The inaugural IMS Asia-Pacific (2014), which took place at the gorgeous W Singapore – Sentosa Cove on December 11th (Thursday), was a resounding success and is set to make a return next year. Attended by nearly 300 delegates, many of whom were industry icons from countries in the region, IMS Asia-Pacific was a prelude to the renowned ZoukOut dance music festival at Siloso Beach on the weekend of December 12th (Friday) and 13th (Saturday).
In partnership with Pioneer, W Hotels and ZoukOut, IMS Asia-Pacific featured speakers and global acts such as Steve Angello, Richie Hawtin, NERVO and Damian Lazarus. Six IMS After Parties were held from December 11th (Thursday) till December 14th (Sunday) in three separate locations with over 15 international and Asian artists performing.
IMS Asia-Pacific which also makes for part of an extension of the partnership between IMS and W Hotels Worldwide, which started in Ibiza back in 2007, saw inspiring talks from the President of Universal for Asia, Sandy Monteiro, plus a Keynote Address on Transformational Music by Dr Gino Yu, a doctor of music and medicine, who intrigued the room of delegates, dissecting the fascinating cultural differences between East and West which could be a challenge for the genre’s growth.
Lincoln Cheng, owner of Zouk Singapore, was referenced by speakers throughout the day and Pete Tong and Pioneer presented him with the first regional IMS Pioneer Award. Steve Angello gave a straightforward, honest and heartfelt interview about his life and career, while the NERVO girls enthused about the region, and promoter JC Ahn from South Korea made the most explosive and controversial speaker of the day.
Ben Turner, IMS co/founder and curator, states: “I think we touched a nerve today. IMS Asia-Pacific has the potential to untie and unite the industry here. It was clear people are understandably protective about their regions, but IMS AP has opened the door to an exchange of information internally to the region and externally to the rest of the world. We are delighted with the attendance and the level of conversation. We are already planning the next steps for how to expand our presence in the region.”
Arnaud Champenois, Senior Director for W Hotels, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and Le Meridien, Asia Pacific, says: “Music is intrinsic to W HOTELS’ DNA and we are thrilled to expand our global partnership with IMS from the debut in Ibiza, to IMS Engage in Los Angeles, and now launching together the inaugural IMS Asia- Pacific at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove.”
He adds: “With nearly 30 hotels by 2020 in Asia-Pacific, W HOTELS is proud to support this platform for an engaging dialogue between East and West with industry icons and emerging talent from the music world. We are excited for the next chapter of this partnership and to continue to drive what is New/Next in music.”
IMS Asia Pacific 2014 Highlights
The summit’s key highlights started with the first IMS Business Report for the region, which is estimated to be valued at 1/6 of the global electronic music market. This was followed by the thought-provoking Keynote Introduction by Sandy Monteiro, President, Universal Music Group, SEA, who challenged the electronic music industry in Asia to address the concerns over drug deaths at events leading to the loss of huge potential partnerships with brands in Asia.
Dr Gino Yu, a doctor of music and medicine then presented an inspirational Keynote Address on Transformational Music and intrigued the room of delegates by dissecting the fascinating cultural differences between East and West which could be a challenge for genre’s growth.
In the IMS Asia Pacific Artist Panel: East Meets West, artists NERVO and Damian Lazarus sat with local artists Arjun Vagale (India); Celeste Siam (Thailand); and Jeremy Boon [Zouk, Singapore], in an engaging session moderated by W Singapore Artistic Director, Mr. Has.
The summit then moved on to the exchange between promoters of global festivals and events from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Japan touched on the huge growth of the music industry. In the same sitting, IMS Asia Pacific Promoter Panel, JC Ahn, the International Director of VU ENT/Global Gathering/Life In Color in South Korea, was critical of those who got into the music business for the wrong reasons in his strongly worded commentary.
The Keynote Interview between IMS co-founder BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong and Steve Angello, saw Angello talking about his passions and experiences in Asia-Pacific. Global artist Richie Hawtin later joined the debate, Get Played Get Paid, hosted by the Association for Electronic Music on ensuring artists’ payments end up in the right pocket.
The highly anticipated evening session was the Keynote Interview between global artist Paul Oakenfold and Zouk founder Lincoln Cheng, who is widely regarded by the global music industry as Godfather of Dance Music in Asia-Pacific. Cheng also spoke about his inspiration behind the superclub prior to its opening in 1991 in Singapore, and the influence of Ibiza for Zouk. At the summit, he was honoured with the prestigious IMS Pioneer Award for his work in the region.
The evening continued with the Official IMS Cocktail Party at WOOBAR, where Pete Tong played with his daughter Becky Tong for the very first time. The party was closed by NERVO.
IMS Asia-Pacific is slated to be an annual event in Singapore, and will return next year at W Singapore–Sentosa Cove as a two-day summit. The 300 delegates who attended the inaugural IMS Asia Pacific included those from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, China, India, Nepal, Australia and Taiwan.
For more on IMS Asia-Pacific, check out its website.