“Beckoning: A Playlist of AAPI Joy, Sorrow, Rage and Resistance” is an eclectic mix of heartwarming tunes, instrumentals and pointed social commentary from such veterans as Yoko Ono and Brothers Cazimero as well as emerging artists like Audrey Nuna and G Yamazawa. (Warriors of the Rainbow, photo by Carroll Parrott Blue, courtesy of Great Leap Archive)
Listen to the playlist here and view the full track list as well as some of the commentary from the community contributors below on their picks, view the full list here.
Us by Ruby Ibarra, featuring Rocky Rivera, Klassy, and Faith Santilla: This is one baaad sistah! She not only wrote and performed the rhymes, but managed to direct the song’s video, too. In this harrowing time when Asian Americans are targets of violence and our women are murdered and remain nameless for days, I see this song and video as a needed statement. This is woman power, Pinay power, “don’t mess with me” power. And in the video, I love how they seamlessly weaved tradition with the contemporary, with a passion. —Nobuko Miyamoto, songwriter, Great Leap/Smithsonian Folkways
Like a G6 by Far East Movement, featuring The Cataracs, DEV: I chose this song for a couple of reasons: Every time I heard it in clubs and on the radio I was filled with such pride that a group of Asian Americans had a hit record. Combine that with what Far East Movement has done for the culture and their continued support of Asian/Asian-American music, I knew they had to be on this playlist. Plus, the song is just fire! —Marisa Pizarro, SVP, A&R Def Jam, Universal Music Group
How You Like That by Blackpink: In general, this song captures how I feel about those who wish to bring us down. It represents how we can prevail over these current times as well as focus on the positives of our communities. —Theresa Kang, CEO, Blue Marble Pictures
Chicken Adobo by Guapdad 4000 and !llmind: GRAMMY-nominated Guapdad 4000 and GRAMMY-award winning producer !llmind team up to create “Chicken Adobo,” which will be heard for generations to come. Released during the pandemic, the song not only shares a message of home-cooked, soul-filling love, but also helps raise awareness for chicken adobo, served at family-owned restaurants across the world to a growing multicultural audience. The duo’s 1176album represents the new MYXed generation that celebrates diversity and similarities at a time that we need it the most. —Roslynn Alba Cobarrubias, global head of talent, MYX Global, ABS-CBN; founder, ROS. Marketing
The Kiss of Venus (Paul McCartney) by Dominic Fike: Dominic reimagines a McCartney recording, effortlessly shifting the original focus of astrology to shedding light on current affairs. His infectious rendition compels the listener to ponder on various narratives set by the news. He vocalizes, “Have you read the Paper? People talking about which side they’re taking… what’s your take on it?” In a world where people clamor to any given narrative, I love the idea of questioning the status quo and forming your own opinions. —Byron Atienza, VP, global creative, Capitol Music Group
Somewhere Over the Rainbow-What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole: The song’s opening dedication to slack-key legend Gabby Pahinui always tugged at my heart. Even before I knew who “Gabby” was, I was moved by how the artist pays tribute to someone of obvious personal significance to him. Then there’s the `ukulele—it makes two familiar songs sound completely unique. Finally, Iz’s voice and pronunciations remind me of my family in Hawaiʻi and my dad—a certain lilt that says, comfort and home. This is the sound of gratitude, longing and hope.—Lisa Sasaki, interim director, Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum