Spotify Uplifts Bold, Emerging Artists in Honor of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Around the world, Asian and Pacific Islander (API) artists continue to impact music culture at large, extending far beyond K-Pop. As a whole, global interest in music from Asia is on the rise, including emerging subgenres such as Gacha Pop, Pinoy hip-hop, T-Pop, and Punjabi music. In the U.S. and Canada specifically, API stars are rising on Spotify. And this May, during Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (APIHM), Spotify is celebrating and supporting the diverse community of artists and genres that extends across the diaspora.

API voices at full volume

Year-round, we amplify the work of talented API creators across the audio landscape through our Asian & Pacific Islander hub on Spotify. This month, under our campaign theme of “Sound Up. Stand Out,” we’ve refreshed the hub with new content. For music lovers, a great place to start exploring is Jasmine, our global flagship playlist featuring emerging API artists from around the world. For podcast fans, the hub includes a selection of shows and episodes from the API community. An audiobook shelf also features a range of titles across fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, and more.

Spotlighting up-and-coming artists

In recent years, Spotify has seen and supported massive growth in listenership for API artists like producer-DJ-vocalist Peggy Gou, jazz crooner Laufey, and indie rock star Mitski, to name a few.

This year, to amplify the next wave of API artists to watch, we’ve once again partnered with Gold House, the premier nonprofit collective of API leaders, on our Gold House Futures Music Accelerator program. This initiative aims to uplift API artists by providing them with opportunities to take their careers to the next level—and it’s working. Just last month, Futures alum thuy made history as the first Vietnamese American artist to perform at Coachella.

The 2024 class includes Chinese American pop queen Emei, Indian American singer-songwriter Paravi, and British Filipino rockstar Towa Bird. As participants in the Gold House Futures Music Guild, these artists recorded a new trio of Spotify Singles dropping May 15. They’ll also gain access to Spotify’s masterclasses, world-class mentoring sessions, and exciting editorial opportunities.

And with so much talent to celebrate across the API community, Spotify’s 2024 APIHM campaign is also spotlighting four additional up-and-coming artists: singer-songwriter Dhruv, pop artist Tiffany Day, rapper 8RO8, and DJ-producer Knock2.

“Spotify continues to champion emergent voices on our platform, with a focus on honoring the diversity within our diaspora,” said Sulinna Ong, Spotify Music’s Global Head of Editorial and the executive sponsor of SPACE, Spotify’s API employee resource group. “As the exec sponsor of SPACE, I’m honored to support the great work our Spotify band members do during APIHM and throughout the rest of the year to champion API creators and foster spaces of growth for the members of our community.”

Keep reading to hear from these rising stars.


What does being an artist from the Asian and Pacific Islander community mean to you?

My parents are Chinese immigrants who came to America in 1988 for education. They are the reason I’m able to pursue my dreams without hesitation, so to represent that community and to make them proud really does mean everything to me. I grew up with very little AAPI representation in pop culture and didn’t seriously consider pursuing this career because I never thought someone who looked like me could succeed in the entertainment industry. It’s an honor to be a small part of this exciting movement and change in culture.

Why are you excited to work with Spotify on the Gold House Futures Music Guild?

Spotify has been one of my biggest supporters ever since one of my first releases, Late to the Party, was placed on the Fresh Finds Pop playlist. I’m really grateful for the early and ongoing support, so it’s a dream come true to be able to partner with Spotify and Gold House for this upcoming Spotify Single. Super pumped to hear what y’all think of it!


What does being an artist from the Asian and Pacific Islander community mean to you?

Humans are such complex and colorful individuals with so many unique traits and characteristics. It’s incredible to have another layer of the Asian Pacific Islander experience added to this existence, like the cherry on top of my personality, my sense of humor, and fashion—all the things that make me me. It informs what I create, how I create, and why I create, above all. I know the mission of fostering more diversity and representation in the entertainment industry may seem like a very heavy burden to bear on young shoulders, but it’s truly one of the many matches that lit my fire. I feel called to pursue my sparkly, glittery artistry and the most authentic version of myself, to heal my own inner child, and to see my most fantastical dreams become reality with my loved ones, but to also prove that it can be done, and that I, a brown girl from a cornfield in Ohio, can be the one to do it.

Why are you excited to work with Spotify on the Gold House Futures Music Guild?

The Gold House Futures Music Guild feels like a lighthouse guiding me to a new home, serving as an opportunity for me to not only learn from and observe this beautiful community of API creatives, but to become a part of it! I’m so deeply excited to soak up every new experience, every new relationship, and every bit of knowledge and wisdom these partnerships will offer. 

I’m also incredibly excited about the billboards and marketing to come for API month, not just because I’m full of myself and want to see my pores magnified across all of Los Angeles, but because I know that if I saw a giant poster of an Indian pop star on the drive home from school when I was a kid, my giant dreams would feel a bit more possible. I really hope a little Indian girl gets to see that billboard and feel that way, and I’m deeply thankful for Spotify and the Gold House team for creating the chance for that to happen.

Towa Bird

What does being an artist from the Asian and Pacific Islander community mean to you?

Being an artist from the Asian community means that I come from a heritage with such rich culture. I’m lucky to be able to write that into my songs. Also the food slaps.

Why are you excited to work with Spotify on the Gold House Futures Music Guild?

It makes a real difference that Spotify is willing to support and highlight artists from the API community.


What does being an artist from the Asian and Pacific Islander community mean to you?

Many of us API artists have grown up receiving the message that it isn’t realistic or wise to pursue a career in music, in large part because we have historically been underrepresented in the industry. I think it’s beautiful that in spite of that we find ourselves here, making art, continuing to uplift one another as we scale new heights as a community.

Tiffany Day

What does being an artist from the Asian and Pacific Islander community mean to you?

Growing up, I watched a lot of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, all the typical shows you watch as a kid. But for the longest time, all I could find myself thinking was, How do I look like these beautiful blonde girls on TV? I wanted double eyelids, sharper cheekbones, a nose bridge—I just wanted to look like those girls on my TV. Then I graduated from high school and all of a sudden, the monolid became a thing online. K-Pop came to the U.S., and everyone was celebrating the beauty of Asian women. I was surprised and also flattered that so many people called monolids beautiful. I stopped doing my makeup in a Western style, I stopped styling my hair pin-straight, and I stopped trying to blend into everyone around me in Kansas. I felt cool for the first time in my life.

To be given the chance to be that person for people like me, whether they are younger or older or the same age, is a priceless opportunity that I never thought I’d be able to receive. That’s why my identity as an AAPI is so important, because I truly believe a huge part of my purpose as a human being on this planet is to make others feel more comfortable, confident, and welcome in their own skin.


What does being an artist from the Asian and Pacific Islander community mean to you?

To me, being an artist from the API community means showing kids from the islands that there are different ways to make it out. Hawaii has a vicious cycle that doesn’t allow for art as a “viable source of income” because it’s seen as a “risky career.” I’m here to try and inspire the keiki [children].


What does being an artist from the Asian and Pacific Islander community mean to you?

My parents put everything on the line to immigrate to this country and give me the best opportunity they could in life, and I’m thankful every day for my family and community. I take every opportunity to show respect to my heritage, so this month means a lot.

Visit the Asian & Pacific Islander hub to immerse yourself in the music and voices of API creators.