Music is the only universal language. Artists from around the world pour their hearts out in their music in hopes that it will resonate with their fans. In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we curated a list of Asian American and Pacific Islander artists to support. Check out the gallery inside.
Immigrant parents travel far and wide to give their children a better opportunity at their hopes and dreams. It is their selfless acts that have afforded many creative talents the chance to provide for themselves through art and creativity. Long ago, our parents could only dream of having a stable life in performing arts. Now, thanks to their sacrifices, many people are pursuing creative careers in art, music, tv/film and fashion.
The artists we have included in this roundup are definitely making their parents proud. Though most immigrant parents may not understand the desire to pursue a creative endeavor, it is much better to show and prove. The Asian American and Pacific Islander talent included in our roundup have thousands and millions of streams, achieving major success.
From major Asian American and Pacific Islander acts like Jhené Aiko to independent artists like Umi, the music spans every genre and the talent stretches from coast to coast. The artists featured in our list create beautiful melodies in their R&B hits and perform specially crafted cadences in their Hip Hop songs that could compete with the best of them.
Happy AAPI Heritage Month! Check out our list of Asian American and Pacific Islander artists to support below.
1. Jhené AikoSource:YouTube
The soulful singer is riddled with many ethnicities. Her mother is of Spanish, Dominican, and Japanese descent, and her father is of Native American, African-American, and German-Jewish descent. Her maternal grandfather is Japanese and maternal grandmother is Creole Dominican with Spanish ancestry.
Rini is a Filipino artist who was born in Australia and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Umi is Japanese and African American. She often shares how both her parents influenced her love for music.
Thuy hails from the Bay Area. The Vietnamese singer and songwriter arrives with her own soulful R&B sound.
Thuy was surrounded by music growing up, particularly inspired by the 90’s era, and the rising star continues to make strides in music today.
Saweetie has reached stardom since her single “Icy Girl” took off in 2018. The 28-year-old is from the Bay Area, born to a Filipina-Chinese mother and an African-American father.
Aurora was born in Massachusetts and grew up in both Queens, New York and Stamford, Connecticut. Her family immigrated to Queens from India after the 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms in which her maternal uncle was killed, and her family’s business was burned down. She was raised in a traditional Sikh household.
The Canadian rapper, songwriter and producer is Indian Punjabi Sikh. He was born in Toronto to an immigrant family from Punjab, India.
8. Rei AmiSource:YouTube
Korean American artist Rei Ami draws inspiration from anime. She is also inspired by acts like Kendrick Lamar.
9. Raja KumariSource:YouTube
Raja Kumari is an Indian-American rapper, songwriter and singer from Claremont, California. She was signed to Nas’ label under Mass Appeal.
10. Leo KalyanSource:TikToik
This Indian artist is blowing up on TikTok, sharing remixed Bollywood versions of popular songs like Amaarae’s “Sad Girl.”
11. King MarieSource:King Marie
King Marie’s family is from the Philippines. The former DJ is from Chicago and has set her sights out for her budding music career.
Katie Kim is originally from South Korea. She has made music with artists like Ty Dolla $ign.
Yeek’s Filipino-American and he was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey.
14. Priya RaguSource:YouTube
Priya Ragu is a Tamil-Swiss singer-songwriter. She rose to prominence in 2020 for her debut single, “Good Love 2.0.”
15. Ikka SinghSource:YouTube
Singh an Indian rapper and lyricist. He debuted in Bollywood with the song “In Da Club” for the 2014 film Tamanchey. He most recently signed with Nas’ Mass Appeal Records.