Chinese streaming and tech giant Tencent Music Entertainment has joined forces with Sony Music Entertainment to create a new Asia-based label. The electronic dance music imprint will be called Liquid State and will focus on emerging Asian artists in the field, but also take on board talent from all over the world.
EDM festivals like Storm in China (link to my Storm piece of 10.2017), and Ultra across Asia (link to Ultra Singapore piece), have been drawing massive crowds and growing over the past 3 years. A Nielsen study from September 2017 on EDM in the Asia-Pacific region found that 64 percent of respondents in China listened to EDM, and the figure was 74 percent for Korea.
Liquid State will develop original EDM content with the expertise of Sony Music. It will seek to capitalize on Tencent’s powerhouse streaming services QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music. Tencent claims twice as many paying customers on these streaming services in total as Spotify, worldwide, and has deals in place with all three international major labels. Tencent media channels like WeChat, QQ, Tencent Video and QZone will also support Liquid State and its artists, especially in China. The parent company, Tencent Holdings, was identified as the most valuable company in Asia in 2016.
Multiplatinum-selling Sony Music artist, Alan Walker, who has a gigantic following in China, will be an integral part of Liquid State. The 20-year-old Norwegian is set to release a string of exclusive collaborations on the label in 2018. In 2017, Walker was No. 1 on the QQ Music charts with a record of over six billion audio streams. He entered the global music scene with his single “Faded” in December 2015. It has sold more than 9.4 million units worldwide and has been streamed more than 1.6 billion times.
hree Asian giants of pop have signed on as ambassadors for Liquid State across the region. Chinese superstar Chris Lee will be ambassador for Chinese mainland, singer and actor Nicholas Tse as ambassador for Hong Kong and Taiwan, and Seungri from BIGBANG will be ambassador for South Korea.
Tencent Music Entertainment has long-standing relationships with the three artists. Previously, Chris Lee’s digital album Liu Xing and Nicholas Tse’s digital single “Yi Xiang Tian Kai” were released on Tencent Music Entertainment music platforms and both artists are part of the Tencent Music Entertainment Music+ Project.
The label’s initial roster includes Chinese DJ Lizzy and Korean duo Junkilla. Chinese American musician Zhu and Dubai duo Hollaphonic are also set to release music through the label this year.
Cussion Pang, the CEO of Tencent Music Entertainment Group commented, “With the formation of Liquid State, our goal is to create an unmatched culture exchange between the East and the West through the power of electronic dance music.”