In lieu of the month of May celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritages, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite AAPI artists in the scene right now. Each artist mentioned exudes their own unique sound & energy, creating a new wave of refreshing music.
A-TRAN / IN THE MOURNING
Vietnamese singer, A-Tran, or Amanda Tran has been involved in the music industry for some time now. Not only has she developed a majestic bedroom pop solo career under A-Tran, but has also created her own company, A-Tran Projects, where she utilizes her expertise through visual avenues as well, such as, creative directing & producing to assist other artists' needs. She also recently announced another creative endeavor called In The Mourning-- a fresh new rock band from LA in which she'll be fronting. Although, their debut as a band won't be until June 11th. Considering the caliber of her artistry, though, we have no doubts it'll be anything but fire.
Jelani Aryeh makes music for ethereal beings who often indulge in indie pop (watch video above to fully understand). His single from last year, "Stella Brown," gained a good amount of traction on the app TikTok, which may have helped increase his career's momentum. With the beginning of the new year, though, he's been teasing his audience with some singles, most recently just last week with "From These Heights," which is perfect for windows-down weather & just as dreamy as his predecessors.
Wichita's Yasmin Nur has been on the prowl for a few years now; starting with stripped-down acoustic covers to forming an invigorating power rock group surrounding her name. They released an EP 'Punch Me! This Is A Nightmare!' late last year & it's one that we can't recommend enough. Their single "I Wanna Throw Up" is just so much fun and, as you can see from the live performance above, it's sure to be even more fun to hear live.
Across the pond in London, resides soulful pop singer, Asha Gold. Gold's voice blends so satisfyingly well within the silky R&B flows of her music. The range & versatility of her vocals is particularly evident when you watch her perform. She even covered Beyoncé's "Sweet Dreams" last month for a BBC Asian Network performance prefaced with two originals. One of the tracks being her most recent single, "Naive," which has such an addicting old-school-hip-hop vibe with a fresh & sultry twist.
Back into the realm of dream-pop, if you like our recommendation of Jelani Aryeh, you'll love No Vacation... or vice versa. No Vacation incorporate distorted vocals and pulsating guitar twangs familiarized in the shoe-gaze genre. This Top Shelf Records trio have been working together on music for several years now, but their most recent project was their EP 'Phasing' released in 2019, with a music video for the single, "Days," being presented late last year (seen above). We hope to hear more from them soon!
It's time for the music industry to start habitually including & appreciating artists of color, especially AAPI artists. It's so important to support & respect all representations of cultures across the world in every aspect of our lives, not just in music. See resources below to help end discrimination & hate crimes against AAPI.
Check out Spotify's curated playlist below highlighting even more amazing Asian artists!
Written by Deirdre Kelly
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