28 May CELEBRATING ASIAN HERITAGE THROUGH MUSIC
Happy API Heritage Month! In honour of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Canada, MUSE would like to celebrate with a playlist highlighting the diversity of artists making a statement in the music industry. While the artists discussed here are not a complete representation of all the regions in Asia, the featured playlist expands on many more artists in the Asian diaspora. I hope you take this time to check out these incredible and influential artists and make an effort to diversify your playlist!
Wallice Half: Japanese artist, Wallice, currently rises the indie charts with her hit singles, Hey Michael, Punching Bag, and 23. Growing up in a half Japanese, half Caucasian household, Wallice remains heavily inspired by Japanese culture, even going to visit the country multiple times. Taking inspiration from artists like Weezer, Wallice also uses her previous jazz background to create a new kind of “scream-in-the-car” pop music genre. If you enjoy listening to Lana del Ray, Samia, and spill tab, I highly recommend you give Wallice a listen! Some songs I recommend are 23 and her newest single, Off the Rails.
Su Lee: South Korean singer-songwriter, Su Lee, has gained success over her viral video, What My Mental Breakdown Sounds Like; which blew up on Reddit and gained over 750,000 views on Youtube. Her lyrics are incredibly relatable, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Her song, I’ll Just Dance, perfectly encapsulates the crippling mental health of living in quarantine or just living alone in general. Another song I love is OUCH, which explains her journey of going through depression and ultimately realizing that she is not alone in this world. Go check out her Youtube channel for more amazing video production, songwriting inspiration, and covers!
Raveena Aurora was raised by Sikh-practicing Northern Indian parents while growing up in Queens, New York. Taking inspiration from R&B artists like Nina Simone, and mixing with Bollywood sounds, she creates surreal music that makes you feel like you are floating above the skies. Her debut album, Lucid, takes us on her journey with sexuality and womanhood while also going back to her family’s Indian heritage roots. Her songs are perfect for stargazing or just driving in the night. I highly recommend giving Temptation and Close 2 U a listen!
Hong Kong Boyfriend Rob Sanders, aka Hong Kong Boyfriend, is an R&B artist who heavily takes influence from Frank Ocean in his music. Wanting more Asian representation in this genre of music, Rob draws from his classical music background, his love for Logic, and folk music to create this eclectic bedroom feels music. Being born in Japan and growing up in the Bay Area, you can listen to the Japanese and American influences in his sound. With less than 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and only three singles so far, Rob incorporates so many different niches into his music. If you love Laundry Day, Lord$ofDogtown, or Brockhampton, give Tiramisu and Sharlene a listen!
It was tough to find an artist from Hong Kong, so when I found out about Cehryl my heart exploded. I think personally, Cehryl resonated with me since I also come from Hong Kong descent. It was refreshing to find someone who looks like me, which is undeniably hard to find in the music industry. After graduating, she created her first EP, Wherever I Go, then following up with her 2021 lo-fi bedroom pop EP, time machine; which legitimately feels like I am sitting in her room watching these songs come to life. The two songs I love the most from Cehryl are laundry, and it’s blurry here.
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: TIANA LAM (ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR)