In this episode, Dieter Vanonckelen, owner of The Beer Nest, interviews JING Bar resident Dj Shane. Putting them together isn’t a coincidence, as they often “loving and ripping” the music when they’re in each others “cribs”, which means they share a joint passion for music..
Shane (SHAI), South Africa. Currently working on a new business in the city, likes enjoying life and dislikes daily routine. He feels its important to find a balance between one’s daily busy schedule and relaxation. Seems like adopted well to the culture in Chengdu after first coming here 11 years ago. Coming from a big family that is mixed, he cares about others and always wants friends around him to be happy. Adapting Chengdu as his home, he loves the local cuisine and pace of the city.
Playing different instruments since young in South Africa, he felt the urge to understand more about it. Age of 17, sitting at home one evening, he was randomly listening to the radio and found house music by accident, loved it from the beginning.
Since then, he wanted to be able to touch the music physically and change the way it sounded. Age 19, he saw Dj Sasha spinning the discs and realized its a way to create a different feeling, live. This encounter made him sign up for a Dj academy in his hometown, and follow local and international artists.
What brought you to Chengdu?
Age 21, Shane was up for a bit of adventure. He headed to London, where he continued doing office financial work while also bar-tending on weekends at popular venues. When meeting his idol Carl Cox at an event, he decided to focus more on Dj-ing.
A bit later, him and a friend planned to make a trip to Thailand & Japan. Though at the travel agency, China came up. Shane read some books and didn’t want go to the big cities; too “old school”. Chengdu really stood out for him. He fell in love with the vibe of the city from the beginning.
Which kind of music do you like?
“I’m mostly into house, progressive and old school RnB music (you’d be surprised that South Africa is one of the leading house music countries in the world), though always up for a some techno and electro.”
What’s your favorite DJ experience and why?
This mostly depends on the venue and how to manipulate the sound, in order to make it work. A Dj’s work is following the audience to create the mood. Some of his most memorable Dj sets were at 2010 Full Moon party (Thailand) and 2012 Donghai Music festival (Ningbo). The audience, venue and vibe were incredible.
What music do people prefer in Chengdu?
As individuals have a different preference, this is a hard question. One thing that Shane notices in Chengdu is that lots of venues were very similar before. Nowadays, people start to open up to different genres of music, and so also choose what they like.
Which different styles you play at JING Bar and how was the audience’s reaction?
My sets cover a variety of stuff -originals, mixes, edits, etc-, mostly up tempo, though not too pumping/ energetic (“High”). He tries to keep close to the clients, adjust the rhythm to their feeling.
What sets JING Bar apart?
“I would say the setting, style and sound. Regarding my work, two special things that you might not see at other places: I don’t make a playlist and don’t use a laptop. This means saying No to pre-preparing tracks and No to beat syncs.”
This guy prefers to pull out tracks that fit the moment, try to give the audience what they don’t have, let them enjoy the sound.
Anything new for the upcoming Summer at JING Bar?
Actually we’re preparing a weekly theme party for the upcoming summer, it would be the first fixed theme party of JING, called “Tiki Thursday’s” (African, Tropical vibes). New drinks, new decorations, new games and.. new music. I believe it has all the factors for a good summer night out.
Dubai, HK CN, Malaysia-KL, Thailand-Samui, South Africa, London. He likes exploring new venues to spin.
How has the music scene evolved in Chengdu and what could the future bring?
The scene evolved pretty nicely, there’s lots of cool new (local) Dj’s in town and events happening. Different genres like techno, Hip Hop, electro got their own venues during the last years. Recently more people also started producing –their own work, something he hopes to make time for in the near future. Over the next 5 years, Shane still sees more variety of music popping up, which will hopefully lead to people having more choices, and also appreciated other places to really enjoy.
*The way Shane learned how the Dj skills from his master surprisingly lean narrow to the way I learned Chinese in university: first acquiring a feeling about the sound (tones), later slowly
*As I was an amateur Dj in Belgium myself, I know how important the Dj is to create the ambience. It’s a psychological thing, you gotta try to read the crowd and adapt to their mood.
Allright Shane, nice talking to you about the Chengdu Music scene while having a beer today. Even though big names like Steve Aoki and Tiesto will play in Chengdu this year, let’s hope that people really appreciated what they go out for, and no need to show every moment on virtual platforms.
If you’re curious to really get into the music these guys like, welcome to visit The Beer Nest or JING Bar.