May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a chance to shine a light on cultures that are often pushed to the margins in American society. This is just as true in the music world as anywhere else, where artists of Asian and Pacific Island ancestry can struggle for visibility despite making some of the most groundbreaking and engaging art out there. In honor of API Heritage month, Uproxx and Warner Music’s API employees wanted to share just a handful of the incredible artists currently catching their attention, showing just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amazing API tunes being created today. The hope is that this resource introduces you off to your next favorite singer or band, and that it sparks a fire to dig deeper at the countless API acts crafting great music.
With an absolutely gorgeous voice and music/lyrics that are deeply relatable, this Indian-Filipina songwriter and producer is a paradigm for talent that deserves massive recognition.
Asian Kung Fu Generation
Some classics never go out of style. This throwback will sure to bring a sense of nostalgia if you first found their music on YouTube in the mid-2000’s, but it’s also not too late to discover them for the first time now.
Hollis pulls you into her songs with her dreamy vocals and lyrical imagery. Her greatest strength is in her ability to put emotions into words that listeners often feel but cannot describe. She is also an activist and uses her platform for social change.
Jay Som is strongly influenced by her Filipino roots and expresses her identity and emotions through breathy vocals, funky band production, and romantic music. Plus, she has a new collaborative project with Palehound, called Bachelor, out next month.
Khushi’s music is the personification of intellectual conversation with a loved one while you’re snuggled in bed with some coffee. Intimate, sultry, and thought-provoking all at once.
This Mumbai-based singer-songwriter has already been shouted out by President Obama, but his folk-infused craftsmanship is now ready to be heralded by audiences far and wide.
Raveena beautifully blends her South Asian heritage with contemporary, dreamy bedroom pop productions that just wraps you up and comforts your soul.
With a name based on anime characters who both have very different personalities, this Korean artist creates songs that reflect that dichotomy through a dynamic structure where they can be high energy in the first half and dark in the second half. Or, the other way around. She also has awesome music videos.
If you’re not listening to Rina Sawayama already, what are you waiting for? Rina masterfully blends together pop, rock, and Japanese Visual Kei among many other influences into witty social commentary, heartfelt ballads, and full-out f*ck you anthems.
A veteran of the K-pop scene, Tiffany has come a long way from her Girl’s Generation days. Her vocals and creative direction have matured and she is truly shining as a solo artist.
Umi’s rich voice draws you into her soulful productions. Heavily influenced by her Black and Japanese heritage, her songs are deep and unique but at the same time universal – evoking emotions that anyone can resonate with.
Yerin Baek embodies versatility. A Korean singer-songwriter, the music can cover ground from jazzy compositions to more alt and electronic music as well.
Yeek is not new to the music scene, but the music is so dang sexy it still feels revolutionary. Blast it up and get someone to cuddle with.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.