posted on August 05, 2008 06:06
If there's one company to watch in Asia's music scene it could be Taihe Rye. Flush with venture capital and a massive recent investment from SK Telecom, which bought 42% of the company, TaiHe beat local and interational competition to signing Li Yuchun, a sensation in China when she won the Super Girl reality show in 2006.
I had an interesting visit recently with Zhan Hua, vice president of this most commercially successful of Chinese labels. You can tell that from the company’s office: rather than an apartment-cum-office on the 13th floor of a western suburb apartment block - the kind of place I've become used to going to find local labels - Tai He Rye's 90-strong staff has very nice digs. Staffers sit out onto a pavilion to smoke and shoot the breeze.Soothed by the green lawn and a bubbling brook, Tai He Rye’s top brass do their deals on mobile phones.
The jeep Cherokee parked rudely right in front of the door – and a stack of fan mail, with kids effort and writing, suggest a label with stars. Tai He called in a British songwriting crew to produce and write English songs for Li, “to get her an international presence,” and repackaged her as a girl-next-door looking starlet called Cris Lee.
The label wants more collaborations with foreign counterparts but is worried that English songs won't translate well to Chinese. I'll write a longer article later about my couple of hours on Taihe's giant purple executive couch in the office near Sihui subway stop but the key thoughts I took away from this interview was that multinational labels haven't got it made in China: Tai He beat its former partner Warner to Li YuChun and with SK's money the company will