Pushing the Envelope – The Power of Music

13 Nov 2017

Krish photo 1
For the artists that work with us - we help shatter stereotypes and preconceptions about a country that is changing rapidly, creating new opportunities, connections and possibilities for collaboration. For the people that come to our shows and festivals: we create the possibility of a more diverse, open and inclusive world.”

MPP 2013 Alumnus, Krish Raghav, has a job that one may not directly associate with what a public policy graduate would do. He works as a Content and Media Coordinator for Split Works, a music company in China.

Music and public policy seem to be two distant worlds. But not in Krish’s thinking. He believes that his two years at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy were lifechanging, allowing him to think beyond and strive for an open, diverse world - the world he and his colleagues try to create through their music festival, Concrete and Grass, arguably one of the best music festivals in the country.

Krish photo 2
In Krish’s words, “On a given day, there is just so much to learn at the school. I miss all the events and lectures on topics ranging from drinking water supply in cities to the anthropological analyses of K-Pop Music.” He misses these events from school the most, reminiscing how they were well organised and welcomed students from different programs to attend.

A day in Krish’s life involves making amazing events happen, meeting some of his favourite musicians and artists, and helping to create international connections. He believes his job helps him transcend boundaries using music as a medium.

Krish photo 3

(photo by: Li Lewei)

Organising an event like this in China comes with its own unique set of challenges. China presents a very particular set of challenges in making cultural events happen, especially ones that involve international artists. Split Works does pioneering work - jumping through often exhausting hoops to make shows and festivals possible. This involves a tricky negotiation of cultural policy, governmental oversight, market pressures and the tastes and fads of China's young and restless. Krish’s work includes careful negotiation of a complex policy environment around large-scale public events and securing licenses/permits.

He hopes that by creating these successful events and pushing the envelope constantly, they may in the future see a shift of policy towards more openness and permissions.

A lesser known fact about Krish is that he also writes longform features about Asian cities and is a comic artist. His ‘slice-of-life’ comics are particularly amusing, and make you ponder. Follow his works at !