Asian-Australian singer-songwriter Yeo is a rare combination of cynical and sensitive. Finely tuned into the politics of Asian Diasporic representation, his music often tastefully alludes to his experiences, laid out over his chill, progressive tunes. What’s special about him though is that his heritage is never used as a crutch to justify his musical works. Subtle, but clear-cut, he always rises above to deliver above-par offerings. In the latest addition of Choice Picks_ curated by Yeo himself, he draws upon the abstract collision of two juxtaposed themes, creating a playlist of tunes that make you want to dance and cry at the same time. Tissues and go-go boots at the ready!
Editors' notes by Yeo: "A playlist I've made for Asian Pop Weekly featuring 9 songs by other Asian artists that I love getting emotional to. Some may make you dance and some may make you cry–maybe even both at the same time. ??"
01. BABE - HyunA
02. Circles - Charlie Lim
03. Midsummer Madness - 88rising, Joji, Rich Brian, Higher Brothers, August 08
04. iffy (Prod. GroovyRoom) - Sik-K, PH1, Jay Park
05. DDU-DU-DDU-DU - BLACKPINK
06. Drifting - Milan Ring
07. Leaving - Ekali ft. Yuna
08. Don't Stop Me Now - Mojo Juju
09. The Comments - Yeo
10. I (The Song Formerly Known As) - Regurgitator
In the second instalment of our 'Choice Picks_' playlisting series, we're excited to collaborate with Hong Kong-Australian artist Rainbow Chan, who often takes her audience on mysterious journeys in immersive, electronic soundscapes dotted with artefacts of her diasporic culture. She shares a playlist of ten personal favourites, weaving them into a cohesive narrative that naturally adheres to her eclectic, east-meets-west aesthetic. Here's to everything you didn't know about up-and-coming East Asian electronic/hip-hop/alternative acts and the innovative ways they're getting their crafts to market.
01. Promises - Rainbow Chan
An ode to new feelings and new places.
02. Yat Pit ft. Yung Takeem - YoungQueenz & N.O.L.Y & Floyd Cheung
This track was written for Hong Kong’s rising star, Yat Pit, a local fashion label whose past campaigns have been shot by the late Ren Hang. It sees cult figures in the Hong Kong underground hip-hop scene working together, including YoungQueenz who has an unmistakable growl.
03. Slow dancing in the dark - Joji
I can’t get over this little ear worm. Love Joji’s use of sparkling arpeggiated synth lines, languid pitch bends and a dramatic, soaring and VERY karaoke-friendly chorus. Check out its beautiful film clip too.
04. Migration - ASJ
ASJ is a talented producer, DJ and friend from Hong Kong. When she’s not crafting her multi-layered and infectious beats, she’s teaching kids how to use the abacus - what a legend!
05. Escapism - Hyphy11e
Hard-hitting, crunchy and all about the build up, this song is by Shanghainese producer, Hyph11e. Check out the remix by Tzusing as well.
06. CSR - Rainbow Chan
My sister was teaching me some Cantonese slang recently. I wanted to write a song around the idea of having a spark with someone, Taat Zoek, which literally means to ignite.
07. Fenlie - Faye Wong
Faye Wong is a true pop icon who’s been active since the 90s and is known for her shape-shifting image. You may know her from Wong Kar-Wai films. This track’s title means to fracture or to split and was written by Cocteau Twins specifically for Faye.
08. Kids Only Anthem - Leah Dou
Keeping it in the fam! Leah Dou is the daughter of Faye Wong who made her debut on a Faye Wong track at just one year old. Not only do I love her unconventional and poetic writing but I also love her bold, androgynous style which challenges traditional views of Chinese femininity.
09. No Response - Kelvin T
I recently watched Kelvin T talk about his music at Hong Kong Community Radio during a beatmaker workshop run by ASJ. His production is increasingly moving away from the computer and is made on hardware, which is why you can hear fluctuations in tempo and pitch. I love how organic it sounds.
10. Dong Leng Cha ft. Fotan Laiki - Bloodz Boi
Dong Leng Cha means Iced Lemon Tea, a favourite drink of mine during Hong Kong's humid Summers. This collaboration traverses Beijing and Hong Kong via rappers Bloodz Boi and Fotan Laiki.
The latest choice picks_