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Pei Pei (Little Punk)
August 10, 2011
Introducing the lead singer of Boys Climbing Ropes
- Text by Terence Teh
23-year-old Pei Pei aka Little Punk is originally from the Jiangxi province and came to Shanghai seven years ago and has since forged quite the reputation as a unique vocalist with the garage rock band Boys Climbing Ropes and her own more lo-fi and subversive solo work. A definite one-to-watch in Shanghai's music scene, here she shares her Shanghai insights with Satellite Voices.
Satellite Voices: How would you describe your creative approach to your music?
Pei Pei: I come up with lyrics and vocal melodies, usually when everyone’s coming up with their stuff in the practice room. I can play a little bit keyboard, when I write songs alone, I use entry level drum machine software and sloppy guitar playing.
SV: Can you highlight some of your favourite recent projects?
Pei Pei: I think people really like my solo stuff with Andy Best (a blogger and guitarist in Shanghai). We never did any live shows. And as you see on the video on Dabaoge (above), Jordan who plays guitar in Boys Climbing Ropes is helping me out. Odd, but that’s how it works. Spontaneous, that’s the nature of these things. Andy asked me to do some songs, we met up for four times, each time one hour or two, write two minute folkm lo-fi tunes with the lyrical material I've had for a long time. Ordinarily, it would be me staying in the living room, knitting some thing according to patterns, petting cats or dreaming unstable, anxious dreams. I’m like the best friend with boredom. Endure and enjoy. It was last summer that I worked with Andy… recent for me.
SV: Where do you live in Shanghai and what inspires you about that area of town?
Pei Pei: Most of my years in Shanghai I stayed in a suburban area in Baoshan. I wrote most of my stuff on the two hour bus ride from my downtown work to suburban home. When I lived alone I used to stay up all night, listening to songs and thinking about my inspiring walks through gardens and coal covered industrial roads. Being alone is quite absurd, so are the ideas came up during those times.
SV: What are some of your favourite hidden city spots?
Pei Pei: There was a secret noodle place in Baoshan, they opened this store in an apartment building, so it has to be someone who had been there to take you there, then you take someone else. It’s called “Secret Place”. It was so awesome and it’s not hidden anymore. The owner gained lots of money and opened his store on the main street. The noodles are never as tasty anymore.
SV: What does your city mean to you?
Pei Pei: It’s home, man. It's a home.
SV: Where's the best food spots?
Pei Pei: The two cheapest chain noodle resturants, one called Shaxian (South east China style), one called Lanzhou Lamian (North west China style), I go there all the time. They are all over the city, almost on every block in Shanghai. It’s definitely a spot that you choose to go, or choose not to. I enjoyed my every bowl of noodles all these seven years.
SV: Can you talk about the best youth culture movements in your town?
Pei Pei: There are young people who are DJs or in bands. These are the stuff that I’m into. There are very active in bars like Shelter, Dada and Yuyintang. I like this folk singer called Ho-tom the Conquerer. I think Hanhan from Duck fight Goose is always hyped, and the girls from Next Year’s Love are very high spirited.
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