Happy AAPI Heritage Month! Last year I made a super similar piece focusing on AAPI artists, as I feel like in the gigantic world of the music industry; Asian artists are greatly underrepresented. Looking back at the last year’s article and just my past playlists as a whole, I found that my music has changed greatly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in my indie-pop phase. But every day there’s a new song I’ll add to my playlist or a new artist I’m following. I found that just being back on campus with my friends allowed for more talk about songs we’re listening to, which is why I think my playlist is so incredibly diverse this past year. Being surrounded by huge classrooms of people, in-person club events, and just meeting new friends in general, has opened up my eyes to different cultures, backgrounds, personalities, and interests. Never in my wildest thoughts did I ever imagine staying up till midnight on February 3rd and crying on my floor listening to the new Mitski album. 

So here I am, back with eight new artists to listen to, and hopefully inspire you to open new conversations around music. 

Zee Avi

Zee Avi is a Malaysian singer-songwriter who first started out on YouTube. She writes dreamy indie-pop songs that make you want to float on a cloud during sunset or go kayaking during late camp nights. Originally from Sarawak, Malaysia, Zee currently lives in London where she’s writing songs for her new album. Her song, “The Book of Morris Johnson”, takes inspiration from the paintings by Morris Johnson; using paintings as inspiration to create lyrics. If you love dodie, Samia, or Lucy Dacus, have a listen!

Mitski

Mitski Miyawaki is the tears coming out of my eyes during exam season. The wallowing of a book character dying in the few short pages of a novel. A heart ripped out of my chest. I listen to Mitski when I am in utter despair and that is why I love her so much. I find it super difficult to find music that isn’t incredibly depressing but leaves a cold lulling inside of the body. Something to listen to when grief is only short and needed for just that one time period. The day before my art history exam, I remember just laying on my floor at 3 am listening to Mistki, going through the exact scenarios of what would happen during my three hours of pain in Mitchell Gym 5. Listening to Mitski calmed me down a little bit and helped me face the realities of what was about to happen. If you love Big Thief, Conan Gray, and Phoebe Bridgers, get out your tissue box and have a listen!

Weston Estate

I honestly don’t know how I discovered Weston Estate. I had “Pears” on repeat in 2020 and all of sudden it appeared on my Tik Tok a year later. Weston Estate’s music kind of makes you want to hop, skip, and walk around the neighborhood. It’s great for the beach, bike rides, and daily walks. Their music just makes you feel good on the inside. If you like Peach Pit, glaive, or Boyish, give a listen!

Toro y Moi

Toro y Moi (or Chadwick Bundick) creates music that sounds like your computer is starting up. Taking a lead on making the chillwave genre popular in the music industry, I find myself listening more to the unique beats rather than the lyrics. I feel like his songs are for a chill drive, surfing, or something to put in the background when doing work. If you like Tame Impala, Beach Fossils, and Mac DeMarco, then you should give a listen!

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