IMS Asia-Pacific 2016 in Shanghai Concludes

3 October 2016

Major Moments from Skrillex, Alesso, Jolin Tsai, Chace and More

With a Special Boiler Room Debut from Skrillex

“This could potentially be the biggest market in the world. It’s that simple.”
– David Levy, Agent and Partner, WME

International Music Summit, the premier platform for thought leadership in electronic music, has concluded the third IMS Asia-Pacific and first in conjunction with A2LiVE and STORM Festival, at the Hyatt Hotel on the Bund in Shanghai. Across two days, Shanghai hosted top players in electronic music for important conversations about the business of electronic music and Asia-Pacific’s explosive industry.

“Over the past few years at IMS, it’s always been asked, who is going to be the first Asian star to break through, but we’ve been playing international stages for years. The fact is, is that it’s very much happening.” – Arjun Vagale, Artist, India

IMS returned to Shanghai in 2016 to unite the Asia-Pacific region and continue the effort to bridge electronic music industries across the East and West. This year, delegates from over 20 different countries heard from Skrillex and his team, wunderkind and newcomer Chace from China and were treated to a special collaborative effort from Alesso and mega-pop star Jolin Tsai.

In addition to the conference, IMS Asia-Pacific partnered with global platform Boiler Room for the anticipated Boiler Room debut of Skrillex, which took place at an intimate club here in Shanghai on Thursday evening. The stream easily became one of the most viewed and highest streamed in Boiler Room history.

Watch the full stream here.

Highlights from Day 1 included riveting statistics presented by Jonathan Serbin of Billboard Asia and David Boyle, EVP Insight of BBC Worldwide. David Boyle’s Audience Report pointed out incredibly promising statistics about the region. Google searches for EDM have risen by a whopping 18X in Japan and over 28X in China from 2013-2016, despite the country’s firewall against Google as a search platform.

See the full reports here.

“There’s universality about EDM. I haven’t been to a country yet that hates dancing.” – Jonathan Serbin, Head of Asia, Billboard

A panel of noteworthy Rising Stars of Asia-Pacific including Chace (China), Myrne (Singapore), Kaku (Asia) and more came together to represent the growing presence of local talents becoming more and more prominent in the Asia-Pacific region. Each shared their individual journeys of discovering a love for electronic music and discussed challenges of breaking through to the international scene.

“There are no Asian examples. That perception has to change – there is talent in Asia. We’re all sitting up here for a reason.”
– Kaku, Artist

“Best decision I’ve ever made? To not listen to my parents and keep producing.”
– Chace, Artist, China

See the full galleries here.

Day 2 of IMS Asia-Pacific saw an incredible array of power players on stage, including Amy Thomson, CEO of ATM Artists, Agent and Partner at WME David Levy, John Boyle, Chief Growth Officer and Interim CFO at Insomniac and many more. The revealing and candid discussion illuminated the still existing problems that remain at the forefront of the Asia-Pacific region, including the prominence of EDM as the preferred genre over more underground sounds, difficulties with releasing on labels in certain territories, hesitation to enter the market without proper education and guidance and the controversial heavy leaning on branding that the Asian market has become reliant upon.

“My worst fear is to come into a market that I don’t know well enough and come in, do a deal with a brand and leave a bad lasting impression.”
– Amy Thomson, CEO, Manager, ATM Artists

“EDM captures a populist movement. As it passes through, some people will be curious, some will not be. Event culture makes us a ton of money, but it doesn’t sustain the long-term culture.” – David Levy, Agent and Partner, WME

Team Skrillex arrived at IMS Asia-Pacific with an inspiring panel about the philosophies behind their creative collective OWSLA and the Skrillex brand and their experiences bringing a major international artist like Skrillex into brand new markets in Asia.

“It’s blowing up so fast, it almost feels like a frenzy right now,” Skrillex said of his experience being in Asia so far. “There are some really rabid fans here,” continued his manager and CEO of Blood Company Management Tim Smith. “It counts for a pretty big percentage of our business too. It’s a very real market.”

In addition, IMS Asia-Pacific partnered with Boiler Room for a very special Skrillex Boiler Room debut on Thursday evening in an intimate club in Shanghai. The stream quickly became one of the highest viewed and most streamed in Boiler Room history, and included Skrillex, Blaise James, Damacha, Cavia and Zean b2b Conrank.

“Part of the reason why we’re here too is to find out more about it. It’s been eye opening. We’re thinking about the future, the next two years from now.”
– Blaise DeAngelo, General Manager of OWSLA

Finally, IMS Asia-Pacific brought together Alesso and Asia’s mega-pop star Jolin Tsai for a prime example of what can happen when power artists from the East and West come together in collaboration. Alesso and Jolin announced their new collaboration “I Wanna Know” at IMS before discussing the eye-opening experience of working together and hopes for the future of both integrating Asian artists into the international world, and global superstars coming into the Asia-Pacific region. Later that weekend, the two performed their brand new collaboration for the first time at STORM Festival.

“I’ve never remixed a song that was in a different language besides English. It was really cool. This was the most different thing I’ve ever done.”
– Alesso, Artist