Image Credit: Di Wei
By Jocelle Koh
Chinese-American rapper Bohan Phoenix is someone who inspires me deeply. In the lead-up to our interview (and even earlier prior), I would read write-ups on his experiences as he seemingly effortlessly fused Eastern and Western elements in his music to bridge cultural gaps, and often a million questions would come to mind. Especially in own quest for finding ways to bridge cultural divides and navigate the complicated landscape of the contemporary music industry, it was nice to chance upon someone who too was thinking deeply about the same issues.
Armed with empathy in spades, a moderated perspective, and a steadfast passion that burns deeper than the average human being; Bohan is a great example of someone who I think could bring real, meaningful change to the Eastern and Western music scenes.
But unlike the other articles I’ve read which tout him as ‘China’s most uncompromising rapper’, or the answer to bridging cultural divides, I wanted to unpack his identity and his mission outside the confines of his skin colour, political context or the topic of his musical content. For music to make meaning, it has to come from the heart.