss the Chinese market, but to also address the entire Asia-Pacific region as a whole. Speakers this year include mega DJs Skrillex and Alesso, as well as Mandopop Queen Jolin Tsai. Top executives from labels, booking agencies, and clubs will be coming from all over the globe to discuss and engage in the most pressing issues facing the industry. This is a once in a lifetime chance to mingle with some of the most impressive individuals within electronic music.

In order to get the 50% discount promo code, please follow the steps below:

    1. Email your valid student ID
    2. Show us a screenshot of you reposting this article, as well as another IMS related article.
    3. Receive your promo code from us.
    4. Purchase and register your here.


  • Bring your valid student ID to IMS on the 29th, and pick up your delegate badge by presenting it to the registration desk.

We hope to see you at IMS!

By David Sorrenti

Read the full article on PULSE.

From this year’s IMS business report, we learned that electronic music buyers are twice as likely to subscribe to music streaming platforms as any other genre fans, and that electronic music fans were the third most active music group on social media. Almost every DJ has his own Facebook fan page, and from promoting to event organizing and selling tickets, everything is connected through social media.
Our ongoing studies in collaboration with IMS Asia Pacific have found the rapid rise of the Asian dance music scene to be indisputable at this point, so it’s only natural that anyone looking to develop within this growing industry should be paying close attention to the technologies through which electronic music consumers enjoy – and pay for – their music. In Asia, the focus is even more relevant, as the population in this region has the highest participation in social media and handheld devices than anywhere else in the world.

Clearly in order to understand the industry, it is crucial to learn how social media and streaming platforms in Asia work, so we decided to take a look at the current smartphone app industry in Asia, and compare the different social media, music and technology apps to those popular in Western countries.

Asia has emerged as the globe’s leading hub in the mobile app industry over the past few years. Consumers across Asia spend more time on their smartphones than in any other part of the world, with numbers reaching up to more than five hours per day on average. The major activity on social network and instant messaging apps plays an important role in the drastically increasing number of smartphone users in Asia, and popular apps continue to grow each day as the most frequently used communication platforms.

According to the statistic below, 2014 had 888.000 smartphone users in the Asian-Pacific region, with an estimated reach of 1,139.8 million users by the end of 2016, and a prediction to reach almost 1.5 million users in 2019.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 2.01.06 PM_zpshfl6wbr0



Another graph from January 2016 shows the average number of hours that users spend using social media each day, with the Philippines being the leading country with an average of 3.7 hours a day. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are also included in the top 10 countries, with an average time of 2.9 hours spent on social media.



Given these facts, we must question which apps are the most popular in the region, which have made a significant impact in the Asia-Pacific industry over the past few years, and how they affected the electronic music world? Let’s find out…

Social media and instant messaging apps

As we can see in this graph, Facebook is still the global leader in social media apps in the Asian region, and Facebook-owned apps like Messenger, WhatsApp and Facebook itself are represented in the top five list in almost every Asian country aside from China, where Facebook is blocked.



For the Chinese market, the instant messaging app WeChat is the strong dominator with 24% and reaches an impressive number of approximately 650 million users worldwide, with most users being based in China. WeChat initially started as a simple messaging app, but later on offered many other services like transportation (taxi, fights, train), movie tickets, online banking and more, and became the most successful social app in China, revolutionising the model of messaging apps.

Another notable messaging app is KakaoTalk, which is the leading messaging app in South Korea with 41% penetration, while Facebook Messenger, the next most used messaging app, has only 12%. Although KakaoTalk is really popular in Korea, it’s not really used much in any other country.


The four leading messaging apps in Asia are WeChat, LINE, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, and represent over 2.5B social users worldwide, with WeChat and LINE focused on the Asian market. Given the high number of social media users in the Asian-Pacific region, international brands must concentrate on these channels to spark new business opportunities. However, they should also know that every social media channel has different conditions for branding. WhatsApp for example doesn’t allow brand communication yet, although they recently announced that it will be available soon (but even then it might just be exclusive to Western businesses).

More diverse messaging apps like WeChat or LINE, which offer many different types of services, allow brand communication and include the branded app and browser functionality into their messaging apps, customized and integrated into the customer’s interests and activities. Aside from simple ticket selling, WeChat even allows users to add brands into their contact list, and offers a more advanced user / brand experience than in most Western countries. It is quite normal for Chinese social media users to have different brands among their friends in their contact list, which leads them to interacting and chatting with different brands through the messaging app, building consumer relationships. If they are not interested in a brand, they can simply delete it from their contact list.

This business model definitely marks the key difference in the Chinese market, and compared to the US, Chinese social media users are very comfortable with interacting with different brands through social media channels, while Western consumers are more likely to be scared off by this concept. For international brands with strong social media presence, this might just be the perfect opportunity to drive engagement with electronic music fans in the Asian-pacific market.

Music apps and streaming services

Moving on to another very important key point in the mobile app industry in Asia – and one of particular relevance to its growing dance music community – music apps and streaming services. While music streaming services are very successful in the US and in Europe, most Asian countries are still struggling with piracy and users that have long been habituated with free entertainment due to illegal downloading and pirated music websites.

Just recently, various international streaming services were able to introduce their product in Asia by adjusting the monthly subscription fee individually for each region, but also by pushing their services toward mobile, given the fact that most people in Asia go online via smartphone.

France-based streaming service Deezer for example, expanded in South East Asia in August 2012, and was available in countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia shortly after. Other popular streaming apps like Spotify or Apple Music also introduced their brand in most South East Asian countries. But there are still a few individuals that have put out music apps and streaming services that are more focused on the regional market.



According to government statistics, more than 478 million people in China (which is more than the entire population of the United States) listen to music online. Internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited, who also developed WeChat, first got popular with their instant messaging app QQ, which later on expanded to many other services and functions like online social games, shopping, blogging and music. With around 829 million subscribed users, their QQ music app is the most frequently used music app in China (around 80 million users), and it features popular tracks mainly from China, Taiwan, Japan or South Korea. Given the high piracy rate, it was definitely a courageous attempt to introduce paid music streaming service in China, and it was actually first launched in 2005 (which is even before Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music existed).

Taiwan also has a very prominent music app called KKbox, which is even outranking Spotify in the Taiwanese app market. KKbox has over 10 million users and offers over 20 million songs, and is also available in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Another notable music app is Malaysia-based Raku (Radio Ku). It provides access to millions of international and local songs, podcasts and more than 20 Malaysian radio stations. Raku is kind of the counterpart to the UK’s which was popular a few years back.

Understanding changing streaming and social technologies is key to success in Asian dance music industry, which is booming like never before.

Learn more at this year’s IMS Asia Pacific in Shanghai this September.

By Marlina Azmi

Read the article on Pulse!

Asia’s diverse electronic music scene is currently at its peak. Whilst some regions started developing early – Singapore’s super club Zouk, for example, has been around for a quarter of a century, and India’s club scene boasts roots in the early Goa trance raves of the late eighties – there are many still new to the game. Despite some countries having to make up for lost time, their dance scenes have almost caught up with their more established neighbours in the last decade – and a lot has changed in the last five years especially.

Asia is now finally getting the recognition it deserves, and many are looking east as the industry has proven its potential as a serious contender in the international electronic dance music scene. The fact that in the last two years the influential International Music Summit elected both Singapore and Shanghai as worthy cities for its global conference (the Shangai event was the first of its kind in China), shows how far the region has risen in international esteem. To illustrate the point further and celebrate the wins, we’ve compiled some of the notable achievements that Asia has garnered in the last five years.

China, The Dragon Has Finally Awoken

EDM didn’t successfully take off when it first came into China in 2010, but it has since gained traction in the millennial generation, the initial setback largely down to the government’s suppression of club culture from the late nineties. The government has recently eased regulations, however, which coincides with an emerging capitalist and individualist culture.

“The Chinese government is slowly realizing that for people to pursue their individual ways of living is very important, and I think the government is starting to do that,” DJ Mickey Zhang said in an interview with YourEDM. Various cities in China have made it into lists of top spots to party in around Asia. Last year’s IMS report revealed that between 2011 and 2015 estimated capacity for electronic dance music event almost tripled.

Budweiser Storm Festival in Shanghai also expanded from 16 thousand in 2013 to a two-location event in 2015 with 30-40 thousand capacity. Boiler Room’s much anticipated entrance into China was a huge success this year with the online show breaking its own viewing records. The session in Beijing on 30th April pulled in over 1.3 million views for Le Music with more than 1 million more people tuning in to stream the show live on the Boiler Room’s own website. Shanghai’s packed session on the 1st of May achieved similar figures, with 1.6 million watching in China. Boiler Room China featured headliners, Disclosure, and local acts including the likes of MIIIA and TzuSing.

The Growing Numbers Of International Festival Brands

Asia has had a healthy influx of international festival brands coming through the region in the last five years. In 2012, Sensation made its debut in South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan; earlier this year it made an appearance in Hyderabad. Australia’s now defunct Future Music Festival collaborated with The Livescape Group to host Future Music Festival Asia which, despite the controversial deaths of several punters in its 2014 edition, successfully garnered RM916mil in its debut in 2012.

2013 brought in an estimated 15,000 tourists and RM52.5mil in tourist expenditure, and was estimated to bring in RM112.6mil in its 2014 edition. Ultra Korea, the first in the Asian region returned for the fifth time this year on June 10th, 11th and 12th 2016. Since its debut in 2012, the Korean edition has grown to be the most established event in Ultra’s global calendar, next to of course the annual flagship event in Downtown Miami. It expanded into a three-day affair this year and the festival drew a crowd of over 150, 000 festival-goers, which automatically makes it the largest electronic music festival ever to take place on Korean soil.

The Success Of Home-Grown Festivals

While international festival brands have brought in immense success to many Asian nations, we cannot disregard the home-grown brands that have risen in the last five years. Djakarta Warehouse Project for one has been listed as one to not be missed in a lot of punters’ yearly calendar. DWP drew 70,000 people in 2014, the first year it was a two-day event, and Billboard estimates that 75,000 flooded onto the grounds in 2015 generating $2.9 million in revenue. The first event drew in 2,000 people, and eventually reached 15,000 in 2012. It doubled again in the following two years making becoming the biggest dance music festival in Southeast Asia by 2014.

Thailand has also grown to be a main player in the festival scene with the emergence of boutique festivals like Wonderfruit and Kolour In The Park. Bigger productions like Songkran Festival S₂O drew 42,000 revellers to their three-day affair, which was a spike of 8,000 revellers from last year’s debut. The second edition of S₂O drew 30% or nearly 13,000 foreign visitors of the festival’s overall attendance from around the region. This is a 10% increase in foreign attendance compared to 2015.

The Rise Of The Underground Scene

Despite the EDM buzz surrounding the mainstream market, the underground scene in Asia has flourished in tandem. The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, and Singapore have been building up their underground scenes at a successful rate with more club openings that have given a solid platform for local artists.

Venues like kyō in Singapore, Pisco Club, Elysium and Under 9 in Kuala Lumpur, Time, and the newly opened XX XX / 2020club in the Philippines, Beam and Glow in Thailand, Shelter and Arkham in Shanghai and Oma in Hong Kong are some of the most celebrated underground clubs in the region. They not only host prolific international DJs at their spots, these clubs have started unofficial exchange programs featuring regional DJs as headliners.

Club and event promoters are now featuring DJs from neighbouring countries on their decks. The exchange rate in Asia has soared and it has caused promoters to re-strategise their line-ups to feature equally talented regional DJs on their rosters. This gives more opportunity to emerging local artists, but is not without its own problems…

“With international DJs becoming more and more expensive and there being more local talent that play reputably good music but cost just a fraction of the price, it just doesn’t make sense to book big names for small parties in Asia. Whether this is a good thing or not, I’m not sure because I still love to see my favourite big names on a big stage instead of a new generation DJ with a laptop and sync button,” Thailand’s Dan Buri said in a recent interview with Pulse Radio.

Internationally Acclaimed Producers And Record Labels

The advancement of technology has allowed Asian artists to reach out to international music labels, international producers and regional record labels, resulting in releases on these high profile platforms. Producers like Bangkok based, Sunju Hargun, Malaysia’s DJ Hightech, Singapore’s Xhin, and China’s Tzusing are some of Asia’s talents that have successfully released original productions on international music labels like Turbo Recordings, Lapsus Music, Meerestief Records and L.I.E.S Records respectively.

Producers like these have successfully made their presence visible to a wider audience, which isn’t limited to their local scene. We have constantly been hearing of more and more producers getting noticed by international record labels. Asian labels are also getting noticed by international artists, many of them willingly want their tracks and records released by labels like Midnight Shift, Fragrant Harbour, Pure Substance and Homesick. It is common for these local labels to focus on developing producers not just locally, but internationally at the same time.

Learn more about the progress and challenges of the Asian Electronic Music Scene at IMS Asia Pacific this September.

Are you joining us at the final IMS of the year in Shanghai?

IMS Asia-Pacific takes place in Shanghai, China on September 29th and 30th ahead of Budweiser STORM Festival on October 1st and 2nd. If you plan on attending both, take advantage of a special package for a badge to IMS Asia-Pacific and a ticket to STORM Festival available now!

Purchase your IMS Asia-Pacific and STORM Festival package HERE.






Stay tuned! Speaker and topic announcements for IMS Asia-Pacific 2016 are coming soon…

With the first IMS College now completed, International Music Summit looks back at the important take aways from the two-day, three-night educational initiative with guidance from some of the industry’s top leaders.

Here’s what we learned from the first ever IMS College in Malta!

  1. Passion is an important driving force to succeed in the music business. Ambition and work ethic go hand in hand.

    “Find a job you love and you will never work another day in your life.”
    – Robert Horsfall, Music Lawyer, Sound Advice LLP, UK

  2. Internships are a good way of getting a foot in the door. Be willing to go the extra mile as hard work never goes unnoticed.

    “No one should be afraid of that journey of discovering what you love and trying new things.”
    – Eli of Eli & Fur, UK

  3. Social media is a vital way of communicating your work. Create and customize your own Facebook, Twitter + Instagram pages in order to impress potential labels, promoters + PRs.

  4. Personalize your approach. Take the time to tailor each email going out to be more impactful. A personal touch shows that you’ve done your research and that you are strategic.

    “Fundamentally, it’s relationships with journalists that are key. They’ve got to respect your suggestions and you have to target the right people in order to be taken seriously.”
    – Lucy Allen, Head of Festivals & Events Press, Listen Up Music Promotion, UK

  5. Fully immerse yourself in the scene and make as many real connections as you can.

    “I’m a great believer in community in clubbing – you need to support the people. If you can get great local support that will really help”
    – Wilf Gregory, Director, Hideout Festival / Lost & Found Festival, UK

  6. Community is key in the music industry. Be mindful not to burn bridges and always be open to sharing ideas.

    “If you’re open with working with other people, people are less likely to give you flack. Collaboration is always important.”
    – Joost Stuursma, EMC Head Lecturer, SAE, Netherlands

  7. Be consistent in your approach and have a clear vision.

  8. Ensure your work is the best it can be before approaching potential labels or PRs. If you don’t fully believe in it, it will be hard for someone else to.

    “Try and have your own unique sounds. Don’t pay for Soundcloud views, don’t pay for Facebook views – we can see it from a mile off.”

    – Mark Brown, DJ / Owner, Cr1 Records, UK

  9. The importance of a team is crucial in the early stages of a career. Share a vision with those you trust and can fully believe in your project.

    “You have to have your artists back, and it’s really hard to do that if you don’t respect and engage in the music they are making.”
    – Laura Newton, Agent, CAA UK

  10. Perseverance is key. Don’t be disheartened by knock backs, they can teach you lessons about the industry.

    “You have to understand the dance floor. You have to have the right connection with people. The longer you’re in it, the more people you will meet and the more you will understand.”
    – Mark Netto, Director, IBZ Entertainment, Spain