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West Hill XiShan world and folk PropaPanda - Manga Republic
In the south western Chinese province of YunNan, in the regional capital city of Kunming, four young musicians formed a band; Xi Shan, so they can write songs to express the harsh realities which surround them. They chose the protest genre of rap/hip hop as their creative vehicle, measuring up cool grooves, incorporating traditional instruments into their sound pool, they laced their lyrics with humour, satire and side swipe digs at a wide range of topics; social, emotional and political. Most uniquely, they made the decision to rap in their own Kunming dialect, a move frawned upon by the Central authorities in far away Beijing. They recorded several demo tracks looking for a record deal but were ignored by all the record companies in the PRC due to its 'risque' nature and the band's career stalled.
Then well known Taiwanese A&R person, song lyrist and producer Julian Yu discovered them in 2007. Julian understood the band's credibility, recognized their true creative agenda and decided that he needed to bring the band's story to the attention of the world in order for them to gain their due respect in China. Across the last few months of 2008 and February 2009, Julian spent the entire period working with the band, shooting endless reels of HD film footage and now, with over 44 hours of usable film impressions as well as a 15 track CD, the real journey for the band and Julian has just began. In the pipeline there are 5 music clips, a dozen of so YouTube show-reels and, most importantly, a compelling feature length documentary about the band; "Shuo Chang', all of which are now being spliced together in a Taipei editing suite. So, while you'll have to wait a while longer for the multi media experience to be released, the band's first album; West Hill is now available here in High Definition audio.
Produced By XiShan,
Executive Producer: Julian (Kuang Chong) Yu of PropaPanda Productions