In August, Chengdu rappers Higher Brothers graced the Kitec Music Zone stage in Kowloon. The following day, Melo and MaSiWei from the group caught up with Young Post to talk about the previous night’s show, as well as their upcoming Clockenflap performance.
“Everybody turned out last night. The crowd went crazy!” exclaimed Melo. “It’s the second time we’ve played here. It’s super hot, but everything’s cool, especially the food and shopping.”
“The hip hop scene here is very passionate, especially the audiences,” MaSiWei added. “We played with YoungQueenz and Dough Boy too, who are local rappers.”
The pair seemed just as excited about returning to Hong Kong in November for Clockenflap.
“A festival is always different to playing a headline show because the audience is different,” explained Melo.
“We’ll check out videos of past Clockenflap concerts to study the crowd and the vibe, and see how other artists have done it. Our performance is going to be very special, but mostly, we want to make it something unique to ourselves.” MaSiWei said. “We’ll have time to work on new songs leading up to the festival, so there’ll definitely be some new songs in the set.”
The four piece have already extensively toured the top tier cities on the mainland, and have their sights set further afield.
“We really want to tour the US, Europe and wider Asia,” MaSiWei confessed. “We’ve got plans to play in the US, maybe next year. Our platform is the world. It’s really competitive, and we want to exceed ourselves.” And were they surprised how quickly they became famous?
“We’ve always seen ourselves as pretty international, and we targeted America, so we kind of expected this to happen,” MaSiWei admitted. “It’s what we’ve wanted from the start.”
Despite touring many exciting cities, and having their music reach thousands of fans around the world, Higher Brothers have no desire to leave Chengdu.
“It’s perfect,” Melo declared. “It’s our hometown. We’ve been to a lot of different cities, like Shanghai, Bangkok and Hong Kong, but at the end of the day, we’ll always want to live in Chengdu.”
The hip hop group rapidly made a name for themselves thanks to social media, releasing music videos and audio clips through YouTube and WeChat, among others.
“Having our music on Xiami [a music app] really helped,” MaSiWei said. Like SoundCloud, it allows music creators to upload their own music. He continued, “A label reached out to us on WeChat and email after discovering our music online. Then, after we uploaded [single] Made In China to YouTube, they said they wanted to release an album with us.”
As a band who are breaking out of Asia, and reaching an ever-growing global audience, the duo have a little advice for those hoping to achieve the same. “Keep working hard! No nonsense, and no fooling around,” said Melo.
“What really matters is the music,” agreed MaSiWei.
Higher Brothers play Clockenflap Festival on November 17. Tickets for students are available from Clockenflap at HK$640 for either Saturday or Sunday day tickets, with Friday tickets selling for HK$570. Weekend tickets cost HK$1,080. Anyone aged 12 and under can attend the festival for free.