Eight Emerging AAPI Musical Artists You Should Know About


AAPI artists have become a powerful force within the music industry. (Lauren Schatzman | Daily Trojan Horse)

Asian-American artists from the Pacific Islands have been at the forefront of the fight against prejudice and racism, especially in this country, and with the increase in racially-motivated attacks against AAPI, it is more important than ever to amplify their voices. Although the fight is not over yet, AAPI artists are starting to break through barriers to occupy a new place in Western media. To celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, here is a list of eight up-and-coming AAPI musical artists destined to top the charts.

keshi

Born as Casey Luong to Vietnamese parents, keshi is known for his sweet blend of R&B, hip hop and lo-fi beats. He learned to play the guitar at age 13 and started writing music soon after. While studying for a nursing degree in college, Keshi posted his self-written and self-produced music to SoundCloud. Her songs, including this one in her signature lo-fi hip hop style titled “If You’re Not The One For Me Who Is”, garnered attention, fueling her decision to quit her job as a nurse. in oncology and pursue a full career. musical career of the time. Since then, keshi has released four EPs and garners 4.3 million monthly listeners on Spotify, a great start to his multi-faceted career.

Olivia rodrigo

From “driving license” and “déjà vu” to the recently released “good 4 u”, Olivia Rodrigo never fails. The Filipino American singer-songwriter and actress took the world by storm last year, and if you weren’t screaming at the top of your lungs, where were you? So far, each single has taken a new direction in genre and style as Rodrigo explores the versatility and breadth of his talents. Having recently performed at the BRIT Awards and Saturday Night Live, Rodrigo is growing and improving every day. Anticipation is at an all time high for Rodrigo’s debut album, “Sour,” which will be released on May 21.

Raveena

Raveena first appeared in the limelight in 2017 following the release of her debut EP, “Shanti”. Growing up in an Indian immigrant family in America, Raveena and her dreamy voice blend R&B and soul with a hint of Bollywood. The singer-songwriter’s debut album, “Lucid” follows the lucid trajectory of lingering, then letting go, on past trauma and pain. In her songs “Stronger” and “Salt Water”, Raveena talks about her experience as a survivor of sexual abuse, and “Mama” pays homage to her mother and grandmother’s travels to escape the genocide in India. Raveena also sings about being bisexual and South Asian, two identities she often felt in conflict.

Alex Aiono

Born to a father of Samoan and Maori descent and a white mother, Alex Aiono released his first single and EP in 2013. He gained more attention in 2016 for releasing self-produced covers and mixes of popular songs on YouTube. In 2019, he signed with his second label and released his first genre album, “The Gospel at 23”, the following year. Now, Aiono is working to expand his career while continuing to showcase his stripped-down R&B style and fluid riffs on YouTube, where he is approaching six million subscribers and one billion total views.

Stephanie Poetri

Born in Indonesia in 2000, Stephanie Poetri began her career in 2015. Her breakthrough came in 2019 with her single “I Love You 3000”, released with her current label, 88rising. The song gained worldwide attention with over 425 million streams online. Poetri won the award for “Best New Asian Artist – Indonesia” at the 2019 Mnet Asian Music Award and went on to collaborate with GOT7 member Jackson Wang for the remix of the hit song, “I Love You 3000 II”. Following his success, Poetri released three more singles and his debut EP, “AM: PM”, blessing listeners with more of his cool and sweet melodies marked by a warm acoustic tint.

Saleka

The eldest daughter of Oscar-nominated filmmaker and actor M. Night Shyamalan, Saleka grew up surrounded by art. After starting to play classical piano, the Native American musician expanded into singing and songwriting while studying at Brown University. In 2020, Saleka released the singles “Clarity” and “Mr. Incredible”, revealing herself as a rising R&B artist with her soft yet powerful voice and truthful lyrics. This year, she released two more singles, “Graffiti” and “The Sky Cries,” as well as a complementary music video directed by her sister and father, respectively. With a good start to her career, Saleka is expected to release her debut album later this year.

Aolani

After attending performing arts school, Aolani began playing Hawaiian music with her ukulele at the age of 12, but branched out into R&B music. The Hawaiian singer-songwriter released her self-titled debut album, the product of two years of work, in 2018. The album consists of eight songs full of intimate revelations based on her personal experiences in romantic relationships and love. love. Influenced by R&B music from the 90s and early 2000s, Aolani’s songs cover listeners with a sense of nostalgia and showcase her calming, calming voice.

Dominique fike

Black singer and rapper of Filipino descent, Dominic Fike first caught the public’s attention with his SoundCloud demos. He rose to fame in 2018 with his debut single “3 Nights” from his EP, “Don’t Forget About Me, Demos”, which he recorded under house arrest and released to prison. While in prison, Fike discovered a unique approach to writing music, experimenting with different sounds while knocking on the sink. He signed with Columbia Records upon release due to the success of the EP and released his debut and debut album, “What could Possible Go Wrong”, in 2020.


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