May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! Who are your favorite API musicians? (+36 names you should know)Hey everyone, I feel like I covered a lot of ground in the post that I made last year so check that out for information on what this month means to me, some fun history lessons, and 64 more artists to know. This post has 36 artists who I didn't put on last year's list (bringing us up to an even 100), but first I'll talk a bit. Speaking from personal experience, being an Asian person is strange because a lot of people don't really treat the racism that Asians face seriously. The ever present"model minority" myth has often been a wedge between us and other people of color but really, we experience discrimination. We experience micro aggressions, we are fetishized by non-API people, we have our cultures stolen from us, and as the last year has proven wecan be the victims of hate crimes. Because of the discrimination that we face Asian people are criminally underrepresented in the media and the music industry is no exception to this... but even since I made this post last year things have gotten better! The Kpop bubble grows ever larger, acts like Silk Sonic and Olivia Rodrigo are burning up the charts, smaller acts like Rina Sawayama and Beabadoobee are making waves in the indie scene; it's a good time to be an API music fan. I know it's easy to write this off and think "oh it's just music, it doesn't mean anything" but representationdoes matter because the media we consume colors how we view the world. It's so much easier for someone to hate a group of people when they can just view them as outsiders, when they have no perception of them except one built off of ugly secondhand stereotypes. And also let's not forget how crushing it can be to be a member of a minority group growing up and seeing that no one like you is able to succeed. So, for the API people reading this I hope that this list helped you find an artist who resonated with you; for the non-API people reading this I hope it helps you branch out and diversify your listening portfolio. There's a huge diversity of sounds on here so I hope there's something for everyone! Mainstream (Rap): A Filipino rapper/singer/producer who’s best known for being a member of pop-rap supergroup The Black Eyed Peas! He notably takes the lead on their song“Bebot,” which is entirely in Tagalog. Chad Hugo (Producer): One half of producer supergroup The Neptunes, he stays more behind the scenes than his partner Pharrell Williams buthe’s probably worked on dozens of your favorite songs. Charli XCX (Pop): Everyone here probably knows exactly who Charli XCX is, but it’s less common knowledge that she’s half-Indian!You can see her talk a bit about her family here. Conan Gray (Pop): A Japanese-American singer who began his career as a YouTuber but has become one of Gen Z’s hottest rising pop boys; he’s notched several viral hits and has racked up over a billion streams on Spotify alone. “Maniac” is such a banger! Dan The Automator (Producer): A Japanese-American producer with a rather eclectic list of credits to his name. Notably he’s one third of futuristic high concept hip-hop trioDeltron 3030 , one half of Got A Girl , a producer on The Gorillaz’s debut album, and he did the score for the film Booksmart (2019). M.I.A. (Rap): The influential (controversial) British-Tamil rapper who changed the game for South Asians when she burst onto the scene. Her albums have been incredibly influential on the music world and she remains a critical/commercial force to this day. Mike Shinoda (Rock/Hip-Hop): One of the founders of the band Linkin Park, Shinoda also has a versatile portfolio of solo work that ranges from a hip-hop group called Fort Minor to producing for other artists tohis fan-driven Dropped Frames albums. . ZHU (EDM): A Chinese-American music producer who’s garnered critical acclaim and even a Grammy nomination for his EDM albums. His collaboration with Skillrex/THEY. called“Working For It” was a big streaming hit and he literally just dropped a new album like last week so check that out. Indie Darlings Beabadoobee (Indie Rock): An artist with a really difficult to spell name who’s been building buzz for herself the past few years and finally had her breakthrough after her song“Coffee” was sampled in a song that became a Tik Tok hit. Currently one of the freshest voices in the indie rock scene. BUMPER (Synthpop): Something of a quarantine project between Michelle Zauner (of Japanese Breakfast fame) and her friend Ryan Galloway, last year this mini-supergroup dropped an EP of synth-drenched pop songs appropriately titled Pop Songs 2020 . CHAI (J-Pop/Experimental): An experimental Jpop band who have set their sights on international stardom, their unique energy has already opened several doors for them in the US including several tours,a Tiny Desk Concert, and a song with the Gorillaz/JPEGMAFIA (yes really). Deerhoof (Experimental/Noise): A thoroughly unique band known for combining bright pop melodies with decidedly more… experimental compositions. They’re darlings of the indie scene for a reason and have been consistently releasing music since the ‘90s, with their most recent albums coming outlast year. Their lead singer, Satomi Matsuzaki, is Japanese! Eva Noblezada (Broadway): While she doesn’t have any solo music out, this Broadway actress is technically a Grammy Award winner for her performance in the musicalHadestown and she just starred in a country music themed film called Yellow Rose so she’s one to keep your eye on. Griff (Pop): A nominee for BBC’s Sound of 2021 and named 2021’s Rising Star by the Brit Awards, this British Chinese/Jamaican singer is already angling for main pop girl status. Check out her new song“Black Hole” Kishi Bashi (Chamber/Indie): A former member of the bands Jupiter One and Of Montreal, as a solo artist Kishi Bashi releases multi-instrumental indie music centered around his violin and his falsetto. Personally I’m a big fan of his, his music feels very unexpected andbeautiful. Lexie Liu (Rap/Pop): A Chinese singer with big ambitions, Lexie Liu releases music in both Chinese and English that touches on genres ranging from hip-hop to electronic. You might also recognize her from voicing Seraphine in K/DA, the fake girl group put together for League of Legends! Her new albumGone Gold was particularly adventurous and definitely worth a listen Lil Mariko (Hyperpop/Rap): A ferociously NSFW rapper who spices up her airhead hyperpop aesthetic with death metal screams. Often collaborates with her boyfriend, the rapper Full Tac, andthey released a song with Rico Nasty last week! Louie Zong (Instrumental/Pop): An extremely prolific composer and king of the soft aesthetic, Louie is constantly experimenting with sounds/genres and releases an album of instrumental compositions basically once a month (his Bandcamp page is insane ) and drops the occasional vocal song too. Peggy Gou (House/Electronic): A South Korean DJ who makes fresh house/techno/electronic compositions. Apparently she puts on a hell of a live show too Snoh Aalegra: A Swedish-Persian musician who’s released several well-produced r&b albums that spotlight her warm, raspy voice. You might have heard her song “I Want You Around,” which is one of my favorites. UMI (R&B): A half-Japanese artist who’s been bubbling under on the r&b scene, UMI is really cute and her music has a neo-soul bent to it that I love.She even releases songs in Japanese sometimes! Lesser Known: ABIR (Pop): A rising artist who mixes her fierce pop style with sounds that hearken back to her Arab heritage. She’s got a few EPs out, notched a streaming hit with Cash Cash called“Finest Hour,” and you might also have heard her song “Tango” because it was covered by a lot of Kpop acts a while back. Asha Puthli (Jazz/Pop): A throwback this time, Asha Puthli is an Indian artist who had a pretty impressive career as a jazz/pop singer back in the ’70s with some hit albums/songs to her name and she was an icon of that sort of fusion-exotica-glam sound.Check her out if you’re into that sort of thing. Audrey Nuna (Hip-Hop): A Korean-American rapper/singer with an impressive flow. She really got some buzz last year after her song“damn RIGHT” blew up and she’s just been dropping hit after hit since. Boys World (Pop): A girl group that you should really all be into who just droppedtheir killer debut EP earlier this year. One of the members, Queenie, is Filipino! DPR IAN (Pop-Rock): An Australian/Korean artist who’s a member of the “Dream Perfect Regime (DPR) Crew,” an independent artists collective who wrote and produced every aspect of IAN’s debut albumMoodswings In This Order. As the title implies it’s a moody little album that blends pop and rock very well,with some cool visuals too . Laura Shigihara (Pop/Instruemntal): Laura is a prolific singer/composer who’s created music for games likePlants vs. Zombies, World of Warcraft, Deltarune, etc. She also does a lot of covers and silly little original songson her YouTube channel. May Lyn (Pop): Malaysian by way of Australia, May Lyn is an independent artist who’s been releasing pop/r&b for a few years now.Her sound is super cute! Priya Ragu (R&B): A Tamil/Swiss artist with a bright r&b sound that draws influences from rap and her South Asian heritage. She writes and produces her own stuff alongside her brother and while she’s only got two songs out now they’re both really good (“Good Love” especially) so keep an eye on her! Reese Lansangan (Indie): An indie singer from the Philippines who’s actually managed to break the international scene a bit; notably her song“A Song About Space” was used in a NASA campaign. Her sunny singer-songwriter style and twee lyrics are very charming. Run River North (Pop/Folk): An LA based band (all of the members are Asian) full of spunky energy who have evolved over the years from a folk group to a full on pop group, and they’re not done changing yet. They dropped an album earlier this yearthat had some bangers. Saturday Night Karaoke (Punk): This is admittedly a kinda random inclusion on the list but I found these guys on Bandcamp, they’re a poppy punk band from the Philippines,and I enjoy their music. It’s got those heavy punk guitars and the screaming and all that but it’s very bright and catchy as well. Summer Luk (Pop): I’m confused by Summer Luk’s career trajectory because she dropped a song back in 2016 that got a bunch of buzz and then just VANISHED until she came back with a“Masterpiece” last year… but it’s a swirling dance pop ode to being transgender so I’ll allow it. SuperKnova (Indie): A one-woman band that releases self-described “queer pop” exploring themes of identity through alt-pop music. She’s got a cute little discographythat has some nice songs. Thanya Iyer (Experimental): I’m unclear whether they’re a band or an individual but they make interesting baroque pop that incorporates jazz/electronic elements. Their music is a bit weird but it’s also both calming and thought provoking at the same time, and they’re certainlyunique. Vardaan Arora (Pop): I found this guy because someone put his cover of Selena Gomez’s song “Rare” into one of the Underrated [FRESH] Threads, he makes trendy synth-pop with a moody bent. He dropped his debut EP last year. Vienna Teng (Singer/Songwriter): A folksy-singer/songwriter known for her beautiful lyrical/piano compositions, if you’re into Sara Bareillis/Tori Amos style artists you might like her. She focuses more on other things these days (being a parent) but she’s got a nice deep discography to dive into. And there we have it! Share your favorite Asian/Pacific American artists down below.