Best known for:
‘Running Home feat. Lost Boy’, and ’依然 feat. Julia Wu’.”
Tune of the year:
“‘2022’ by Panta.Q.”

From: Beijing, China

Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Panta.Q.”

Panta.Q is part of a new generation of artists invigorating China’s growing club scene. The young Beijing-based DJ, producer and guitarist studied music and engineering at the famous Berklee College in Boston and now applies his knowledge to both his DJ sets and stadium-sized EDM songs. ‘Sorry (对不起)’ racked up over five million streams on Chinese music platform NetEase Cloud Music, and his latest track, ‘Running Home’, featuring the slick vocals of Lost Boy, is pure pop, laden with maudlin pianos and lovelorn lyrics — his first release for Ultra Music.

Somewhat different is the time-travelling ‘2022’: a screeching slab of big room dubstep, with a guitar break that sounds a bit like New Order. ‘Everybody Rocknroll’, a collaboration with TSAR, is a weird blend of blues-rock and metal riffs with Skrillex-style rhythms, showing that he’s putting that musical training to use.

This year, Panta.Q says he’s been focusing on “a brand-new set; brand-new production and a brand-new performance with an orchestra”.

How was your first gig back after lockdown? 

“Live in Foshan Galame, with 3,000-plus ravers. It sold out very quickly. Great vibe, great show and great venue.”

How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance? 

“I started paying more attention to making shows in clubs, that’s all. Music never stops.”

What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change? 

“I don’t really have thoughts about our industry. However, as a musician/DJ, we are always obliged to improve our musical skills and the quality of our shows.”

What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year? 

“I am not a tech person or gear fan. I got a new guitar, and that is all.”

What’s the best album you’ve heard this year? 

“‘Daddy’s Home’ by St. Vincent.”