Zandari Festa 2015 will take place in Hongdae from October 2 – 4. In order to spotlight some of the talent performing at this year’s event, Korea Gig Guide and our friends at Do Indie are teaming up to ask a bunch of acts five simple questions.
For this installment, we’re talking with China-based French artist Djang San. With 30 albums and a number of accolades under his belt, Djang San has long been involved in Beijing’s underground music scene and has been churning out a rock-y blend of folk-inspired crossover music for well over a decade. Now let’s get to his answers!
1) Why are you excited to be performing at Zandari Festa 2015?
This will be the first time I play in Korea and also the first time I go to Korea. I am looking forward to discovering Seoul and the underground music there as well as Korean music culture. As I live in Beijing, I’m hoping to come back to Korea again for more festivals in the future.
2) What can people expect from a Djang San live show?
Something they have never heard or seen before; a mix of present and past, rock music, jazz music, folk, and more – all put in a blender. Add to that influences from Hendrix, Zappa, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Radiohead, Joy Division, and Nirvana played through a 2,500-year-old electrified Chinese instrument and you’ll have a small idea of what the music of Djang San can be like live on stage.
3) For fest-goers not familiar with Djang San yet, what should they know about you?
Originally from Bordeaux in France, I came to China for the first time in the year 2000 and I have recorded over 30 albums, mostly doing cross-over stuff between Eastern and Western music based on Chinese instruments, but I have also recorded albums of electronic music, experimental music, rock music, and jazz. I also have a project as a one-man band, using loop machines and all kinds of synths as well as guitars and Chinese instruments. Using those machines and devices I can play folk, electro, and experimental music.
In early 2000, I became one of the first foreigners in China to write folk songs in Chinese inspired by the Beijing folk underground. In 2009 I became probably the first musician to record jazz standards using an ancient Chinese instrument called the zhongruan which I have been playing since 2002. In 2014, I was nominated for “Folk Singer of the Year” by China Radio International. And in 2014 and 2015 I created my own self-designed electric zhongruan and my own electric pipa thus extending even more the possible use of these instruments into modern music.
I have played a lot of festivals in China over the years including Midi, Zebra, Croisements, and many more. In January 2015, I started my own music showcase event called The Beijing Underground Showcase.
4) Aside from performing, what else would you like to do during Zandari Festa 2015?
I’d like to explore Seoul of course, and I’d like to play a few more gigs in town as well. I think it will also be a great opportunity to meet new people, musicians, artists, and a new audience too. I’d also like to party and am looking forward to attending some of the Seoul parties people have been telling me about.
5) It’s important to stay hydrated at music festivals. What’s your festival drink of choice?
Whiskey, gin tonic, water … if you want me to say the name of a famous drink brand, make them pay me first!
For more information about Djang San, check out his Facebook page here and website here. To learn more about Zandari Festa 2015, you can check out the festival’s website here and its Facebook page here.