Zhang Zhang is a Chinese singer songwriter who has become a leading exponent of all things Bitcoin in China.
In the video (below) Zhang Zhang is interviewed by Yi Lam from the Bittunes team, he discusses his background, why he became a songwriter, his love of freedom and independence, and also Bitcoin. His song ‘We are Bitcoin’ is available to purchase on the Bittunes platform.
Full text of the extended interview
Zhang Zhang: Hi, My name is Zhangzhang, I have been doing music for more than 10 years. I like freedom, independece, I enjoy life, enjoy music, and now I like Bitcoin.
Q: What, or who has had the biggest influence on you as a singer songwriter?
Zhang Zhang: When I was in college, I started to fall in loves with music, under the influence of Qiqin, who was a very famous musician back at that time. I was thinking I can be the same as him, I can write some great songs as well. After that, I started to teach myself guitar, then I started to write songs, and do some recording.
Q: Are you with any label?
Zhang Zhang: No label, No, I had signed with a label and released an album before, however, in the end I realised, only by being independent artist, that I can make my own music, because I like freedom. The nature of music itself are free and independent, so, I believe to respect with the nature, to be freely to express without control, and this is similar to the nature of Bitcoin.
Q: How did you first become interested in Bitcoin?
Zhang Zhang: In the end of year 2012, I read some news about Bitcoin in 163.com, at that time, I was amazed that by it’s nature, the decentralisation, it’s a democratic and open system. And most importantly, it is similar with my core values, so, I immediately joined the Bitcoin World. Now, I have various alt-currencies, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Quark, Nextcoin and Zetacoin, I believe this is the future, so, I decided to jump into the Bitcoin World.
Q: Tell us about your Bitcoin Song, “we are bitcoin”… why did you write it, and how have people reacted to it in China?
Zhang Zhang: In the Bitcoin World, everyone is using their own way to make a contribution, to me, I am using music to do my contribution, so, I am very happy that I can write this Bitcoin song. Bitcoin is getting more and more popular in China, although the government might not quite like this thing, but in fact, China is the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange market. So, because Bitcoin is getting more mature and because of it’s decentralise nature, it is similar to my values, so, I wrote the song “ We are All Bitcoins” to use this song to express my feeling.
Q: I understand that you are doing a music video for this song, how is that going?
Zhang Zhang: Yea, it’s pretty smooth, many Bitcoiner’s have heard my song, and they all like it, so they suggest “Why don’t we make a Music Video for this song, let’s all have some fun. We want to use this song to express how Bitcoin can make our lives better.
Q: What is the level of public awareness about Bitcoin in China?
Zhang Zhang: I think nothing can really stop Bitcoin, as you see, the Chinese government is launching some policy to suppress Bitcoin, the Central Bank does not allow people to buy Bitcoin using a third-party payment system. However, people are still enthusiastic about Bitcoin. The Gold will always shine, people will automatically choose things that make their life easier, same as currencies.
Q: What do you think about the future of Bitcoin and digital currencies?
Zhang Zhang: I was a website graphic designer for many years, and music is something that I always like. However, in China, music can only be an amateur occupation, I write and I sing, my life is occupied mostly by internet and music. So, when Bitcoin came along, I naturally absorbed the core concept about it. When I was a website graphic designer back 15 years ago, at that time,, I believed that the Internet could change the world, and now, I believe Bitcoin can change the financial world. Like mp3 destroyed the CD traditional record market, I think the big direction of Bitcoin is irreversible, all these revolutions is to make people’s life easier. I am a believer in Bitcoin, but in China, many people are just doing Bitcoin speculation, everyone thinks that they can make money, so, they all want to have some Bitcoin. However, I think people need to know the true value about Bitcoin, and this is one of the reasons why I wrote this song.
Q: Is it easy to make a living being an independent artist in China?
Zhang Zhang: No, it’s not easy, being an independent artist in China is not easy, 99.99% of us can only treat it as a hobby, even though I got some gigs in the pubs, but in China, being an independent artist is still a minority market, there are some successful cases, but again, that is just a small percentage, only a few artists can treat it as their job, most of them can only make it as an amateur.
Q: What do you think about Bitcoin plus Music?
Zhang Zhang: I think Bitcoin and music is a good combination, in simple words, it eliminates the many layers in the middle, to be more decentralised and remove the controls. Through Bitcoin, Artist’s just have to deal with their fans, even though Bitcoin is sill at an early stage, but with the world integration, people can have more options and more choices. I think Bittunes is a very good concept, I hope it can succeed, and let independent artists make a living by doing music.