Mickey Zhang Beijing China
Mickey Zhang (Zhang Ran) is a godfather of Chinese dance music. His massive 20 year career spans DJing, producing, sound tracking, and numerous album releases. Taken together, he has become an ambassador for China’s burgeoning electronic music scene.
So where did he come from? Well, most people outside of China wouldn't know the inland Chinese province of Ningxia, but that’s where young Mickey was grew up. His artistic family ( = classical music, opera, and dance) was the ideal launch pad into the Beijing Dance Academy at age 11. A dance background may not be the norm for electronic music producers, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense for China’s premier dance music DJ.
As his career took off, Mickey went on to set many “firsts” in China’s growing electronic music scene: the 1st Chinese artist to perform at Berlin’s legendary Tresor club, the first to play at Sonar in Spain, MIDEM in Cannes, Wire in Japan; and the first to release an original electronic album in China itself. He also has a myriad of international collaborations under his belt – including Laurent Garnier, Ken Ishii, Ishino, and Technasia (to name but a few).
Mickey has also played a key role in the wider electronic music industry in China. Back in 2004, he co-founded 02 Culture the company behind China’s massive electronic party brand YEN. Mickey helped push YEN to support domestic music talent, rather than following others to slavishly chase after foreign DJs for the sake of a bit of ticket revenue. After just three years, it was clear that the strategy paid off – YEN was established as a leading player in the Asian electronic music scene and the hub for electronic music in China.
From here, Mickey’s love for electronic music spilled into many other areas. His tracks China and Good Evening Beijing were used by Lou Ye on the soundtrack of the award-winning film “Spring Fever”, as well as “Floating City Mystery”. An experimental collaboration with his brother Zhang Wei saw Chinese classical instruments being blended with electronic dance rhythms in the WAHI band. Mickey took on the job of musical director for Shanghai Fashion Week and the China edition of the Burning Man Promotional Video. He has also been on remix duty for Ye Mingzi’s Listen to your Heart, Ken Ishii’s The Axe Murderer, and Chinese star Eason Chan. He’s been on stage in panels at ADE, Canadian Music Week and the IMS Asia Pacific; and most recently was invited to be director of the 2017 Midi Electronic Music Festival.
What’s next? Well, just wait and see…