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Banding together under fresh label

MANY people are intrigued by Shanghai's underground and indie music scene and want to know what's really going on. It's multifaceted, expanding and changing, and a fresh indie label is suggesting some answers.

Started just five months ago, the label Zhu Lu He Feng is strictly for Shanghai bands. The name comes from a classical Chinese poem describing the breeze over lotus flowers.

One of its strengths is bringing the diversity of Shanghai music to a wider audience.

The label is headed by drummer Lezi (Andy Yan) from the heavyweight band Sonnet. He's also an organizer, promoter and general man-about-town.

"Our goal with the label is to promote and develop local rock and indie bands and to help record and promote their CD and tours, not only in Shanghai, but also eventually in cities like Guangzhou (Guangdong Province), Hong Kong, Suzhou (Jiangsu Province) and Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province)," Lezi says.

The label has signed seven bands so far: Pinkberry, Sonnet, 21 Grams, JoKe, MR (a female singer), Man Ban Pai and Shen Zhi Wu Zhi (which translates as "Who Knows God Know").

The bands are touring, and the label showcases the diversity of Shanghai music. The signed acts include rock, punk, folk, electronic, dance, and in Shen Zhi Wu Zhi music that's very silly and fun.

Recently, these bands have been on a three-university tour in Shanghai. Man Ban Pai will record a CD this summer.

The idea is that Zhu Lu He Feng bands perform along with local college bands.

The next stop on the Zhu Lu He Feng university tour is Fudan University on May 31.

City music blogger Jake Newby sees the label, and its rapid development in a short time, as a good model for organization in the Shanghai scene.

"Hopefully this is a sign to other bands and collectives in Shanghai that this stuff is possible," says Newby.

"Taking the bands to campuses will bring the underground music scene to a wider audience and help previously unaware people discover that really interesting things are going on with Shanghai music."

The newest Zhu Lu He Feng release is "Go! Boom!" from Pinkberry. The CD release show was at Yuyintang Shanghai.

Guitarist Tony says they worked on the album for around two months.

"But we are already thinking about the future. We want to change up the instruments on the next album and give it a more electronic sound."

The group says they love NoFX and other punk, as well as some pop and rap like American singer Keisha.

"We have been excited about university shows," says lead singer Yoi, noting they also played the Yixian Camping Music Festival in Hebei Province early this month.

Read more about Zhu Lu He Feng and the bands at or

You can also follow Jake Newby's articles on Shanghai underground music at


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