Shanghai hero Conrank is known for being one of the most influential artists in China’s drumstep scene. Aside from being named best international DJ by Taiwan’s WaaKao magazine in 2010 and earning a place on Baidu.com’s China’s 10 Hottest Celebrities list in 2011, the London-native and founder of Rankadank Records had a stint hosting his own MTV show and was the star of a viral Youku video that earned him the alias Chaofange (“fried rice brother”). Boom.
Ahead of his performance at the Electric Circus Festival on May 24, Conrank spoke with us about his entrance to the Shanghai DJ scene, his love for Breaking Bad and what we can expect to hear (and see) at China’s first large-scale indoor electronic music festival.
What led to the decision to base yourself in Shanghai?
I had a great run in London…I really found my feet there and made a lot of friends that I’ll call friends ’til I die, but sometimes it’s time to discover something new. I had played at Shelter for Antidote a couple of years before I moved and when I decided to make a move somewhere in the world, Shanghai was the winner. It’s been a roller-coaster ride ever since.
What gave you that initial push to pursue DJing/Producing?
I was DJing [since I was 15 years old] with shit belt drive decks and a cheap-ass mixer. I have been involved in music my whole life, whether it was making MTV shows, playing the trumpet as a kid, making music videos, beat-boxing or doing what I do now. Nothing ever really touched me like making music and DJing does. When I finally took the plunge and went into it full-on, it was life changing….I’m gonna be doing this ’til I die. I always wanted to do it, it just took a while to get the guts to really go for it.
When all the partying is over, how do you like to chill out?
I’m really bad at chilling out, it’s my biggest flaw. Every so often I get addicted to a TV show. Right now I’m finishing Breaking Bad (LATE, I know)…it’s fucking epic! The other one is eating. I Love eating. Oh, and then the gym and Tabata to combat that!
Which one of your tunes never fails?
Probably three come to mind right now. “Blaster” by Starkey is insane and always goes off, then there’s “Summit” by LAXX and finally, in China, it’s my remix of “Shanghai Tang”. I love playing that, for obvious reasons. Sorry that’s three, not one…haha.
If you had a time machine, which era in music would you go back to and why?
Man, definitely the 60s…Woodstock, man. Oh, or the era of the raves in the 90s…white gloves and shit. Would live to have experienced them both.
Do you have anything special in mind for the crowd at Electric Circus?
A load of new material, some new exclusive stuff I haven’t played out ;)…I just finished a new remix for Sa DingDing. Haven’t played it anywhere yet [and I’m] very excited to see that drop 😉 Oh, and a huge bag of energy…and maybe a new hat!
Who’s throwing the best parties at the moment?
I have to give props to Luce right here (1Love Shanghai). That boy works hard! At the end of the day if you wanna be the best at something then it’s down to time, direction and hard work. Also gotta give mad love to Siesta (Phreaktion) , Michael (Antidote), Gaz (Sub-Culture) and Gary Wang (Shelter). They are one of the reasons Shanghai is where it is right now. I’m sure the Electric Circus is gonna set some bars too! Bring it on.
See Conrank, Ben Huang, Choyce Kutz and more at Electric Circus on May 24. Get the chance to buy one of the last Electric Circus Festival presale tickets (250 RMB, including one drink) at MOOK tonight or e-mail [email protected] to book in advance. For more details you can also e-mail [email protected]
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Find all the essential festival information in our feature here.
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