I remember years ago when I was first introduced to Toshi in 2004 with his Time to Share album and I’ve been in love with his music ever since so I always try to keep my ear to the streets about artists that may not look like they have soul but are the epitome of it. Here’s a list of other Asian artists I have in rotation. So if you don’t already know about them, now you know!
1. Baiyu – The Chinese singer’s music is a perfect blend of pop and R&B. She’ll make you dance one minute and then the next give you the most melodic ballad. She’ll be a featured artist on The CW’s new show The Next and recently dropped her new mixtape Hunter and you can check out HERE for free. She also recently just dropped a video “Make Believe” that is a duet with the next artist on my list.
2. Paul Kim – He was a top 24 contestant on season six of American Idol. He seems to have a great sense of humor and not afraid to poke fun at asian stereotypes. Fresh off the presses is the video for his new song “Outta My Head.”
3. Charice – The Filipina singer already has 2 international albums under her belt with singles that have made the top 10 in the US, Japan, South Korea, & Canada. I love her tone. A lot of her stuff reminds me of when Jojo first stepped on the scene. One of her favorite tracks of mine is Pyramid.
4. Aziatix – Even though R&B groups are scarce right now, Eddie Shin, Flowsik, and Nicky Lee have a refreshing sound that mixes R&B and Hip Hop needs to be heard. Their latest is “Ready, Set, Go” a song they made for The 2012 Olympics.
WILD CARD — 5. Jhene Aiko – Even though she’s mixed with a lot of things she usually refers to herself as Japanese, African American and Native American so I had to include her as a wild card since her underground buzz has really been picking up lately and a lot of people are looking forward to her Def Jam debut Souled Out.
Honorable Mentions (that aren’t soul music):
G.E.M. aka Gem Tang- The Hong Kong singer/songwriter has been big overseas for a while and is starting to get some love in the United States even though the majority of her music still isn’t recorded in English. She recently released her fourth studio album Xposed as is on a world tour to promote it. She reminds me a lot of P!nk with her very eclectic pop/rock sound.
Connie Lim – She didn’t make the list since she’s more of AAA format artist rather then Urban but I definitely like her voice. Check out her latest video for “Fog Over Water.”
Ciara C – Another artist I am really feeling even though she’s more folk. Her 2010 album The Art In My Heart stays in rotation and she just released a new single “Fish.”
2NE1 – They are killing the K-Pop scene right now. I’m loving their style and visuals even though they have no music in English but if I listen to your music and it sounds so good that it makes me wish I spoke your language it’s an automatic winner.
Wonder Girls – Another K-Pop sensation that currently has a single with Akon called “Like Money.”