Foreigners in Hainan | Matt Waters: Connecting Hainan and the world with music

In order to better promote the important news information of Hainan Free Trade Zone and the free trade port with Chinese characteristics to the world, improve international communication and connect Hainan with the world, This is Hainan, the English news channel of, launches Hainan's first Chinese-English bilingual online video program "Foreigners in Hainan". The video program will share the stories of foreigners living, working and studying in Hainan with the platform of internet.

“Music is super important to me, it’s something that has uplifted me through my time.”

Matt Waters, a musician and an educator from south California, who did his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in UCLA, currently living in Hainan.

During his study in the UCLA, he joined the marching band and concert band, which allowed him to gain a bunch of very interesting experiences, including opening for the rolling stones. After worked as a freelance musician and a teacher and educator for about 10 years out of school in the US, Matt got an offer to teach in a university in Hainan. That’s why he came to Hainan.

“There is a lot of very good musical talents here, but it's not necessarily a showcase to put them on stage to show what they have to offer, so what we're doing today is giving them the space to do that,” said Matt.

And then after being a teacher in Hainan for two years, Matt decided to open a music company with his partner Matthew Busch. So they founded Hainan Music Productions.

“I think what I can bring to Hainan is that I can encourage a lot of local musicians to say, hey, you are really good!” said Matt, “like there is a wedding, someone asked me to find a musician to come and play, and suddenly everyone's making money, and the more they work and the longer they want to stay here. And then there are more musicians doing it, and they are getting better and better, suddenly we have a big music scene, so it’s connecting the local musicians and foreign musicians and businesses in town.”

“We’ve been in the music industry for a long time. The standard that we're used to in Los Angeles both myself and my colleagues from Los Angeles, and so we're trying to make it more professional. We are trying to bring things to a higher standard by working with local musicians, and that’s super important,” he said.

Hainan is pushing forward the construction of free trade zone and free trade port, but Matt thinks right now the music industry in Hainan is still very small. “There are a lot of musicians here, but there's not enough musicians to sustain in the music industry here. So what my partner and I try to do is building a larger place here, where people can go and see a different band every night, they can see a new musician. I think there's a lot of potential here, there's a lot of things that could happen here.”

“There are culture differences between where I come from and where we are in China. I'm trying to bridge that but music can bridge that. And so being able to work with local musicians has been awesome, because even though we do have differences, music is a commonality that we can find,” he said.

Responsible editor: 石一涵
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