Kadian is undoubtedly one of the most hard-working individuals in the industry. As Spencer Tarring‘s brand new project, the hype is rising quickly. From his new record, a remix of “Superstylin'” by Groove Armada, to his numerous and promising side projects, this is one artist who (admittedly) never sleeps–and should absolutely not be slept on. We are insanely grateful to have had the chance to get to know the man behind so much of China’s rapidly evolving dance music culture. Aside from spearheading the success of many DJs and producers other than himself, he is also the head of VOUS Records and the CEO of PYRO, a “combination of Soundcloud / Beatport / Spotify, specifically for China and electronic music.”
Read one of the most interesting and motivational interviews that I have ever done below and then check out his brand new track! Watch out, world.
1. You seem to have been involved in dance music for quite some time, what sparked your interest?
I started making music on MS-DOS using a program called Fasttracker and ImpulseTracker when I was at school. The Prodigy originally inspired me into making music. I loved their albums Jilted Generation and Fat of the Land. I did a remix of one of my favourite tracks last year actually, check it out here.
After school I started getting into MCing, as UK garage was prettty big at the time. Back then everyone wanted to me an MC, not a DJ :P. We had a big club called The Matrix at my local town, Reading, and I’d spend every night there hustling to get on the MIC. I guess it was a natural progression to DJing, and I started a Friday night at my local bar, and the rest is history.
2. You used to perform Big Room under the name Spencer Tarring, but you have switched over to House under the name Kadian – what led you to make that transition?
I actually first performed under my name DJ Spenny as a open format DJ, I was heavily into mashups and was a member of the Crooklyn Clan Allstars releasing tracks on their website. Spencer Tarring (my real name) came when I went back to producing original stuff, big room, and I had a few releases on Spinnin’, Revealed, and my own label Vous, but i guess my love for it has just filtered out. It’s pretty hard in China, because the ‘EDM’ scene is a lot bigger than any other style. It’s hard to go to a normal club (when normal i mean mainstream and not underground), and hear good house music, especially outside of Shanghai. However, I’m starting some of our own nights, label nights for Vous, as I changed my direction towards House : Deep : Tech. I guess its the music I’m enjoying a lot more as I get a little older, and a name change felt natural. I guess the ‘underground’ scene really don’t like big room producers, so I wanted to have a fresh start with Kadian.
3. You also run a brand new platform for electronic music in China called PYRO. Can you tell me a bit more about it and what you plan to achieve?
PYRO is a combination of Soundcloud / Beatport / Spotify, specifically for China and electronic music. Narrowing down the genre to be electronic music focused means our market is much more niche, but it does mean we get the real professional’s wanting to use our platform. Electronic music in China is only just beginning, and I think its going to explode over the next few years as more opportunities for Chinese DJ’s come up, and the culture becomes a little more accepting to being a DJ as a real career choice. In fact, I think Chinese are positively obsessive about things once they become accepted in the culture, so I’m expecting some huge things from this market.
Right now we are working on version 2 of the site, which is going to massively improve the UX/Design, and also introduce Shows & Venues, a first for a platform in China. Exciting times for sure, but it is not coming easy. My lifestyle has certainly changed dramatically since I left the music director job at M1NT last year to start this business. I’m quietly confident it’s going to work though, keep your fingers crossed for me. 🙂
4. You also have numerous side gigs, such as running Groove Dynasty and helping other DJs and labels with their social media presence and licensing in China. Do you sleep?
In a word. No. We setup Groove Dynasty to help build social media presence for DJs, currently we are running around 30 KOL accounts, and constantly looking for more. The pickup has been great.
5. It seems like the dance music scene in China is rapidly evolving. Is that true?
Yes. Rapidly. I’ve been here 7 years, and I did one festival in the first 5, 2 last year, and already 6 this year. I honestly believe it could become the biggest market in the world for electronic music and EDM Festivals. The government is starting to get behind projects, and a lot of the locals are starting to understand what it’s all about. We still have a long way to go though.
6. Your brand new track, a remix of “Superstylin'” by Groove Armada, is awesome, but very unique at the same time. What were you inspired by when making this record?
I always used to play the original in my sets during my Open Format days, and I just wanted to have a version I could fit into the Kadian style. Hence I made my own. I’ve been getting great feedback on it actually, so been very pleased. Next up I’m working on some stuff for Tough Love, and some more original’s. Can’t wait to play them all to you.
7. Last but not least, what are your plans for the rest of 2016?
PYRO, PYRO, PYRO. We just raised some more funding, and we’ve got some big targets to hit to keep the investors happy. We have V2, international version of the site, and monetisation to get going before the end of the year. Also, watch out for PYRO 360° Live Stream coming to you soon! :D.