Electronic music is quickly amassing an enormous following in the Asia-Pacific region. It’s obvious that the industry has incredible potential to explode both financially and culturally, making this time important to bring together professionals with the right experience for a candid discussion about how to overcome challenges and make the most out of the opportunity.

The Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) brought together a panel of powerful promoters and venue owners with the collective local and global experience necessary to discuss the region’s growth in a thoughtful way. From India, Akshai Sarin of ttogether.in was able to share his insight about his populous home country and hear from Western counterparts from Australia like Murat Kilic of Reckless Republic and Antonio Celestino from OneLove, both based in Australia. In addition, Rahul Kukreja of Livescape based in Malaysia was able to balance the conversation with yet another unique perspective of the diverse Asia-Pacific region.

Watch the full discussion above.

To call Simon Napier-Bell a pioneer in the music industry seems like an understatement.

Simon is the former manager of Marc Bolan, Wham!, Candi Staton, Japan, Ultravox and many more and spent 18 months in the early 80’s paving a brand new pathway. His end goal was to bring Wham! in as the very first Western artist to ever play in communist China. His story is captivating, inspirational and a tell-all about the ways professionals of the young Asia-Pacific industry must push forward.

Watch Simon’s keynote address above.

Each edition of International Music Summit aims to unite professionals across the spectrum of roles in the global industry. At IMS Asia-Pacific in Singapore, the Artist to Artist: East Meets West panel brought together leading artists from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and Italy to explore topics relevant to artists of all statures and in all geographic locations.

DJ Sabrina, DJ Tennis, Kaz James, Kavan Spruyt, Lae Hoe Yin Blink and Scarlett Etienne came together to discuss topics like what it takes to succeed as a DJ and producer, social media’s role in a modern artist’s image and even what their moms think about their careers in music.

Watch the panel discuss in full above.

IMS Asia-Pacific is dedicated to uniting the industry by bringing the experience of global leaders to the young market and eager local professionals of the region. The Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) did just that during the Developing the Eco-System panel for an insightful discussion about the most pertinent issues and challenges that Asia-Pacific faces.

Aleks Ljubojevic of the Anna Agency from the Netherlands, Erik Leenders of David Lewis Productions based in Hong Kong, Owner of Kyo Nightclub in Singapore Godwin Pereira, Matt Nugent of Onelove Records in Australia, Indian promoter Prateek Pandey of sLick! and US-based Ryan Saltzman, Co-Owner of The Bullitt Agency made up the diverse array of leaders from each market in electronic music and shared their own individual insights about the electronic music industry.

One month ago on December 11th, IMS returned to Singapore for the second year of IMS Asia-Pacific. In continuation of the overarching theme of “Bridging the Gap,” IMS Asia-Pacific aimed to connect the global industry and unite professionals and leaders from East and West to discuss some of today’s most pressing topics within the industry.

Speakers included world renowned artists Armin Van Buuren, Kaskade and Sharam of Deep Dish, and on the industry front, representatives from SFX, Association For Electronic Music, Bullitt Agency and many more took part in panels, keynotes and interactive networking sessions. Topics like drugs in electronic music, the dying nightlife culture of Sydney, SFX’s turbulent year and the future challenges that the Asia-Pacific region faces were just some of the expansive talking points discussed at IMS Asia-Pacific.

Every IMS discussion is recorded for the larger industry to experience and learn from in our series of IMS Talks. Take a look and listen to some of the most important discussions from IMS Asia-Pacific as the industry moves into 2016.


Akshai Sarin (Artist, Creative Entrepreneur / ttogether.in, India)
Antonio Celestino (Promoter / Totem Onelove, Australia)
Murat Kilic (Artist, CEO / Reckless Republic / Spice, Australia)
Rahul Kukreja (Co-Owner, Livescape, Malaysia)
Moderated by Mark Lawrence (CEO, AFEM: Association for Electronic Music, UK)

DJ Sabrina (Artist, Singapore)
DJ Tennis (Artist, Life and Death / Daze Agency / Elita Festival, Italy)
Kavan Spruyt (Artist, Midnight Shift, Singapore)
Kaz James (Artist, UK / Australia)
Lae Hoe Yin Blink (Artist / Head of Programming, Zouk KL, Malaysia)
Scarlett Etienne (Artist, Hong Kong / Bali)

Aleks Ljubojevic (Agent, Anna Agency, Netherlands)
Erik Leenders (CFO, David Lewis Productions, Hong Kong)
Godwin Pereira (Owner, Kyo, Singapore)
Matt Nugent (Onelove Records, General Manager, Australia)
Prateek Pandey (Promoter, sLick!, India)
Ryan Saltzman (Agent / Co-Owner, The Bullitt Agency, USA / Barcelona)
Moderated by Mark Lawrence (CEO, AFEM: Association for Electronic Music, UK)

Interviewed by Ben Turner (Co-Founder, IMS, UK)

Interviewed by Chris Ho (Artist / Music Journalist / Radio Presenter, Singapore)

Richie McNeill (Director of Special Operations Asia, SFX Live, Australia)
Sharam from Deep Dish (Artist, USA)

Murat Kilic (Artist, CEO / Reckless Republic / Spice, Australia)

Mark Lawrence (CEO, AFEM: Association for Electronic Music, UK)

Kaskade has been a leading force in electronic music for many years. His prolific career has seen him through the early rise of house music in Chicago, several Grammy nominations and multiple commanding albums and classic singles that have built his career and name as one that is globally recognized and celebrated.

Much of his life – both personal and in work – has ties in Asia. Kaskade lived in Japan and learned Japanese and has found incredible success touring through Asia each year. These insightful experiences made him the perfect speaker to join the IMS Asia-Pacific stage in Singapore for a keynote interview.

A lot of Asia is a hybrid of what’s happening in America and Europe. They take from the two worlds and make it their own. – Kaskade

He discussed the incredible potential within Asia as the next frontier for the boom of electronic music, but didn’t stop there. He went on to cover topics that affect the industry as a whole. Inevitably, the issue of drug presence in electronic music culture came up. Kaskade, as a devout Mormon himself, was adamant about his stance on enjoying the music and culture completely sober.

I’ve had people argue with me early on that I’d never be able to make music that people understand not sober. I enjoy this music sober, and I think it’s possible for many people to do that. – Kaskade

Later, he gave his personal opinion on copyright law and where Asia can succeed in the coming future with electronic music. His opinion? The future is bright, and Kaskade will definitely be a part of the progression.

This is why we’re all here. I’ve always seen Asia as a place of opportunity, but now it feels like how it felt in 2008, 2009 in America. Tons of excitement, people were there. It was all leading up to something and we’re going to get to see what that is. – Kaskade

It’s not often that two figures like Sharam of Deep Dish and Richie McNeill of SFX Australia sit down for a conversation, but when they came together in Singapore at IMS Asia-Pacific, the discussion grazed over important topics like the fluctuation of the global festival industry, SFX’s controversial year and genre and artist divides.

The format of the conversation between Sharam and Richie McNeill allowed them to receive questions live from the audience as well as those previously vetted from social media, making the discussion one that truly addressed hot topics of the moment.

Everybody knows dance music is a global phenomenon now. What works in America tends to work also in Europe and Asia. Good music tends to work everywhere. – Sharam

The two discussed Asia-Pacific’s growing and rapidly changing landscape and both shared a positive outlook on the future of the market. Sharam emphasized the importance of supporting “good music,” which would lead to the natural progression of the scene in Asian markets, as well as other industries all over the world.

The conversation switched to a more serious note when Richie was posed with a question about the current status of SFX after a rough year.

It’s been an interesting two and a half years. Where is it headed? […] There’s been a shift in numbers. The big moment for dance music, according to the numbers, was probably two or three years ago. The growth has flatlined in some territories. In territories like Australia, we’ve lost three or four major festivals. But then you look at other markets like South America and we’re launching huge festivals. Some territories pick up, some drop off. Overall, it’s a float. It’s interesting times. – Richie McNeill

Later, Sharam answered questions about the highly anticipated Deep Dish return, stating that high demand from fans was a large reason why the duo decided to come back together. Watch the conversation in full, above.