There was a time, during the middle 90s, when Spanish “indie” bands like Dover and Manta Ray were innovating on the Spanish music scene because they were the first bands who began to sing in English. At present, a band from Barcelona named GAS, has taken the next step drawing the attention on the musical scene not only because of the quality of their music, but also for the fact that they chose to sing in Chinese.
GAS started Chinese project in 2013. After had released two demos and two EPs in previous years, they released “Chinese Works”, six songs sung in Mandarin. They also presented their job during the last autumn in different concert halls in Barcelona and Madrid.
GAS’s latest EP Everlasting Freshman – 永远的初学者 is available from January 2015. This EP has become one of the most ambitious ones in Spain in recent years.
Recently, CMBN interviews GAS, who shares their stories with us:
CMBN: Could you introduce GAS to Chinese fans?
GAS: We are six friends from Barcelona (Spain). We have been playing music for years. Some of us have been playing in other bands or are currently working in other musical projects.
We have built our web site and helped by some local booking and manager companies. Until now we have been promoting our project through social media and trough our site: www.gasmusica.com
CMBN: As a band from Barcelona, why do you sing in Chinese rather than other languages? Any reason or story?
GAS: The idea of making music in Chinese came up almost as a joke. One day a friend of the band came to our place and suggested it. At first, it seemed like a ridiculous idea, but then we translated some of the lyrics we had in Spanish and the truth is that we liked how the Chinese sounded with our music and most of all, after seeing the good reception that our first video had, we decided to keep on singing in Chinese and see what the future had in store for us. We started the Chinese project
three years ago.
Actually, our vocals has been studied Chinese for the last 5 years and it has been a good opportunity for us to try with this language. In fact we are also surprised for the positive reaction of the people. We think that we have now a hard work to immerse ourselves in Chinese culture to adapt our music and lyrics to our audience
CMBN: For the band, Chinese is the third language (Followed by Spanish and English), how do you study Chinese and translate lyrics. During translation process, how do you make sure all lyrics in Chinese are expressing the ideas, feelings and sprits that you really want to express?
GAS: The lyrics were originally written in Spanish and we just translated them into Chinese. Obviously, in many cases we couldn’t translate it literally and so we had to change or adapt a little bit the meaning so that the lyrics words could fit into the melodies of the songs, but we’ve been always trying to find the most suitable words which conveyed the message we want to express.
CMBN: We realize you just released your EP “ Everlasting Freshman” with six original songs sung in Chinese. Could you explain what does “everlasting Freshman” mean?
GAS: In fact the meaning of that song is about the human desire to find or do something new every day, we wanted to talk about discovering new things and not being bored in a boring office job or something similar every day. Try to change your life to make your dreams come true, despite of the risk of change. Each song of the EP refers to a mood that is changing.
CMBN: Does your EP “Everlasting Freshman” release in China? Any Chinese labels or marketing company collaborate with you? How can Chinese fans listen to your music?
GAS: So far we haven’t been able to release our EP outside Spain, and unfortunately we don’t have any Chinese labels or marketing companies, which could collaborate with us and release our EP in the Chinese market.
We are well aware of the difficulties to promote our works in China, and the fact that useful communicating and marketing channels such as Youtube or Facebook are blocked in China has become a hindrance for promoting our project in mainland China. Fortunately, thanks to Youtube and Facebook many people in Hong Kong and other overseas Chinesecommunities have got to know our project and they have always supported us and encouraged us to keep on working in this same direction.
In fact, we would like to promote our project in mainland China, but we don’t know exactly which channels we should use in order to promote our project. So far we have uploaded some of our videos on Youku but this website isn’t working well in Spain, it works very slowly and we don’t know exactly how to use it as a promotion channel..
However, now our EP can be also heard at Apple music. We hope that it can help too.
CMBN:Does the band have any future plan for Chinese music market? Tour performance?Releasing more EPs?
GAS: We want to keep on doing music in Chinese as well as in Spanish and English. However, one of our dreams is to perform in mainland China and to promote our music there. We are working in new songs and we are playing for cultural festivals but we hope to travel to China in the near future.
You can listen/download GAS’s album here:
GAS website: http://www.gasmusica.com/everlasting-freshman
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