One of the freshest artists around, Chinese DJ/producer ZHANGYE only made his debut release back in the beginning of 2022 and has already stunned the dance music world. Premiering with EP ‘When I Was Young,’ the rising star caught the attention of Dimitri Vegas and Quintino, and went on to collaborate with respected vocalist KARRA and most recently Janieck.
Hey ZHANGYE! Thank you for taking the time to join us. Which part of the world are you currently in and how has your day been so far?
I am in Beijing right now. Quite a lot of things have been impacted by the pandemic and current lockdown here. Hopefully, this all ends soon.
When working on new music, what is typically your starting point? The melody? A lyrical theme?
Melody – as you might know already, I come from a classical music composing background, I tend to pay more attention to the melody I create, focus more on what the music is trying to express.
Which fellow electronic music producers do you admire?
At the moment, not anyone in particular. I stream most of the time and usually listen to whatever I come across.
In your opinion, how does your new single ‘Own Way’ compare to your previous releases?
Perhaps this song is a bit more relaxing. My friends around me, especially those who are not professionally trained in music, might find this song more easily acceptable.
What has the reaction to ‘Own Way’ been like so far?
We see growing figures on various platforms, including Spotify. So far so good in China. We actually got on the billboard of QQ music, which is the largest streaming music platform in China, as well as Tiktok music charts.
As well as producing, you also DJ. How did you learn to DJ and what advice would you give to those who are starting to learn?
With a classical music composing background, I pay more attention to the melody I create, focus more on what the music is trying to express. From that perspective, maybe I am not a typical DJ.
For those who are starting to learn DJing/producing. I would be tell them to not to be overly trendy on the timbre. The focus shall be on the music itself.
How do you think your background in classical music has influenced your dance music career?
My background is in classical music composing, which prepared me to stubbornly persist in the pursuit of the melody and arrangement of a song. The traditional and systematic training in classical music composing, coupled with the characteristics of rational and rigorous characters which are required in the investment job, I find myself often writing music that has a “logcial” character, rather than focusing only on the emotional aspect of work, or simply if it “sounds nice”.
From the perspective of arranging the set, other than considering the audience’s perception, I also try to incorporate the worldviews that I want to express from philosophical and aesthetic point of view. Sometimes there are stories in the set, sometimes there are my way of expressing philosophical views. I think this is the most meaningful part of being a DJ or creating music. I have been in investments for many years . My core idea is to make our lives better through investment. The same goes for music, I want to present my feelings towards life, expectations towards the future as my melody, my set, figure out a way to present that “powerfullness” to my audiences, and even change their way of viewing the current situation, encourage them to love the their lives with passion.
What are you currently reading/watching?
Just like most folks, I am also watching the World Cup. I don’t always watch soccer, but I do watch FIFA every time it’s on. Watching the game with some drinks and listening to EDM.
What have you been most grateful for in 2022?
2022 is the first year I ever released a song. Having the opportunity to work with great artists like Janieck and KARRA is really a joyful and fulfilling feeling.
What are you most excited for in 2023?
Thinking of working with many more amazing musicians in 2023, I am quite excited.
Thanks for joining us, ZHANGYE!