“A triumph from beginning to end ” – The Guardian
Formed in 2000 in the remote and mysterious Yunnan province of southwest China, the region thought to have inspired the Shangri-la of James Hilton’s classic novel Lost Horizon, Shanren, literally “mountain men,” have become one of China’s top indie folk bands. With members representing some of the least understood of China’s 56 ethnic groups, the four-piece aims to promote and preserve the colorful and diverse heritage of Yunnan and Guizhou’s many ethnic minority tribes through original compositions and re-workings of local folk melodies.
Shanren fuse indigenous music with modern styles, while showcasing a variety of traditional instruments such as the Xianzi, Qinqin and Dabiya (four-stringed plucked instruments) and Xianggu and Sun drum (percussion). Gaining popularity in Beijing’s small but vibrant alternative folk scene, and especially the expat crowd, on the strength of their energetic live shows, the band were invited to appear in front of 5,000 people at Cathedral Square for the Barcelona Festival Asia 2010. In 2011, Shanren also presented showcases at MIDEM in Cannes and Liverpool Sound City, UK.
After becoming the song of Festival Asia Barcelona 2010, Shanren’s track, ‘Thirty Years’, continued to attain international recognition, being featured on two releases by the World Music Network – Rough Guide to China 2012, Rough Guide to the Undiscovered World 2012.
Shanren were rated as No. 4 hottest international act at Canadian Music Week 2012 which they attended as part of a twelve date North American tour which attracted media attention including Huffington Post, Washington Post and National Geographic who described the band as “The closest thing to The Pogues that we have ever heard a Chinese band come”. Since then the band have been invited to perform all over the world –Bali Spirit Festival（Indonesia), Turtle Island Festival (Japan), Womadelaide (Australia) and Womad (New Zealand). The band also embarked upon a 9 week tour of USA in 2014/2015 as part of the Arts Midwest Worldfest program, sharing Yunnan’s unique cultural heritage with rural communities in the American Midwest.
The 2013 album 《听山》 (China), “Left Foot Dance of the Yi and other Chinese Folk Anthems” (international) was nominated for best rock album at the 2013 MIDI music awards, Best Folk album at the Golden Melody Awards and received Best Folk Roots albumat the Golden Folk Awards 2014. and since international release under the title of “Left Foot Dance of The Yi…” was listed as number 51 in the 2014 Annual European World music album charts.
Shanren are staple headliners at China’s major music festivals and have been featured on a wide range of domestic TV shows reaching an audience in the tens of millions. Wild, eccentric, and charismatic, Shanren are true ambassadors for China’s ethnic diversity and emerging musical creativity.
Album name: Shanren
Record company: Thirteen Month Records
Publisher: Thirteen Month Records
Musicians: QuYabo, Chen Yuyong, OuJianyun, Xiao Budian (Fu Te)
Album name: Left foot Dance of the Yi and other Chinese Folk Anthems
Record company: World Music Network
Publisher: World Music Network
Musicians: QuYabo, Chen Yuyong, OuJianyun, Xiao Budian (Fu Te), Sam Debell