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Chinese Music Discovery: How to build up your own Chinese Music Library


Weyland

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Weyland

I made this topic as an attempt to brainstorm/gather ways for people to get exposed to new Chinese music. If you, like me, have been relying on YouTube or Spotify you must have noticed that their algorithms are based around "watch/listening" time and thus, like a toddler who wants to watch a Disney movie for the umpteenth time, recommends you watch/listen the songs you've already familiar with as opposed to exposing you to new music.

If any of you have other suggestions or playlists they can share; please do.  As of recent I have been using Magic Playlist to give me music suggestion playlists on Spotify which I tend convert to YouTube Playlists through Soundizz.


Playlists from our Community

 

Other Playlists

 

Subreddits

 

Mainland / Chinese Music apps that arent' region-locked

  •  Does anyone know of any?
     

Music Variety Programs

 

Apps / Tools

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feihong

Haha, was going to start a new topic about this but you beat me to it. Here are my sources for finding new Chinese music:

 

Apps

  • YouTube: YouTube has more Chinese music than just about anywhere else, although you have to "train" the algorithm regularly for it to keep showing you Chinese songs in your feed.
  • StreetVoice: Also a website, StreetVoice has taken over Douban Artists as the best app for finding indie music in the Sinosphere, although it leans toward the Taiwanese scene. It's not region locked in any way, and the UI is in English (if your system language is English). The main advantage of StreetVoice over YouTube is that StreetVoice gives you a heavily curated experience.

 

A brief guide to StreetVoice: I always give a listen to any song that appears in their Top 50 chart under the Trends tab. But this chart doesn't change much on a daily basis, so the volume is low. To find more songs, I like going through these sections under the Discover tab:

  • Feeds: You can find a number of "Sound of 2020", "Sound of 2019" playlists to find editor's year-end picks for previous years. A good way to discover the best tracks on the entire site.
  • Recommend: A list of editor's picks, updated daily (newest on top)
  • 特别企划: A series of playlists, each one tied to some event or music festival
  • 排行与精选: A series of playlists, each one represents editor's picks for a given week

Because I browse in so many sections, I build my playlists manually. I do that by tapping ... to the right of a track (three dots button), then + (plus button), then Add to playlist, then from the menu that appears you can choose the playlist or create a new playlist. You can also choose Add to queue to just make that track the next one that plays. It's possible to download tracks from StreetVoice but it's a bit complicated compared to finding the same track on YouTube and using youtube-dl.

 

YouTube channels

  • jjy728: This is a channel dedicated to singers that have appeared on 中国好声音. Note that it mostly consists of tracks they recorded after they left the show. Although most of it is your usual whitebread Mandopop (which is pretty easy to spot), I keep subscribing to this channel because occasionally something like 牛粪 will appear in it.
  • Taihe Music: This is the channel for the indie acts signed to Taihe Music (there's another channel for their mainstream acts). There's some fairly experimental, niche stuff here.
  • ZHONG.TV and ZHONG.TV2: Two fairly unremarkable hiphop channels. I occasionally play tracks from them so that YouTube will keep showing random Chinese hiphop songs in my feed, but I rarely download anything from these sources. It's also a good place to find out if your favorite Chinese rapper dropped a new album because then a single from the album will likely appear in the channel.
  • 上海彩虹室内合唱团: Yes, this is the channel for a single choir in Shanghai, but they make great songs for those of who like reading the lyrics.

 

Music reality shows

  • 中国好歌曲 / 这!就是原创: Indie artists
  • 我是歌手 / 歌手: The Sinosphere's biggest stars singing other people's songs
  • 乐队的夏天: China's seminal rock bands, plus some up-and-coming rock acts
  • 说唱新世代: Hiphop for the masses
  • 中国好声音: The Chinese clone of The Voice. I loved this show in its earliest seasons, but recent seasons haven't been very satisfying. The 2021 season was a bit better, so maybe it's on its way back to relevance.
  • 梦想的声音: Kinda similar to 中国好声音, except that the judges are younger and also have to compete. Currently still on hiatus, and it's hard to tell if they'll make more seasons.

You don't actually have to watch all these shows, you can simply do a YouTube search for "(name of show) (a particular season) 纯享版" and you'll usually find a playlist of just the performances from that season of the  show, e.g. "中国好歌曲 第一季 纯享版".

 

WeChat public accounts

  • 耳帝: Music blogger who likes to put together an impressive playlist of the year's best 100 songs

 

 

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