me with my favorites-Olivia Rodrigo, Conan Gray, and Joji

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and I wanted to honor it by sharing my spotify playlist from my favorite Asian American and Pacific Islander Artists. I have a special connection to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders because I grew up in Hawaii. Some of my favorite people are Asian American like my childhood friends and my oldest son. Growing up in Hawaii, I listened to various Asian American and Pacific Islander artists like Iz, Hawaiian Style Band, Fiji, Kai, etc. I  had the pleasure of seeing  Fiji in a concert in Hawaii in the 90s. Recently, I’ve discovered other artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Conan Gray and Joji.

 I started listening to Olivia Rodrigo in the summer and fall of 2021. To say that I was obsessed with her music would be the understatement of the year. Alexa still wakes me up with “Good 4 U” every morning (I haven’t figured out how to change it to something else-tbh-lol).  Rodrigo’s debut album “Sour” really resonated with me on every level when I was going through a rough time in my life. There’s even hilarious videos of me drunk singing some of these songs (I watch them sometimes if I ever need to laugh-haha). I listened to Sour so many times, two of my sons know the lyrics to “Traitor” and sometimes for fun, we sing it at Family Karaoke Night. 

In the fall of 2022, I discovered Conan Gray. Well, it’s more like I became obsessed with his song “People Watching” and then I listened to the rest of the album “Superache” and every single song resonated with me. Gray songwriting resonates to that angsty and angry side of me that feels so jaded when it comes to love. His songs “Family Line” and “Jigsaw” also resonate with me because like him, I’ve also had to deal with my own share of family trauma and feeling kind of an outcast. His personal style is also dramatic and I love that. In a way, he’s inspired to really embrace that side of me that tends to be dramatic. Other songs of his that I became way too obsessed with were “Astronomy” and “Heather”. “Heather” also served as inspiration for a long poem I wrote in January. This might be  cringe but the video for “Heather” even inspired a couple of poses for a couple of pictures. Also, IMHO, Conan Gray is the most beautiful person in the world to me. My kids hate it when I tell them, “you’re almost as beautiful as Conan Gray”. They tell me it’s wrong for some reason but it’s the truth. Speaking of my kids, my middle son kind of lowkey hates him. Maybe it’s because either “Heather” or “People Watching” has woken him up one too many times.Idk. My oldest son thinks that my obsession with Conan Gray is just creepy because they’re both the same age. However, I can’t control what makes my moody heart happy and gets obsessed with. Maybe one day, I’ll find this post cringe and be like wtf was I thinking but let it be a day far, far away into the future. Now let’s move on, to my next obsession, Joji.

Okay, so my oldest son introduced me to Joji sometime in early 2022 with the song “Glimpse of Us”. I remember telling him, “this song is too sad, it’s the kind of song that’s perfect for unaliving yourself ” (I know that might seem a bit extreme but that was my gut reaction to the song). Anyways, I didn’t start listening again to Joji until the winter of 2022 when the weather was cold and I was in a low mood. Something about his voice and his songwriting really struck a chord with the angst and sadness I was feeling at the time. Then, I had a major depression episode in January of this year and Joji became the soundtrack to that depression. I remember wearing my beanie every single day because I was too lazy to style my bangs and listening to  “Die for You” on repeat . Joji’s music really got me through that episode and in this weird way gave me hope. Of course, I made the choice to go back to therapy during that episode. When I listen to “Glimpse of Us” and “Die for You” I think back to the earlier versions of myself I’m still trying to find compassion for and make peace with. I know that might sound weird but to me it makes sense. I also love the song, “Sanctuary” so much so, it’s been an inspiration for a few of my most recent poems. Joji’s style is also kind of dramatic which I really love. 

Below is my AAPI Appreciation Playlist, I hope y’all enjoy it.  

  1. Leaving on a Jet Plane-Justin
  2. Love and Honesty-Hawaiian Style Band
  3. Traitor-Olivia Rodrigo
  4. Slow Dancing in the Dark-Joji
  5. Sweet Darling-Fiji
  6. Crush Culture-Conan Gray
  7. Daylight-Joji
  8. Over the Rainbow-Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  9. Favorite Crime-Olivia Rodrigo
  10. Astronomy- Conan Gray
  11. Do You Miss Me-Jocelyn Enriquez
  12. Run-Joji
  13. Say You’ll Stay- Kai
  14. The Story-Conan Gray
  15. Driver’s License-Olivia Rodrigo
  16. Sanctuary-Joji
  17. Heather- Conan Gray
  18. Good 4 U- Olivia Rodrigo
  19. Glimpse of Us-Joji
  20. Chant of the Islands-Fiji
  21. Memories-Conan Gray
  22. Deja vu-Olivia Rodrigo
  23. Naughty Girl- Fiji
  24. People Watching-Conan Gray
  25. Die for You-Joji
  26. Happier- Olivia Rodrigo
  27. Sharing the Night-Fiji
  28. Maniac-Conan Gray
  29. Your Man-Joji
  30. Enough for You-Olivia Rodrigo
  31. Checkmate-Conan Gray
  32. Family Line-Conan Gray
  33. Jigsaw-Conan Gray

Here is the link to my AAPI playlist on Spotify:

Here is the link to my AAPI playlist on YouTube:

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