Tolein. Born in the back streets of Xinjiang (North West China), Tolein is a 20 year old Chinese producer, DJ & musician. He is part of a new generation of young, creative talent with a mission to bring EDM into the hearts & minds of China’s digital generation as well as showcasing Chinese electronic dance music to the world.
His influences include Chinese music artists and EDM producers such as Skrillex, Knife Party, Vicetone & Avicii.
He may be new to the international dance music scene, but his ambition to establish himself and China as a future centre for dance music is without doubt.
1Mix: What made you want to make music & how long have you been doing it?
Tolein: I’ve been playing electronic keyboard from an early age, and then in 2009 I saw a video on YouTube of this guy playing his own track full of passion on a synthesizer, which was a great electronic production, and I was thinking; ‘I want to do this.’ Then I started, simply with a computer and a keyboard, motivated by the joy and fun of jamming and producing all the way ‘till now.
1Mix: Why have you focused on electronic music?
Tolein: At my very early stage of being a music producer, I tried to make various different kinds of music, including pop, electronic and hard rock. Then in 2012, The ‘First of the year’ from Skrillex brought me into EDM world. I started listening to Dubstep and working on my DAW trying to make cool EDM sounds. In the same year, I also found Vicetone’s music at Soundcloud, every single one of their tracks has a beautiful melody, powerful beat and amazing sounds. I really appreciate the emotion that EDM brings to me, and I couldn’t get enough of the pride and joy you get when you make a track that can let you dance ceaselessly.
1Mix: What is your career ambition in music?
Tolein: I wish to be one of the leading EDM producers in China and one of top 100 DJs around the world. I want more people in China to know about EDM and bring Chinese music to the world.
1Mix: Who are your biggest music influences and why?
Tolein: Ronald Jenkees, American keyboardist and Producer. His video ‘Let’ told me what electronic music is, and how music production works.
1Mix: What is the music scene like in China?
Tolein: Every one loves music and China is no exception, with 5000 years of civilization; China never lacks any great musicians and music. Traditional music plays a big role in China, but in the past 40 years, there were more and more creative and progressive artists, which stood out in modern music industry. Now China has hundreds of big music festivals and live venues, with dozens of independent music labels.
1Mix: What is the electronic music scene like in China?
Tolein: Disco had been quite popular in China around 1980s, same as Rock music. However, the trend of EDM has just started a few years ago. Now more and more Chinese of my generation are getting to know this kind of music and starting to dance to it!
1Mix: Are there any big DJs in China (if so, who – Chinese & Western)?
Tolein: How to define big, the one who has the biggest fan community?
Yilong Wang (DJ Sunny), but I don’t like him, or his work.
However, there are plenty of creative and awesome producers/DJs of my generation who I think have the capability and potential to compete with the top DJs around the world.
1Mix: Who would you love to collaborate with if you could pick any musician / producer?
Tolein: In China, I would really like to work with G.E.M Ziqi Deng, she has amazing voice and she’s a great songwriter.
In the west, I would like to work with Vicetone.
1Mix: What is the future of EDM music in China?
The potential is huge, as time passes by, there will be more EDM producers and music which stand out.
1Mix: Which club / event / festival would you love to play at?
Tolein: The Ultra Music Festival. Wanna let the world hear my tone.
1Mix: Favourite piece of music technology?
Tolein: Logic Pro and Traktor.
1Mix: Who are your Western role models that you aspire to?
Tolein: Like Calvin Harris, Zedd.
1Mix: As you are one of the first artists to push out internationally, will there be more now from China?
Tolein: Of course there will, it’s just a matter of time. Their talent and creativity will eventually be known by the world.
1Mix: Why have Chinese music artists not pushed out internationally before when you see the success of K-Pop artists?
Tolein: It’s a hard question.
First, I think Korea has a relatively complete music industrial chain.
Second, many of their world known K-Pop music comprise electronic music elements.
Third, I think it’s because Korea has Kimchi.
1Mix: What would be your advice to any Chinese artist who has ambitions to follow you?
Tolein: Keep doing what you really love, and you will get what you want.
1Mix: Three words to describe you?
Tolein: Man-show, passionate, low-key.