NETWORK OF ENTERTAINING ASIAN AMERICAN TALENT
“Far East Movement, the Los Angeles electro/rap group, reached a notable milestone recently. Not only did its third album, “Free Wired,” debut at #24 on the Billboard charts, one of the highest charting debuts by any all-Asian American group, but its latest single, “Like a G6,” is the #1 single in the country (having already crowned digital charts for weeks).
It would be premature to call this a golden age of Asian American musical performance, but the modicum of success attained by artists such as Far East Movement, Bruno Mars, New York’s Legaci (Justin Bieber’s backup singers) and others serve as a reminder of a simple but powerful truth: Despite stale caricatures of Asian Americans as introverted model minorities (a stereotype found all too easily elsewhere in the pop world), their desire to perform is neither new nor unusual. I think of my 5-year-old half-Chinese, half-Japanese American daughter. She took her recent kindergarten pictures on an auditorium stage and came home to tell us what it was like, standing up there: “It felt good.” Yeah, it does.”
— Oliver Wang
Photo: Far East Movement’s Prohgress, from left, DJ Virman, J-Spliff and Kev Nish before a concert at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles in November 2009. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times