Melodies from Japan and AAPI Artists, Vol. 11
We are not sponsored by any of the bands mentioned in these posts, and all opinions expressed are of myself, Brian Hsieh!
Image from YeYe’s Instagram page.
A singer-songwriter and YouTuber, YeYe makes music for those moments where the sun is setting and you’re happily sitting at home winding down for the day. It’s relaxing, sleepy, and wholesome music, with a lot of charming acoustic guitar. While she doesn’t make much original music anymore, YeYe makes covers of popular songs on her personal YouTube Channel, such as her cover of the 1961 hit Sukiyaki.
Folksy - Reminds me a lot of indie-folk American music - just a woman and her guitar.
Free tabs! - If you’re a guitar player, she includes tabs of her songs on her channel!
Check out YeYe’s official songs on her label’s YouTube Channel at RALLYE LABEL. She’s also on Spotify, and you can follow her on Instagram. I’d recommend her most famous song, “Yura Yura” which I interpret to be the act of rolling around in bed in the morning, something I’m famous for on Saturday mornings.
AAPI Artist: Japanese Breakfast
Image from Japanese Breakfast’s album, Jubilee.
Michelle Zauner, also known as the frontman to Japanese Breakfast, was born to a Korean mother and a white American father. Musically, Japanese Breakfast is alternative pop, using synths and other eclectic beats to create upbeat and at times ethereal music. Besides her music, Zauner also wrote a best-selling book called Crying in H Mart, a beautifully written book about loss, love, and understanding one’s heritage.
Paprika - The first track of her dreamy, uplifting album, Jubilee is a glorious and wonderful fanfare of emotion and sound that will make you stop whatever you’re doing and just listen to it.
Relatable - If you’re the child of immigrants, or if you never felt like you belonged, Zauner is someone you can relate to. Her interview with Vogue has her dive deep into how she confronted her Korean heritage and learned to love it.
Japanese Breakfast is a band I wish I knew about 5 years ago, in my more sad years. Check them out on YouTube and Spotify. Jubilee is my favorite album, but of course take a listen to her older stuff, too! In addition, I’d highly recommend her book, Crying in H Mart, which made me cry multiple times but left me with greater love for my family and things I hold dear.