Whai was founded in 2012 by three artists from different Chinese ethnic minority backgrounds, each playing original music with distinctly Chinese elements. Whai plays a mixture of trip hop, dance, Chinese folk, psychedelic, avant- garde, experimental, rock, industrial, techno and noise. However, their sound cannot be boxed into one category; it flows free like the songs’ subject matters which range from China to phoenixes to the meaning of life. Whai’s music is dark yet dreamy, transporting those who listen to a mysterious world where anything is possible. Like its members who do their own thing despite societal pressure, Whai’s music refuses to be shaped by rules and pre-determined norms. Whai also incorporates techno music, thanks to special guest member Mickey Zhang. Mikey Zhang is one of the most influential DJs in Asia, who’s influence on the Asian, especially the Chinese electronic music scene, cannot be overstated. Those who choose to listen can fly to another world while moving to the beats. Whai is the alternative in the popular, it’s the newest and most underground band out there today.
Whai lead singer/guitarist, Zhang Wei:
Zhang Wei was born in Yinchuan, Ningxia Province in 1976. He taught himself to play the Guzheng (Chinese zither) at a young age and later taught himself to play the guitar. At the age of 18, Zhang Wei roamed to Beijing to try his luck there. Since then, he has been invited to perform and record the Guzheng and guitar for a number of famous bands and musicians. from both China and abroad. He has been highly praised by foreign and domestic musicians for his sharp and energetic guitar plucking skills, especially on the electric guitar.
Zhang Wei’s previous life experiences are a stuff of legends; many stories have come about his various antics, earning him the nickname “Zhang San Feng” (Crazy Zhang). After quitting drinking in 2007, Zhang Wei became a devoted and hardcore practitioner of Tai Chi; this, together with his new embrace of Taoism and philosophy, was absorbed into his music. The result is an infectious and striking sound that oozes Chinese elements, making Zhang Wei one of the most unique and skilled guitar players in China. Whai officially splashed onto the scene in 2012. Zhang Wei is the heart and soul of Whai.