This year, PAAFF will be taking our Asian American music showcase to the virtual stage! These featured creators are not only up-and-coming artists in the hip-hop and pop scenes, but they are also activists, changemakers, visionaries, and one another’s biggest fans. Glimpse history in the making as Son of Paper, Arigato Grande, Leo Xia and Chinoe take the virtual stage for our Philly Asian American Film Festival 2020 live stream!
Kyle Jae Shin, aka Son of Paper, is a rapper, singer, and song-writer from San Francisco. Son of Paper is a great grandson of a Paper Daughter, a term describing ethnic Chinese who illegally immigrated to the U.S. under the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1965) by purchasing the birth certificate of a U.S. citizen and claiming the familial right to immigrate. Son of Paper’s smooth and melodic delivery is reminiscent of both 2000’s R&B and golden era and Korean Hip-Hop. Since his self-titled EP (2016), SOP’s songs and music videos have been streamed over 30,000 times and performed at approximately 50 shows across the country. From open mic performances and lectures about his work to live shows along the east coast and in his hometown, Son of Paper is quickly developing into the next Asian-American artist to watch.
Chinoe is a young, upcoming, and talented rapper/songwriter, direct from San Francisco, California. He brings with him a loud and fun energy inspired by Bay Area and other artists. Chinoe takes that inspiration and applies it to a new school sound. He began making waves with singles like “Chase” Ft. Hangtimekyul & Lzke and “Again N’ Again” from his growing and fun EP, Yellow House Party. From his creative music videos to his unique merch, Chinoe has made it clear that he is in this for the long road and not one to sleep on. Through his creative work he conveys personal experiences, pushes boundaries, and opens Asian representation to a diverse audience. Since the EP release of Yellow House Party he has continued to grow in the Bay Area and is eager to do more.
Arigato Grande is an up and coming singer that produced and starred in Asian food and social commentary-centric music videos such as “Don’t Call it Asian” and “Boba Tea Bitches”. You may recognize this name from the 7 Rings Parody about Korean BBQ that went viral in Spring 2019, garnering over a quarter of a million across all online media. Although her parodies and videos explore Asian American topics and food, navigating music artistry during the age of the pandemic has led to more self-reflection and softer music that she is planning to release later this year or in early 2021. As an artist in the pandemic, this exploration of the dualities of public imagery, parody music, and interpersonal music truly surfaces as she reflects upon what message she wants to put in the world and who it is for.
Leo Xia is a Los Angeles-based indie/folk singer, songwriter, and activist whose vulnerable vocals and storytelling lyricism have been compared to the likes of Ed Sheeran and Sufjan Stevens. He aims to expand his listeners’ capacities for empathy through his experience as a second generation Chinese American immigrant. Xia’s music has been heard on Netflix (Wu Assassins) and Cinemax (Warrior) as well as national commercials (Panda Express). Leo’s first full-length album 384 is available on all streaming platforms.