You can’t talk about China’s techno scene without acknowledging the force that is Hong Kong born, Taiwan-bred DJ BB Deng. With over a decade of
experience under her belt, including the countries’ major electronic festivals, club residencies, radio shows as well as numerous gigs and worldwide tours, the artist has just kicked off a new chapter of her journey: embracing Berlin as her new home and cradle of creativity.
Storytelling has been a huge part of BB Deng’s life and her identity. Learning classical piano and violin at a young age but revolting against the rigor and sternness of classical structures, BB found solace as a teen in 60s to 90s rock records. From her early days as a resident DJ in Taiwan’s Roxy Vibe, Zip and 99, she’s constantly honed her craft of building sound narratives, irrespective of genre. Years into her residency, she was also hosting the “Women In Rock” radio show, a great chance to discover and to offer airtime to more alternative female artists.
But it wasn’t just about being a narrator. As the passion to play music spilled over as a creative inspiration, BB started putting bands together and unleashing her inner drive as a lead singer, keyboard player and beatmaker.
The move to Beijing in 2003 to study Film directing brought along a new playground for this music aficionado. Along with starting an all-female Chinese Electroclash band
and continuing to DJ in underground clubs in Beijing and Shanghai, a purpose close to BB’s heart has always been creating contexts to showcase underrepresented talents. So it’s no surprise that she went on to organise all-female music & arts festival. In 2008 she and fellow Taiwanese Dj @llen took over and opened up their own club, The Boat, which played host to live concerts and DJ gigs, movie screenings and LGBTQ events, providing a platform of expression for both local and international artists.
2008 brought a new milestone for BB Deng, as she was the DJ chosen to play the official Olympics after-party in China. Soon after, she got involved in the Acupuncture Records label and kicked off her own event brand Disobedience Movement, going on to co-organize China’s first independent electronic music festival, INTRO, in 2012 and 2013 and Strawberry Music Festival, where she was also the mind behind the international artists club tour scheduling.
Her efforts were awarded with the 2013 Outstanding DJ prize by English media “The Beijinger”. Not one to rest on her laurels, BB went on to build up her portfolio as DJ and promoter for one of China’s best techno clubs, Lantern, which invited numerous high-profile techno DJs flying in from all over the world.
In parallel with playing banging techno to underground clubs, BB’s innate music storytelling attracted the crowds at international launches for brands like Porsche, BMW, Nike, Chloe, Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Citroen, Intel, Nokia, making her one of the most sought out DJs for brand events in China.
A purveyor of art in its many forms, she was also the only artist performing at the launch party of the 2013 Beijing Design Week in Amsterdam, soon thereafter followed by a guest speaker and performance at the Netherland’s seminal industry event Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), paving the way for international recognition.
2014 saw BB Deng head off to regular tours in all of China, playing in more than 20 cities alongside artists such as Mark Reeve, Remy, Secret Cinema, Warren Fellow, Alex Flatner, Nakadia, Tijana T, Simina Grigoriu, Sander Kleinenberg, Stiv Hey, The Yellowheads, etc.
In 2015 came the cooperation with MSE (Modern Sky Entertainment), the largest outdoor music festival operator in China, as headliner of their electronic events and Strawberry Music Festival series. At the same time, she started to tour regularly on an international scale, playing clubs, festivals, and outdoor parades in France, Germany, Austria, Finland, Spain, Netherlands and Croatia.
Relentless on her path to expand her horizons, BB kicked off her producer efforts, releasing under labels such as Kuukou (Berlin) or Reload Black Label (Spain). Taking note of her dedication and talent, hardware brand Novation signed her as their first Chinese ambassador, while Chinese press was also singing her praises. She was named one of the top DJs, coming in at no.7 in DJane Mag China and at No.8 in Djane Mag International.
With this rich history in all areas of music, but with a clear focus on techno, BB Deng has been carving out her unique path from her Taipei/Hong Kong/Beijing roots to the adopted Berlin she now calls home. Aside from intensive touring and kicking off new creative crossover projects, BB Deng is settling in the Berlin techno scene, with her first EP in the works and another ADE appearance already set for 2018. Given BB’s one-of-a-kind, storyboard-centric approach to music, the future looks bright and exciting for this driven and leading-edge mind. Read more