by Yuuki Nishida, FINDink Contributor
We all heard AJ Rafael and Jeremy Passion, but here’s a list of more Filipinx American artists that you should listen to for APAHM.
1. Ruby Ibarra
This list wouldn’t be complete without having Ruby Ibarra in it. Immigrating to San Lorenzo, California, at the age of four, Ibarra grew up listening to hip hop. Her musical upbringing was heavily influenced by hip hop artists, Tupac, Wu Tang Clan, and Eminem. She uses her own rhymes and flows to express herself and share her own story as a Filipnx American. Her album CIRCA91 explores different topics within the Filipinx diaspora such as colorism, colonial mentality, and assimilation into American culture. Rapping in Tagalog, English, and Waray, her family’s dialect, Ibarra’s flow, and rhythm give a thrilling introspective into her life.
2. Mario Jose
Graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mario Jose was a part of the award-winning a cappella group Pitch Slapped. He then moved to Los Angeles to continue on his music career. Jose performed for and with other famous musicians including Pentatonix, Prince, Meghan Trainor, and John Legend.
3. Michael Seyer
Born Miguel Reyes, 23-year-old Michael Seyer immigrated from the Philippines and grew up in Culver City, California. Growing up, Seyer felt that he always stood on a “scale of ethnic ambiguity” not feeling any sense of belonging to any Asian or minority group. He plays out this theme in his music as well. Seyer is committed to breaking traditional Asian boundaries of pursuing practical career paths in favor of achieving artistic pursuits. His latest album, Bad Bonez, explores ideas of love, loneliness, and self-discovery. With hazy guitar tunes and a whimsical atmosphere, Seyer’s take on “Bedroom pop” is an emotional trip.
4. Rex Mac
Boston-based Filipino hip-hop artist, Rex Mac, produced and released his own full-length album, Alboom. Mac openly confronts mental illness and the emotions of growing up in both California and Boston. He seeks to create a change in the Boston hip hop scene working as a self-made artist.
5. Melissa Polinar
Singer-songwriter Melissa Polinar gained her popularity with her songs “Try” and “Meant to Be” reaching front pages on the YouTube music section. Growing up in Nashville, Polinar had a huge presence in the singer-songwriter industry as an Asian American artist, gaining attention from other artists like Jeremy Passion. Polinar’s musical blend of soul, blues and folk explore themes of self-love, reflection, and empowerment. Her most recent album, Rise At Eventide, showcases her musical prowess.
Disclaimer: The views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of FIND, Inc.