Synth Alley – Shirfine Remix Contest

In partnership with Label Radar and Black Octopus Sound.

Remix Shirfine’s track “Illusionary Daytime” for a chance to win an official release on the “Illusionary Daytime” remix compilation as well as some top notch sample packs from industry leader Black Octopus Sound! Hosted by Synth Alley and Label Radar.

“Illusionary Daytime” has received billions of plays on major music platforms and social media networks across the globe, including more than 440 million plays and 280,000 comments on Netease Music. Since July 2020, “Illusionary Daytime” has been in the Shazam Top 50 and Top 200 charts in twenty countries for several months. For several weeks in 2019, it was in Spotify’s top 50 Vietnam Viral Chart. Listen to the original.

Powered by Kanjian Music, the Synth Alley remix contests are a series of global remix contests that focus on discovering and promoting quality music producers around the globe. We work to enable artists to kickstart their journey and promote them on the international stage.

Shirfine, a.k.a. Shirley Guo, currently based in Los Angeles, is an award-winning independent musician, animator and multimedia artist with an M.F.A. in Animation. We caught up with her to discuss the competition, her music, arts and future plans!

Can you tell us a little about the background of “Illusionary Daytime”? How did it come about and what was your inspiration?

I guess everyone is curious about it as I’ve kept it a secret for such a long time. It was after I finished college and left the city where I went through my lowest point. When I went back home I felt a little relieved but I was still uncertain about a better future. I kept writing music to heal myself like I was living in a daydream. By the way, the cover of the track is a photograph I took on my flight as I finally left the city. It was my last goodbye to the past.

I wrote the intro “Into Your Daydream” first, and thought about turning it into a longer piece. Inspired by the short intro, the melody of “Illusionary Daytime” just flowed into my mind so smoothly and I loved it. After perfecting the tune on the piano, I finished the arrangement and mixing within just a few days. It was one of those tracks that are completed very fluidly and without pause. It was a very natural process.

What specific element of the track do you think resonates with the audience?

Good question. It’s hard to say, there isn’t really a specific element that comes to mind. I think the audience resonate with it because I really poured my heart and soul into the music. I have a strong and very deep connection to this song. When you deliver your true feelings in any type of art form people can relate. It doesn’t even need any words, the melody says it all.

As humans, we share the same basic emotions and feelings, so we connect in this way regardless of our backgrounds. Also, that’s the power of music. Music is abstract, and usually we can’t read it as we read words, but with the messages in its own way, people read it.

How did you feel when your track went viral?

I was so busy with my graduate study of animation back then that I couldn’t spare any time to be active as Shirfine. Making animation is long-term and labour-intensive. So it was like separating myself from the role of Shirfine and watching someone else’s success. Haha just kidding. I was really touched and I still am. When I hid behind the screen seeing my track spreading around the world with so many comments and stories from my listeners. It was a private and unusual experience. I could never have imagined one day my music would be everywhere and connect with so many people. It changes people’s lives in some way as music once changed my life. As a dreamer and an incurable idealist, that was everything. Much more important than being famous.

What inspired you to want to launch a remix competition?

I’ve heard lots of covers, rearrangements, and remixes from my listeners. Some of them are just so beautifully done. I love sharing beauties. I hope to offer a chance for both the remixers and my listeners to explore various versions of “Illusionary Daytime”.

What kind of track(s) would you love to find in this remix competition?

I’m not really looking for a favourite type. As long as it’s good music! The goal is to find the best versions of “Illusionary Daytime” from different participants by their own comprehension, taste, and expression. It’ll be a lot of fun. The guest judges and I are open to all kinds of music, and our selections will not be limited to a certain type.

What can we expect from Shirfine in 2022 and beyond? 

Release the compilation album for the contest first! I’m so excited for everyone to see what we will have! I switched to a visual artist under the name of Shirley Guo, so jumping between several roles has become the norm. I’m preparing an exhibition collaborating with several composers for my experimental art Project Haze that utilizes optics. Also, I expect to finish a story called “Steps Away”. A sad romance story told as a live-action short. I also just want to try everything within art. Life is too short… My brain is very active and I’m constantly finding new inspiration all the time. I’m born to be a creator. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

We’re very honoured to be partnered with you. Why did you choose to work with Kanjian Music as opposed to other competitors?  

We’ve cooperated for years. I like how convenient and up-to-date your system is. With strong technical support on the platform, musicians are able to release their music to the whole world with simple steps and get what they should be paid. Last but not least, our works are protected.

What do you think is Kanjians biggest strength when it comes to working with independent artists?

Flexibility. Like me, I have multiple roles besides being an indie musician, and I need the space and time for each. As indie artists, you have the freedom to customise the cooperation with Kanjian Music to best meet your needs.

I must mention and thank the project manager Weibin Du. He’s very responsible and understands what I want. Everyone who has worked with me knows that I’m focused, strict, straightforward, and with high standards. I need people who have the same pace as me when working. The team was also able to make adjustments in time to meet my requirements.


Shirfine’s “Illusionary Daytime” remix contest is open for submissions until 25th February. If you want to join please follow the links below. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

If you want to cooperate with Kanjian music don’t hesitate to reach out via our contact form.

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