Chinese Superstar Bibi Zhou on Learning From Justin Bieber, Blending East & West

Bibi Zhou
Courtesy of Billboard Radio China/Begins Studio

Bibi Zhou

It's not hard to tell that EDM is at its golden time now, especially in China, bringing in Ultra, EDC, Creamfields and countless DJ and producers. As we celebrate globalization of the genre, more homebred Mandarin artists are also emerging onto the global stage. Billboard Radio China sat down with one of the biggest Chinese stars, singer-songwriter <a href="/music/Bibi-Zhou">Bibi Zhou</a>, at Macao to talk about her experience blending Mandopop and Western music elements amid the globalization backdrop.

Bibi's latest album, Not Typical, is in many ways, not your typical Mandopop album. The album is the first in China to release one song per month, with each individual release having its own mini marketing and cover designs, a method Bibi learned from the worldwide phenomenon <a href="/music/Justin-Bieber">Justin Bieber</a>. "We are so used to releasing an album's tracks all at once," Bibi said, "but the Western market has already developed multiple releasing options to better promote an album and engage the fans in the digitalized industry."

In terms of music, the album Not Typical demonstrates a fine touch in merging Western elements into Mandopop, including three songs in English: "Nothing to Hide," "If You Want Me" and "Fascination." 

Watch the video for Bibi Zhou's English-language single "Fascination" here:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VZL5K--HiM0" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

As more Mandarin artists start to adopt EDM, the key comes to finding the right balance. "The local market's music taste is definitely changing, addressing more focus on the overall production, melody and groove," Bibi said, "but simple mimicking is not enough, and we need to find what's best for Mandopop."

Bibi also explained that what's categorized as "pop" in Western production is sometimes still quite niche in China. "This is my ninth studio album, and I've always enjoyed experimenting with new things. I want to go beyond the mainstream Mandopop and feel lucky to have my fans who understand my music," she shared.

The talented Mandopop icon has just wrapped up her new album production in London and will kick-start her China tours soon. Check out the full interview on <a href="http://www.billboardradiochina.com/bb2/09-May-2018-bibi-zhou-Not-Typical-the-big-interview" target="_blank">Billboard Radio China</a>, and watch the interview highlights video in Mandarin here:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tU1xcuQyeYY" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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