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Inside Edison’s AirPods: Celebrating AAPI Artists

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SRESHTA MITTA ’26
This month, we’re celebrating Asian Americans and Pacific Islander artists and their music, ranging from hip-hop and rock to K-Pop and Bollywood.

The days are getting longer, the flowers are blooming, and everyone’s scrambling to finish AP exams— May is certainly in full swing. But this month also brings AAPI Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the incredible diversity of Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures.

In this edition of “Inside Edison’s AirPods,” we’re diving into the music of both mainstream and up-and-coming AAPI artists in genres from hip-hop to R&B to indie-rock. So grab your headphones, hit play, and let’s take a listen inside Edison’s AirPods!

With 54 tracks by 61 artists, the playlist’s top genres were pop, R&B, and hip-hop. The most repeated artists were Indonesian singer NIKI and Icelandic-Chinese singer-songwriter Laufey, featuring songs such as “lowkey” and “Falling Behind,” respectively.

The playlist also highlights some mainstream artists you might not know have AAPI heritage. Half-Filipino singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo has been topping the charts with her recent album GUTS, with one featured song on the playlist being “so american,” a refreshingly optimistic track about falling in love. Filipino-Hawaiian Bruno Mars is another household name that appears on the playlist, featured in “Locked out of Heaven” and “After Last Night.”

Alongside these established artists, we also shine a light on a fresh wave of talented AAPI musicians on the rise. One such artist is Korean-American singer/producer Gloria Kim, featuring the viral track “omg,” a playful pop song about the early stages of a relationship. Another featured up-and-coming artist is Taiwanese-American singer Mad Tsai with his indie pop-rock song “Stacy’s Brother,” a satirized, playful narrative about exploring a gay relationship. “double take,” a TikTok-viral pop-R&B track by Indian-Singaporean singer Dhruv, is another catchy song about falling in love with a friend.

In recent years, Asian cultures have had a growing global influence on music. Reflecting this, we’ve included tracks from K-Pop powerhouses like LE SSERAFIM and BLACKPINK, featuring songs like “Sour Grapes” and “Lovesick Girls,” respectively. Bollywood music, while more often associated with the Hindi cinema industry, also made its way onto the playlist featuring iconic playback singers like Neha Thakkar and Arijit Singh.

But this month also brings AAPI Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the incredible diversity of Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures.

My top picks from the playlist include “LIMBO” by Vietnamese-American singer Keshi, “Devil in a Dress” by Indian-American singer Rhea Raj, and “Be Sweet” by Japanese Breakfast, a band led by Korean-American musician Michelle Zauner. “LIMBO” is a melancholy, relatable song about competing with feelings of hyper-confidence and self-loathing. With artful undertones of harmonic distortion placed in the pop-R&B song, it’s no wonder Keshi has long been dubbed the “lofi prince.”

“Devil in a Dress” is a pop bad-girl anthem through and through. A sultry dance track reminiscent of 2000s pop icons, Raj is certainly subverting Western stereotypes of Asian women with her fusion of Britney and Bollywood.

Finally, “Be Sweet” is an energetic, colorful ‘80s dance synth-pop song in which Zauner innocently goads a lover into being more affectionate. With playful lyrics and infectious energy, it’s a great pick-me-up track. Released in 2021, “Be Sweet” became the lead single for Japanese Breakfast’s viral album Jubilee.

Check out the EHS AAPI Month playlist here.

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About the Contributors
ALAINA SHINDE ‘26
ALAINA SHINDE ‘26, Entertainment Editor
Alaina Shinde is one of the staff writers for “The Eagle's Eye” and has been a part of the publication since the beginning of her freshman year. She loves to express her thoughts and opinions by writing for the organization. Aside from “The Eagle’s Eye,” Alaina is a STEM student and enjoys reading, playing piano, and volunteering.
SRESHTA MITTA ’26
SRESHTA MITTA ’26, Staff Illustrator
Sreshta Mitta has been a staff illustrator for the "Eagle's Eye" since her freshman year, displaying her love for art through her cover photos. When she is not illustrating, Sreshta is also a STEM academy student who is part of several clubs like BOTB, Fusion, and UNICEF. Outside of school, she loves singing, drawing, and tutoring.
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