Nov 25th, 2019
Wherever people gather, you'll find music. This certainly holds true for migrant communities. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the music being made in the places finds its way into popular culture. In a world of streaming and niche audiences, you can find an an amazing variety of musical styles and cross-cultural mashups to tickle your ears with. One genre that is still unheralded, however, is "Expat Music." Case in point: Stevie Mac and The Mac Daddies is probably the most popular & successful party band in Beijing. Founded & led by Steven McKinney, it's an 11-piece ensemble made up entirely of expats that was born out of a need that is common everywhere- people with the talent & skill need a way to express their passion for music. You'll find groups like them in every migrant hub; but beyond local clubs and bars there aren't any platforms for them to grow beyond their local audiences. But that doesn't keep Steve down. As successful as he's been as a band leader, for him music is, like it is for most expats, a side hustle. After going to China on a lark, he co-founded and now runs a very successful kindergarten. His twin passions of music and being an entrepreneur have helped him fully embrace his unexpected #ExpatLife, and folks in Beijing can expect to see him leading his band mates for years to come.