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Interview: Christian Rijanto of Ismaya Group Talks the Music Industry in Asia

Ismaya Group may start sounding familiar in the West soon.

While the US festival scene is one of the biggest party scenes in the world, over in Asia, things are still growing and expanding. Christian Rijanto is one of the biggest promoters out in Asia, and he's organized massive events like the Djakarta Warehouse Project and WE THEFEST. 

With all of the accomplishments of Rijanto and Ismaya Group on our minds, we sat down with the talent to learn more about the future of dance music in Asia. 

Hey Christian Rijanto, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! You've worked hard to become one of the best promoters out there in Asia, which in the dance music company, is still considered an emerging market. With the internet being so accessible, why do you think it's still a growing market, versus in the US, it's hit a little more of a saturation point? 

Dance music is still growing in Asia and it’s crossing over to the mainstream scene through radio plays and such. Not just the electronic dance music genre but other dance music-related genres. It’s getting there and it takes time. Our festivals, especially Djakarta Warehouse Project, support that growth of dance music in our nation and around the region too.

I'd love to know a little bit more about your own history. How did you get into dance music party promotion? 

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Our company, Ismaya Group, started 12 years ago where we opened clubs, restaurants, and lounges which, of course, encouraged us to create small-scale events in those establishments. This was before we ventured into bigger events that eventually led to the creation of a dedicated concert promoter division called Ismaya Live that is now in charge of our music festivals such as Djakarta Warehouse Project, We The Fest, Ultra Beach Bali, just to name a few.

You're looking to expand beyond the Asian markets. What potential do you see in places as you look beyond? 

We are currently looking to bring our festival experience to different parts of Asia because we believe that promoting a music festival or a concert is not just about the music, but the experience starts the moment our audience know that their favorite artists are coming to town all the way even after the event has finished. Hopefully one day we could bring it to places outside of Asia.

You've undoubtedly seen a lot of different performers. Which DJs have stood out for you, who/what have been your favorite performers or shows?  

Porter Robinson, he performs as if he’s telling a story through his music and visuals, it’s like a full-on cinematic story telling experience, other than that electronic live acts like The xx. Also Odesza.

What can we expect in 2017? 

We are expanding our summer festival of music, arts, fashion, and food WE THEFEST to 3 days for the first time this August, we are also working on a culinary festival, and we aim to elevate the Djakarta Warehouse Project experience to a whole new level this December.

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