Hey songwriters. If a fast-food conglomerate asked you to compose music for their advertisements, how many milliseconds would you take to slam the door in their sorry face and walk away in disgust? “My music is only for people who appreciate the intricate, impossible-to-label sounds I create, it’s definitely not for the masses. Way over their heads.” Nah brah, you’d agree faster than McD’s changes its menu.
Mr. Jubal has had that opportunity and owned it like the jingle writer he was meant to be! He didn’t start off as a KFC songster though. No, the Shanghai-native started off like most high school musicians: playing guitar, mastering their favorite rawk songs, starting bands, touring China, performing at the Summer Sonic music festival in Japan and then organizing your own multistage music fests! At the ripe young age of 30, Jubal has seen and done it all. Let’s hear from Jubes himself as he sets aside a few minutes to chat with us about his past life of thrusting himself into the vibrating pulse of the Shanghai indie scene, organizing shows and on to his newest work!
Jubal, may we first ask how you chose that unique English name for yourself?
Haha this is an interesting question. When I was about 18 years old, I was learning to play the classic guitar. By chance, I got a Bible and found in it the name Jubal, who is the forefather of all musicians. This is great, right？So I have used Jubal as my English name until now. Many friends think maybe I am from the Middle East.
哈哈这是⼀个有趣的问题。⼤概在我⼗⼋岁的时候，那时候我在学习吉他，⼀个偶然的机会得到 了⼀本圣经，在⾥⾯找到了 Jubal 这个名字。他是所有⾳乐家的始祖，你们看到了⼀定会觉得
How did you get into creating music, first with your indie, dream rock band Air Walker and then to more electronic inspired solo pieces?
Like most people, it all started with learning to play a musical instrument. I started learning to play the classical guitar, then was exposed to rock music, started several bands, performed at a music festival, and released records. Then I said goodbye to my band life, starting my personal development.
What were some memorable highlights of your time as a guitarist touring Asia?
I have participated in many music festivals as a guitar player, and they are basically full of fun. I have also learned a lot and made some interesting friends. One of the most impressive should be a music festival in Hangzhou, where the organizer had run away before we started the soundcheck, and the festival had to be cancelled. This was probably the most “interesting” music festival in recent years.
How did you go from an indie artist who organized shows and festivals to writing music for KFC? And can you sneak in a Cannibal Corpse snippet in an ad please?
I began to write some music for the commercial a long time ago and wrote for several brands including KFC, Yili, Tencent and so on. In my opinion, music for the commercial does not need much personality or artistry. It has boundaries, which is different from indie music.
There needs to be an accumulation of different musical textures. You need to understand and use the music language that the masses understand; besides, you must also be familiar with digital audio workstation.
Then you have the ability to start the first step.
Finally, you also need to know some right people.
Of course, I am very good at re-sampling. Haha
我很久前就开始接触⼀些商业的⾳乐了。服务过很多品牌包括 KFC 伊利 腾讯 等等。 我觉得商业的⾳乐不需要个性和很多的艺术性，它和独⽴音乐还是有所区别的，是有界限的。 需要有各种不同的⾳乐织体的积累。要懂得使⽤⼤部分⼈都听的懂的⾳乐语⾔，还要能熟悉掌握⾳乐软件。 这样你就有能⼒可以开始制作商业⾳乐啦。 最后你也需要认识⼀些对的⼈。
What plans do you have to milk your creative juices not only in the advertising world, but in your personal life? Do you still pick up that guitar and write or throw together some beats on your Mac?
In 2019, I signed with Modern Sky Label Pollux Records and became a signed musician.
My partner is a musician and Guqin player. The name of our group is Taiyi Shengshui.
This is a group of electronic music and world music style. The plan is to release three records in five years.
In this way, I have the time to make my favorite personalized music.
I am still playing the guitar, but recently, I like playing Ruan (a Chinese musical instrument with only four strings) and Oud I bought in Turkey.
Because my name is Jubal.
吉他我也会弹，最近我喜欢上了弹阮（⼀个中国弹拨⾳乐，只有四根弦）还有在练习⼟⽿其买的 Oud 琴。