SINGAPORE (June 3): Concert production company UnUsUaL spent the past two years convincing investors of its plans to expand in China, so as to tap a growing middle income population with ample disposable income and a taste for Western music. The results were passable at best. Last year, revenue contribution from China grew just 6% to $1.7 million. Now, the company has its eye on a different audience — the Chinese in Western countries.
Earlier this year, the company brought Mandopop artist J J Lin to Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia. “The two shows we did in Sydney and Melbourne were sold out,” says Leslie Ong, who co-founded UnUsUaL and is now its executive director and CEO. A total of 13,000 people attended the Sydney concert while 11,000 attended the one in Melbourne. Ong thinks there will be a greater demand for Mandopop, Cantopop and K-pop music in markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.
“[I was shocked to hear from the people in San Francisco that] it was their first Chinese concert in the last five or six years because artistes don’t really go there. They don’t find it worthwhile flying 10 hours to do a show for one night,” Ong says, referring to a recent concert he organised in the US city for Hong Kong artiste Gloria Tang. The performance was sold out.