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the low mays indie trap group hk
Photograph: Courtesy Facebook/The Low Mays

Best Hong Kong underground music you should be listening to

Find your new favourite artist here

Written by
Cherry Chan
,
Ethan Lam
&
CJ Villanueva
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Thanks to mega-popular groups like Mirror and Collar, Cantopop has been on the rise in Hong Kong. But aside from the pop genre, subcultures within Cantonese music have also been growing in popularity. If your go-to music playlist needs some updating, here are some of Hong Kong’s hottest underground artists that you should check out. 

RECOMMENDED: If you want to know more artists outside of Hong Kong, check out these songs that were featured in K-dramas!

Hong Kong's underground musicians

$altyChick

$altyChick is bold, unapologetic, and unique. Her gentle voice is contrasted by raunchy lyrics in songs like All My Love is Pornhub, but underneath the facade of her explicit songs, she also delves into deeper emotions, addressing her vicious cycle of loneliness and promiscuity. While her music might be a little niche or ‘out-there’, $altyChick’s songs surely leaves an impression.

Derek Chan

Looking for some chilled-out tunes to relax to? Derek Chan has got what you’re looking for. Blending elements of neo-soul, R&B and hip-hop in his music, his unique sound makes him a rising star in Hong Kong’s music scene. Channel the atmosphere of long summer nights with Sunset Upset, or get deep in your feelings with his newest release, Demons.

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Lag Chun

What happens when you bring 80’s nostalgia into the 21st century? You get Lag Chun’s music. Specialising in citypop, his music is reminiscent of those bygone eras and will give you a blast from the past. Aside from his own music, he also regularly releases rearranged mashups of pop songs, giving them his unique vintage spin and transforming them into completely new sounding tracks.

The Low Mays

Referencing sex, gangs, and youth culture in their music, The Low Mays have a devout following and have even performed at Clockenflap back in 2018. The six-person trap group consists of Nile Bun, Lil Hanwo, Butcher Fong, Matty Gospel, Yung Bumblebee, and Healthy Lin. Playing up the kitschy ‘MK’ (Mong Kok) identity in their group image, music, and visuals – their style is satirical and rebellious.

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Matt Force

Releasing his self-titled and self-produced debut album in 2019, Matt Force cemented himself as a leading figure in Hong Kong’s rapidly developing rap scene. Taking an unconventional approach, his bars are delivered over jazzy tunes that complements his gruff yet smooth voice. Aside from his rap skills, Matt also proves himself as a talented musician. In his newest collaborative mixtape Windsong, he plays the trumpet in all of the mixtape’s groovy tunes.

Science Noodles

Science Noodles is a self-described “Hong Kong-Taiwan mixed baby” that formed in the most 21st century way possible. While on a trip to Taiwan, vocalist/guitarist Yuet matched with vocalist Qing on Tinder, and the two bonded over their mutual love for Taiwanese indie band, Touming Magazine. Joined by drummer Jeff, bassist Yui, and guitarist Martin, the band specialises in hazy, lo-fi bedroom pop, although their tracks occasionally veer into the dream-pop territory.

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Lucid Express

Previously known as Thud, Lucid Express produces truly excellent shoegaze, replete with imposing yet ethereally gorgeous walls of guitar feedback, reverb, and blurry vocals that will swallow you whole. Their music will make you feel a little listless, tense, like you’re drifting or maybe even on the verge of breaking apart – in the way that all good shoegaze should.

Lucid Express is easily one of the best indie bands coming out of the city, and have gone on to attract attention from outside of Asia – ever since we last spoke to them, they’ve gone on to play shows in the UK and the US, an incredibly rare feat for Hong Kong indie bands. 

Lazyboi Dri

Meet Lazyboi Dri. A Hong Kong-based Filipino MC with bars to kill and rhymes to spit. Coming into Hong Kong’s rap scene in 2019, this lyricist and rapper has been making a lot of noise since the get-go. Fluent in Cantonese, Tagalog, English and Mandarin, he can switch languages at ease while delivering impressive flows in his tracks.

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Restate The Moira

If you love Paramore or Tonight Alive, then reach for your headphones and give Restate The Moira a listen. Known for their alternative-rock slash power pop sound, this group’s mission is to let everyone find their true selves deep down through their music. Go ahead and lip-sync to their lyrics or maybe even air guitar to their songs Autumn and Pendulum Ride. Who said punk was dead?

Room307

Allex Chan, better known as Room307, is one of Hong Kong’s luminaries in the growing dream-pop and lo-fi scene. Reflected in his personal style, this old soul stands out from the crowd with his presence and music. Complete with dreamy tunes and poetic lyrics, accompanied by his tender, ethereal voice, his self-titled EP will make you feel like you are in a film from the 50s.

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Olivier Cong

Allow us to introduce you to the musical genius that is Olivier Cong! With original songs accompanied by classical instruments, drums, and mellow guitars, Cong's music will easily put you in a dreamy, pleasant mood as multiple layers reveal themselves more with each listen. Olivier is mainly a singer-songwriter but he also composes for the Hong Kong Ballet and some theatre pieces too.

Wesley Jamison

Wesley Jamison might be the only artist in Hong Kong to really do R&B music. Although he is a member of Xabitat – which is a predominately rap-centred crew – he is known for his sultry velvet voice which you can hear in his songs like Fantasy, Brown Liquor and Evening Glow. Watch out for this French-bred, Hong Kong-based rising R&B singer and catch him in underground live events.

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