Xinwenyue Shi pays homage to his hometown with a breezy, electro-pop joyride on new single Hustler Wang, A Li Li.
Xinwenyue Shi has shared the music video for his new single Hustler Wang, A Li Li. The electro-pop track is the latest to be lifted from the Chinese musician’s forthcoming sophomore album, and is accompanied by a just-released video which renders Shi as a vivid hand-drawn animation.
Making full use of its animated medium, the Hustler Wang, A Li Li video brims with technicoloured scenes of its characters speeding down highways on a motorcycle, partying under a disco ball, and spinning DJ decks in front of heaving crowds. Elsewhere, the animated Shi can be seen jotting down music notes, sleeping through his alarm and taking in the sights of his hometown.
The clip ends with a character receiving news via their mobile phone, alongside handwritten closing credits and crafty face illustrations. The song itself is a masterclass in genre criss-crossing, with taut, electro-pop beats accented by sporadic air instruments which make Hustler Wang, A Li Li feel like something of a breezy and effortless affair.
Elsewhere, Shi incorporates found dialogue as fascinating sonic asides and adopts a hip-hop cadence in combining both Chinese and English. For a lesser artist, the combination of musical elements might risk overstimulation, but Shi confines them all under an Hustler Wang, A Li Li’s infectious throughline rhythm and consistent flow.
The single is inspired by moped rides Shi has taken within Chengdu, a region of Bashu in China. Hustler Wang, A Li Li serves as a celebration of Chengdu culture, which has long been known as a place of fresh starts and big dreamers. The narrative of both the single and the video traces a young DJ hungry to make his mark and showcase his stardom — a fictional reference to Shi himself.
“I love this city,” Shi said of the inspiration behind Huster Wang, A Li Li in a press statement. “Bashu culture baptized me. Time spent in the United States didn’t turn me into an American — Bashu will always be my roots.” The single is lifted from Shi’s upcoming second album, Bashu Renaissance Chapter 2, which is due for release later this year.
Much like its recent single, Bashu Renaissance Chapter 2 will likewise explore the importance of the titular city to Shi, who hopes that the project will spotlight the stories of Bashu townspeople and counteract its fading heritage. “Love is the main impetus behind this album,” Shi explained. “This album is part of my lifelong vocation in passing along my heritage to the next generation.”
Check out the music video for Hustler Wang, A Li Li above, and listen to the new single by Xinwenyue Shi.