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Celebration of creativity picks up in Chinese cities

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-17 07:12
The Simple Life Festival, a cultural event that blends music with lifestyle products, will expand to four cities on the Chinese mainland this year.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Based in Beijing, the 53-year-old veteran music producer is known for working on iconic albums such as those of Taiwan's rock band May Day, Hong Kong singers Karen Mok Man-wai and Sandy Lam Yiklin. He was also the person who brought Beijing-based rock singer-songwriters and bands, including Dou Wei, He Yong and Zhang Chu, to Hong Kong in 1994.

The Simple Life Festival started at a time when the music industry was severely affected by the dawn of the internet era. The market for physical music records was shrinking as digital streaming grew in popularity. Record companies struggled to survive, but young singer-songwriters still needed platforms to showcase themselves.

It was then that Chia, along with his colleagues Landy Chang and Jonathan Lee from Rock Records, one of the biggest and oldest record companies in Taiwan, decided to gather these young musicians together and play their original materials. Along the way, the trio were drawn to young people who had a passion for creativity, and their initial project soon turned into the Simple Life Festival.

"People come to the Simple Life Festival to share their lives. They are young, energetic, creative and enthusiastic about their lives," says Chia.

The Simple Life Festival first came to Shanghai in 2014. That year, over 50,000 students and white-collar workers, most of whom were under 35 years old, attended the event.

One of the most memorable moments of that year's festival was the performance by its co-founder Lee, who sang every song from his first album, The Spirit of Life. Released in 1986, the album conveys a message urging young people to chase their dreams and passions.

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