Canada based electronic artist, multi-instrumentalist, and experimental producer Didi + Ping has released his debut single “Buffalo Jump”. The smooth house track is driven by Kristian Wang aka Didi + Ping’s love and admiration of nature. It features soft flute melodies, hand drums, and samples of a Native American pow wow who inhibit Alberta, Canada, close to where Didi + Ping grew up.
Wang says, “I didn’t grow up in the center of a sprawling city – I grew up on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, with the city of Calgary just a few minutes away (by car)”. Didi + Ping’s intricate soundscapes encompasses the magnificent natural views that Wang grew up with. He explains, “Exploring ‘wildlands’ is central to this song, and this idea will probably come up again in my later songs.”
The moniker itself, “Didi + Ping” pays homage to Kristian’s rich Asian ancestry. “Didi” means “younger brother” in his family’s native Mandarin tongue, and doubles as a shoutout to his sibling, with whom he’s created homespun grooves throughout the years. “Ping” is Wang’s Chinese namesake, and a powerful reminder of his ancestors’ storied past. As a descendent of grandparents who fled China during the civil war in search of a better life in Canada, he is no stranger to the notion of embracing the unknown. And that concept is exactly what Didi + Ping strives to illuminate in his buoyant tracks, which unveil a unique take on deep and up tempo melodic house, and showcase his talents as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and experimental producer.
The rising electronic artist took some time to answer some of our questions below.
Who is Didi + Ping
DD+P is my expression of adventure, curiosity, and awe in the face of the universe and her secrets. We’ve all been dropped into this place thanks to our parents, and I wish to celebrate that! Where are we?! What is this place, and how is it the way it is?
Tell us about what your debut single “Buffalo Jump.”
‘Buffalo Jump’ is my attempt to capture the wild and untamed lands of North America before there were any humans. Even before the Native Americans! We’re looking at somewhere before 12,000 years ago, at least. I grew up in Canada, surrounded by beautiful vistas, and as a kid I often imagined this landscape back then. What a scary and exciting place! This song hits close to home because it’s dedicated to my home! I didn’t grow up in the centre of a sprawling city – I grew up on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, with the city of Calgary just a few minutes away (by car). Exploring ‘wildlands’ is central to this song, and this idea will probably come up again in my later songs.
What does your creative process look like when creating music?
I frankly don’t have a strict creative process, which does feel like a cop out… What I can say is that I focus on dance music, I do my best to strike a fair balance between electronic and real-life recordings, and I only cultivate ideas that encompass what I’m trying to capture conceptually. So if, let’s say, the concept is outer-space, I’m probably not going to include a jazzy xylophone motif. Of course, never say never! But you get the idea. How do I come up with these concepts in the first place? There’s no pattern – it could be something I read or heard. Maybe a smell, or a photograph, or a memory. Or an experience!
Logistically I’m all over the place – it’s 50/50 on whether I establish a drum beat or a melody first. Sometimes I’ll even create half and half, and only discover their full potential at the very end of the creative process. Every single song is a mystery to me as I go through it. Even my own confidence wavers with each song – sometimes I’ll be fully submerged in my subconscious and the song will just carry me to its natural completion. And sometimes with other music, I’ll stay up late working methodically, and making changes at a surgical level that only the most perfection-driven minds would do. It’s entirely dependent on the song, my mood, and my current state of affairs.
Has nature and the elements of our planet always inspired you?
A thousand times yes! My family is made up of inquisitive people. My 公公 (grandpa), who I especially look up to, is a biochemist and, I believe, a philosopher. Though I’ve noticed philosophy comes hand in hand with anybody whose job is exploring the alien curiosities of our cosmos. I’d be pursuing astrophysics right now if I didn’t have the musical bug. But alas, this is my reality!
Another reason I find nature so inspiring is that we can all relate. You can’t escape it. You could live in the very centre of a megatropolis, filled with people and not a tree in sight. And you’re still in nature. Granted, it’s an environment imagined by the brains of human beings. But, it’s all composed of raw material supplied by Mother Earth herself. Furthermore, Mother Earth supplied us! We are as natural as the billions of species that exist, have existed, and will exist on this planet. That very thought excites me! I love it!!
What’s next for you?
I’ll be staying very busy composing a song per month for the next year. There are some potential music videos and live sets down the line, which of course I’m ecstatic about. I don’t want to give anything away, but I have some big ideas that I want to see come to life. Ideas that stir people into a sense of adventure!
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