KUN (Cai Xukun), a 20 –year old singer songwriter and member of boy band Nine Percent, attracted nation-wide fame as the winner of Idol Producer’s 2018 finale, a music reality show that saw over three billion online views in China.
Billboard Radio China sat down in Shanghai with the rising C-Pop star to talk about the changing dynamics of the China’s idol industry, his musical influences and what’s next for 2019.
Winning Idol Producer “changed my life” explained KUN “and gave me so many fans that support my music. Our public’s definition and expectation for idols have also changed” as audiences now expect the same standards as Western and Korean artists. Even Nine Percent, which recently debuted their first group album “To The Nines”, featuring “Rule Breaker” worked with major Western producers including four-time Grammy Award winner Rodney Jerkins, who has also worked with Michael Jackson, Beyoncé and Rihanna among others.
KUN who has released 5 singles to date cites his influences to include Stevie Wonder and Lana Del Rey. “ I really like the soul and jazz vibe that takes people on an emotional journey in music” which is clearly expressed in his first English track, the pop, electronic, soul mix, ‘Wait Wait Wait’ released on Aug 23.
KUN- “Wait Wait Wait”
On what’s next in 2019 KUN intends to release more tracks and fine-tune his DJ skills ahead of his 2019 world tour starting in April and as a big Tiësto fan he also looks forward to potential collaborations to come.
Billboard Radio 105.1 FM (Chengdu) will air the full Mandarin interview on Friday (Nov. 30) at 09:45 (Beijing Time) and rebroadcast on the same day at 13:45; 16:45; and 19:45 (Beijing Time).