Effy Godwin
May 30, 2019
3 minutes

From Indonesia to Japan we’ve got 5 Asian emerging artists not to be missed. Some of them have been around longer than others, but they all deserve to be on this list. We’ve got Rap, Pop, R&B, Electronica and even Punk Rock covered by artists from a variety of backgrounds and levels of recognition.

1. Vava

Photo Credit: ivanyolo.com

From: China

Genre: HipHop/Rap

Originally from China, Vava has quickly become a Chinese rap icon after starring on The Rap of China, a Chinese hip-hop show in 2017. Rapping about her personal struggles, she creates a defiant and empowering image. With the Chinese youth culture in the palm of her hand, she inspires many young people in China, as they attempt to navigate their changing country at rapid speed. She also received an award for ‘Best Female Rapper’ at 2018 Global Chinese Music Golden Awards, where she caused a bit of a stir by slating the event for poor organisation. Vava is certainly not afraid to speak her mind.

Vava - New Swag - Video credit via YouTube @Warner Music Taiwan: https://youtu.be/aknkofx2bHg

2. Rina Sawayama

Photo Credit Damien Fry

From: Japan/UK

Genre: Pop/R&B

Born in Japan, Rina Sawayama moved to London when she was just 5 years old. Rina is a woman of many talents, not only is she a singer-songwriter with a modeling career, but she also has a degree in Politics from the University of Cambridge. Whilst studying at university she was in a HipHop group Lazy Lion, and it wasn’t until 2013 she started her solo career. Since then, she’s released a number of singles with accompanying music videos. Her most recent single, Cherry explores her sexual identity.

Rina Sawayama - Cherry - Video credit via YouTube @Rina Sawayama https://youtu.be/wn5YFnrD1u8

3. Shoals

Photo Credit: Ish Reheja

From: India

Genre: Electronica

Electronica duo and childhood friends Utkarsh Varma and Sidharth Gupta use an amalgamation of sounds, genres, instruments and even decades to create their unique sound. Formed only 2 years ago in 2017, the duo have already released 2 EP’s, and received acknowledgment by Rolling Stone magazine after being featured in the weekly editors pick. Their debut album ‘Sour Ink’, which was released at the start of this year, features 10 dreamy tracks that create an interesting narrative.

Listen to their song Collide on their Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/shoalsofficial/collide


Photo Credit via Instagram @Nikizefanya

From: Indonesia

Genre: Pop/R&B

At only 20 years old, NIKI is already making waves. Born in Jakarta, the singer-songwriter who started out performing covers and originals on YouTube now joins Asian music group 88Rising. At almost 60,000 YouTube subscribers she has since deleted her older videos and the majority of her content is now being posted on the 88Rising channel. NIKI has not gone unnoticed, even supported Taylor Swift on her Red Tour (2014) in Jakarta and Halsey on her Hopeless Foundation Kingdom Tour (2018) in Asia.

NIKI- Lowkey - Video credit via YouTube @88rising https://youtu.be/mxyucLe9YE4

5. Otoboke Beaver

Photo Credit: Metro News

From: Japan

Genre: Punk Rock

They might have a very feminine appearance, which isn’t exactly synonymous with Punk Rock, but all-girl new wave Punk Rock band Otoboke Beaver take no prisoners. Whilst the original band members met at university, the group is now made up of Hiro-Chan and Kahokiss and founding members Accorinrin and Yoyoyoshie. 2011 saw the release of a 3 track demo CD followed by a mini album in the December. ‘Itekoma Hits’ there newest album, was released in the last 10 days and features several new songs.

Otoboke Beaver - Don’t Light My Fire - Video credit via YouTube @Damnably: https://youtu.be/fkWfFXnLpYg