Mashup goes mainstream in China (Landor Perspectives 2011)

Michael Ip

Mashup began as the artistic practice of creating a new song by mixing two or more existing, and often dramatically different, songs together—a style that has exploded in popularity in recent years because of digital technologies. Although mashup began in the music world, it has since found its way into video and fashion. Even brands are getting in on the trend.

Mashup is popular in many places, but in China it's everywhere. Disparate and conflicting influences mix in every cultural and commercial medium to create the new and distinctive. China is the mashup nation.

It makes perfect sense that China would embrace and elevate mashup the way that it has. As far as paradoxical places go, China is possibly the most striking. It's a communist country that does capitalism better than most capitalists; a global superpower with one of the lowest per capita GDPS in the world; a nation of impressive economic growth that is sadly, in turn, creating massive environmental problems; and a land where a growing sense of nationalism butts heads with an increased curiosity about individuality.