May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the US, a chance to shine a light on cultures that are often pushed to the margins. 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, we wanted to share just a handful of the incredible artists currently catching our 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 favourite 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.
Indian-Australian singer ASHWARYA's warped pop keeps you on your toes constantly, when the beat twists and winds to places you don't expect. She's influenced by the Bollywood tunes she listened to as a kid and finds ways to weave Hindi into her music too.
Melbourne-based Filipino emo pop newcomer daine is as influenced by the Midwest emo scene she grew up on as she is hyperpop names like 100 gecs and Charli XCX. It's bombastic pop one minute and moody emo the next, but we're loving it.
Brisbane-based Pacific Islander rapper Day1 is making waves in the Australian drill scene, with a series of catchy drops that are braggadocious and ballsy.
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.
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.
Swiss-Tamil singer/songwriter Priya Ragu takes influence from her Tamil heritage as much as she does her Swiss, though her visuals and outfits do take heavy inspiration from the vivid colours of her Indian side.
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.
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.
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.