Anyone with even a little knowledge about modern Chinese culture has heard a few C-Pop songs. For avid music lovers who want to explore beyond C-Pop,  Chinese indie folk music (“独立民谣” Dú lì mín yáo) is  a good start.

Starting  in the early 2010s, the rise of music streaming services and social media gave new platforms to many indie musiciansUnlike their predecessors, who were limited by physical venues, the new generation of Chinese indie folk artists–such as Song Dongye, Ma Di and  Yao Shisan–were able to find a following online. They  gained popularity without having a deal with a major record label.

These artists have increased their mainstream recognition with the help of appearances at bars, live houses and music festivals. Independent levels have also sparked the growth of the Chinese indie folk artist. Their audiences might have grown, but many fans  still perceive their music as a  grassroots symbol.

For your journey with Chinese indie folk music, here are some musicians to check out:



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Mingsi Ma