Musician King Joshua posing in front of concrete stairs.

Beijing, An Open Market For International Musicians.

 

Joshua A. Chambers: If you know Joshua outside of his nine to five teaching Phys Ed., then you probably know him best as ‘King’. Not familiar with King? Then you need to check out his newly released single ‘Hold My Hand’ and witness the serious vocal talents this Georgia raised American musician has brought to Beijing. But aside from his music, King is a business man at heart.

Thrive Beijing caught up with King for an exclusive interview where he shares about his first year living in China, harnessing his talents and ultimately starting his own business in music.

Academic Background

Surprisingly, King was never formerly trained in the field of music. A true sports fanatic, King pursued an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Physical Education to become a Certified K-12 PE teacher and added certifications as a swim instructor and personal trainer on the side.

His Connection to Music

Despite the big role Sports played in King’s life, he always was equally drawn to music. While teaching in the U.S., he used to manage local bands that he knew personally, on the side. He also regularly lined up talent for several bars in his neighborhood but reserved his own singing for church. King’s original plan for moving to China was to teach during the day and set up shop to bring American talent to Asia in the evenings.

“…But it didn’t work out that way.” – King

Observing the music scene on his arrival, King decided to test the waters with his own talent before bringing foreign artists here. Just like that, he fell into the hot seat. King’s style in music is ‘inspirational and soulful’; ‘simple but meaningful’. When listening to his music he wants people to catch on quick and feel what is being said.

The Vision

Instead of picking up gigs at local venues, King’s vision for himself as an artist is building a brand. His business he explains, is three fold. First, King plans to develop his career as a singer, song writer, and producer. Next, he will bring over foreign talent for branded entertainment events. Finally, his biggest dream is to open up a music academy, teaching a variety of music genres, dance, and the skills of producing and building a brand.

How is business going so far? Within one year of living in China, King has already signed a promo deal with Chinese Record label ‘Dream Maker Music’ and produced several singles in HD. In addition, he held a top notch launch for his brand and is in the process of organizing an Asia tour for the summer of 2018.

King’s View On Living and Working in China

Despite being very talented, King recognized early on that the industry in his home country is over saturated. For strong talents, struggling to find to work in their home country King recommends moving somewhere where there is an open or untapped market.

“…People get caught up in the familiar, comfortable environment at home, wasting time thinking ‘I don’t know’ [about leaving] … Why not be a trail blazer? Create your own lane.” – King

King ultimately loves China for a number of reasons. In terms of business he notes that the cost to get started is just so significantly cheaper in China that ‘if you’re not winning here, it’s because you’re not putting in the work to win’.

King’s Advice For Those Who Want to Break Into The Market…

“Embrace what you’re doing. Build confidence in you and your style. Nobody can be you, better than you.”- King

And of course… don’t forget to network.  Check out ‘The Hidden Power Behind Our Beijing Social Lives’ for more on networking. Before arriving, King spent countless hours on Google and sending out emails and Facebook messages to find and secure the people and tools he needed to succeed in the game. In fact that’s how he found ‘Pro Soul’, the recording studio where he writes and rehearses on a weekly basis.

Another solid piece of advice King offers, “for your ticket in, be strategic about getting to where you want to be”. If your degree can get you into China, let it. Most entrepreneurs when starting out have to work double time to stay afloat, it’s part of the hustle.

Lastly, King reminds us not to sweat the haters… “The reality is that you aren’t going to be liked by everybody; but the reality also is, that you are going to be liked by somebody.”

King genuinely feels he has found a home in China and doesn’t plan on going back to the U.S. soon, if ever. While King recognizes that China isn’t for everyone, for him he feels at ease and hungry to develop business and talent.

Check out the teaser for King’s upcoming release ‘I Love China’ here. Full video drops February 2, 2018.

Connect 

Wechat: KINGZENTER

Instagram: KNGJOSHUA

Weibo: KNGJOSH

Additional facts we found out about King Joshua in our interview…

– He’s a huge Foodie
– He spent part of his childhood in Germany
– He’s the first male in his family to get a post secondary degree
– He would also like to build a clothing line

‘I keep positive people around me to show me the bigger and greater.’- King