Meet 4 Wan Chai house bands taking the city's music scene by storm
Performing for up to six days a week and seamlessly switching between golden oldies, rock anthems and whatever else their audiences request, cover bands are some of the hardest-working players in our city’s music scene. These four Wan Chai cover acts tell us just how it’s done.
Best places for live music in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s music scene has grown steadily stronger in recent years, not just in terms of the talent, but also the promoters and platforms dedicated to bringing these acts to those who will listen. While high rent and stringent regulations still make it difficult for the local indie circuit to be as big as, say, New York or London, there is an increasing number of live music venues that are giving a voice to the city’s finest performers. Whether it’s a classy cocktail bar like Foxglove that touts world-class jazz, a casual live house like Lost Stars that champions up-and-coming indie acts, or even boisterous bars like The Wanch and Ned Kelly’s that do classic rock and cheap beers, here are some of the best spots in town to catch a great live music show. RECOMMENDED: From the biggest stars to the coolest indie acts, check out our list of the best concerts and gigs that are happening in Hong Kong.
Forefront producer and beat-maker Mndsgn has, for the last ten years, blended “dirty soul vibes”, hip-hop and electric funk. Born Ringgo Ancheta in San Diego to Filipino parents, he came from a culture of b-boying and black churches, and the influence of gospel and funk music translated to beat-making in his early high school years. In 2014, he released Yawn Zen, his debut with California-based indie record label, Stones Throw Records, which he up with electric funk trip Body Wash (2016) and the beat tape Snax (2018). Now based in LA and embarking on an Asia tour, Mndsgn sits down with us ahead of his show at Eaton Hong Kong to talk about the idea of home and the importance of creative expression. How did your upbringing shape your art?I’ve always felt out of place, especially ever since relocating to the southern region of New Jersey at a young age. The demographic was predominantly white and most of my peers were upper-middle class. Even all of my brown friends lived in nice, big houses while I grew up living in small apartments. I did a good job of internalising the alienation, of not being able to relate to the wealth class of my peers. In doing so, I allowed myself to get lost in various forms of self-expression via drawing, dancing and music. Having a creative outlet allows you to tap into a home. What is hip-hop to you, and how does a culture express itself with it?It’s power to the people, utilising resources to rebuild and reinvent. It’s deconstructing what was giv
Playlist: Understanding Hong Kong hip-hop
Your average Hong Kong hip-hop song typically features three common traits: there’s rapping; the rapper is based or born in Hong Kong; and the song likely tackles socio-political issues. But while these traits are certainly helpful in differentiating a Hong Kong hip-hop song from a Cantopop track, are they all that define the genre? After all, although different in style and sometimes subject matter, songs from, say Kwokkin’s HK Estate of Mind and MastaMic’s Jungle both convey, in some form, what it’s like to live in Hong Kong through the filters of hip-hop. Want to know the various styles and artists that comprise modern Hong Kong hip-hop? Read on... By Michael Cheuk
Upcoming live music events
After making his acting debut in this city more than a decade ago, Japanese singer-actor Dean Fujioka returns to play his first concert in Hong Kong at KITEC. Best-known for appearing in popular TV dramas such as Here Comes Asa and The Count of Monte-Cristo: Great Revenge, Fujioka is set to show off his singer-songwriter side with tracks such as History Maker and Echo.
German electro-pop titan Kraftwerk brings its renowned 3-D concert to our shores. The performance fuses music with art and has been showcased at some of the most esteemed venues in the world, including MoMA in New York, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and the Tate Modern Turbine Hall in London. Be sure to check out this awe-inspiring, genre-spanning concert when it’s in town.
We’re seeing an increasing number of music festivals spearheaded by local promoters and the latest addition is an effort by the guys at Gluestick. Having successfully showcased acts such as Moonchild, Denzel Curry and JB, the Gluestick team take it to the next level with a festival featuring rising stars in both the local and international scene. Enjoy performances by the likes of Phum Viphurit, Sunset Rollercoaster, Øzi, Julia Wu and others while also taking part in fun carnival-style games throughout the day.