Nevin Domer in his bar Photo: Billie Feng
“I think rock music will take a huge step forward in its development in China in the next three or five years,” said Nevin Domer, owner of a music label called Genjing (www.genjingrecords.com), which deals in vinyl records of rock music.
Domer is working in Beijing. He has an office on Di’anmennei Street (地安门内大街). The office has two floors. The bottom floor serves as a bar and music venue, where rock bands from China and abroad are invited to give performances on a regular basis.
Domer was born in the US in 1980 and grew up in Baltimore, MD. He started to study computer science in college in 1999. After studying the subject for one year he had a chance to go abroad under a program of his college. “I could study for one year in a university in a foreign country. At that time I had many different choices. I thought about it and decided to choose China.” In fact, China was a country strange and mysterious to most ordinary Americans like Domer at that time. “I liked former US president Bill Clinton at that time. I remembered seeing a newspaper article about him visiting China in 1998, so I wanted to come to the country and have a look for myself,” he said, with a smile on his face.
Domer studied Chinese in Dalian University of Foreign Languages in 2000. Then he went back to his college in the US and changed his major to Peace Studies. “With this major I could focus on East Asia, mainly China, South Korean and Japan. I studied the history, culture, sociology, philosophy and religion of these countries,” he said.
Domer didn’t come to China upon graduation from his US college. He obtained a Fulbright Scholarship from the US Government and continued his studies in South Korea, where he focused on the Korean Language and the social movements of the country. He spent four years living in South Korea. A period as long as four years often makes a foreigner speak the local language perfectly. “My Korean used to be very good and work as a news translator and reporter for a while,” he said proudly.
However, the idea of returning to China had never got out of Domer’s mind, though he had no chance to further in South Korea. “I was kind of forgetting my Chinese so I thought I really needed to come back to China,” he laughed. Finally, Domer left South Korea and came to Beijing at the end of 2005.