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#1
Old 07-06-2002, 02:26 PM
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Why no Asian Rock Stars?

Pop, Rock, Blues, Alternative, etc.

In the US, there are White, Black and Latino stars...but none of asian decent.

Now, I'm sure there's big stars in their respective native lands, but none have broken through here.

Why not?
#2
Old 07-06-2002, 02:29 PM
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Anita Mui and Karen Mok are all over my playlist, man. And there is that asian dude in Smashing Pumpkins. I think here people seem to assume all asians are kung fu masters or doctors, so they just ignore the asian singers.
#3
Old 07-06-2002, 02:33 PM
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Because the market for non-English music is limited by comparison, and it costs a lot to break into the mainstream US market?
#4
Old 07-06-2002, 03:00 PM
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Freddy Mercury was Indian, though he downplayed it. And he was a pretty big rock star.
#5
Old 07-06-2002, 03:49 PM
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Shonen Knife was/is big in some circles. They toured with Nirvana and gathered a decent following. But not "star" status, I suppose.
#6
Old 07-06-2002, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zoggie
Freddy Mercury was Indian, though he downplayed it. And he was a pretty big rock star.
Wasn't he Iranian? His family was Farsi, right?


There was a band in the 80's called Loudness. they were, I think, Japanese. they came out when all the 'heavy' metal was dying out.
A co-worker went to a concert where they opened. The crowd kinda was bored, he said, and pretty much was waiting until the main act.

the lead singer then said, in between songs, in bad English: Why you no clapping?

which was funny on two levels:

a) the idea of a polite, well mannered japanese crowd, clapping at a heavy metal concert.
and
b) the L in clapping sounded like an r, so it sounded like he said: Why you no crapping?
which made every one laugh, but he probably didn't know why.
#7
Old 07-06-2002, 04:27 PM
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Dude, what about Cornelius. And, yes, Shonen Knife were huge in the circles I traveled in in the early nineties. Pizzicato Five? Cibo Matto even?
#8
Old 07-06-2002, 05:05 PM
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Re: Why no Asian Rock Stars?

Quote:
Originally posted by Enola Straight

Now, I'm sure there's big stars in their respective native lands, but none have broken through here.

Why not?
Every once in a while you see a Japanese band here in the states. I'd describe them more as novelty acts popular with a select few rather then truly popular.

Marc
#9
Old 07-06-2002, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5th 1946 in Zanzibar, to parents Bomi & Jer Bulsara. Freddie moved to India in 1947. He attended boarding school in Panchgani, just outside Bombay. Whilst there he began his piano lessons, reaching Grade 4 in practical and theory. The family, with the addition now of younger sister Kashmira, moved to England in 1963.
#10
Old 07-06-2002, 05:55 PM
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Have you all heard Morning Musume yet? They're sorta the Japanese equivalent of the Spice Girls. They're happy, crappy pop music, but at least they don't make you want to chew all the skin off your thumbs like Britney Spears.
#11
Old 07-06-2002, 07:07 PM
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Have you all forgotten about Pink Lady? They only happened to have a cutting edge, expensively produced show on American TV only about, say twenty years ago. The show was called, not surprisingly, Pink Lady and Jeff. Hey, I was kidding.
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#12
Old 07-06-2002, 08:00 PM
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There's Guitar Wolf, an ass-kicking, eardrum busting punk/rockabilly band from Japan. They used to tour the U.S. fairly frequently, though I haven't heard anything from them in about five years.

James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins guy) is the only big one I can think of. Oh, and Tia Carere's band in Wayne's World.
#13
Old 07-06-2002, 08:40 PM
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I a unsure as to whether the OP is wondering about Asian-Americans or Asians who are actually in Asia. If the former, then I would say that Asian-Americans do not make up a large percentage of the American population, so one would not expect them to make up a large percentage of American musicians. There are obviously a great many Asian performers who are hugely successful in Asia, but both the language barrier and the popularity of different styles in Asia than in the US stand in the way of any act hoping to make a big breakthrough to the American market.
#14
Old 07-06-2002, 11:23 PM
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What about Seiko?

I too think that a big part of it is that they don't speak English so well.

Although, Sakamoto Kyu did OK with "Sukiyaki" in the 50's.

One thing I've noticed over here is more collaborations between Japanese singers and Western singers. Examples being Miki Douzan and UB40, Yuki Koyanagi and a couple of the guys from Boys 2 Men, S-Word (yep, that's his stage name) and Christina Milian. But again, they don't seem to be popular in the States. I have no idea why.
#15
Old 07-07-2002, 01:52 AM
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What about the guy from the Romantics?

And I think the Vapors turned Japanese for a while in the early 80s.
#16
Old 07-07-2002, 03:02 AM
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The guitar guy from Soundgarden
#17
Old 07-07-2002, 05:04 AM
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Going back many many years, Larry Ramos of The Association ("Cherish", "Along Comes Mary") was Asian from Hawaii.
#18
Old 07-07-2002, 06:14 AM
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Asian Dub Foundation!
#19
Old 07-07-2002, 07:26 AM
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How about Quan from Regurgitator?

He was also in Happyland with that other woman from that other band... yeesh I'm only 16 and my memory's shot.
#20
Old 07-07-2002, 07:45 AM
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And who could forget about the Green Boys? Yata! Anyone?
#21
Old 07-07-2002, 10:56 AM
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The Eraserheads are a very talented group from the Philippines. Most of their stuff is English-language. Some of their work is available via the filesharing services (Kazaa etc.).
#22
Old 07-07-2002, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
originally posted by burnt toast
How about Quan from Regurgitator?

He was also in Happyland with that other woman from that other band... yeesh I'm only 16 and my memory's shot.
janet english from spiderbait, dude. but she ain't asian.

quan is, though.

cibo matto fucken rock, grendel72!
#23
Old 07-07-2002, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by medstar
Have you all forgotten about Pink Lady? They only happened to have a cutting edge, expensively produced show on American TV only about, say twenty years ago. The show was called, not surprisingly, Pink Lady and Jeff. Hey, I was kidding.
Actually, I enjoyed the show! The crowd scene audition! The jokes about Johnny Carson's guest hosts! Mi and Kei singing in what I think was phonetic English! And my favorite spot was when they would show clips from their Japanese conccerts, where the crowd was simply going wild and the girls were totally inaudable. I was probably the one loyal viewer, and very dissappointed it was cancelled.

Thanks, Medstar, you've brought back happy childhood memories.
#24
Old 07-07-2002, 01:35 PM
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Well, I don't know if I'd call if him a "star," but a Japanese musician named Tetsu Yamauchi played bass for the Faces for several years after Ronnie Lane's departure, and was Rod Stewart's bass player for a long time after that.
#25
Old 07-07-2002, 09:26 PM
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While hardly a rock star, Sooyoung Park has gained some notariety in the indie rawk world with his bands Seam and before that, Bitch Magnet.
#26
Old 07-07-2002, 09:58 PM
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David Usher is half-Asian. He's the lead singer of Moist and recently put out a solo album.

He's fairly popular/well known in Canada, but I can't speak as to his American success. Have you guys heard of him?
#27
Old 07-07-2002, 10:48 PM
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25 replies and no mention of the biggest Asian rock star ever?
The Asian Prince
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#28
Old 07-08-2002, 12:45 AM
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He's not much of a star anymore...and he sings country, not rock...but Neil McCoy is of Filipino descent.

So is Enrique Iglesias ( http://fsufsa.tripod.com/famous_pinoys.htm ).

K.
#29
Old 07-08-2002, 01:34 AM
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Bic Runga is a singer songwriter who is Chinese but sounds 101% Western because she is, in fact, a New Zealander. She has put out at least 4 or 5 world class songs and some artists have built international careers on fewer. I'm going to do a thread one day called "How much does accent matter?" because in my mind, at least, it is a strong determinant of how a person will be perceived. A good way to demonstrate this would be to view Hollywood movies in which Bruce Willis, Matt Dillion and Tom Cruise had their voices dubbed with a range of accents.


http://bicrunga.com/
#30
Old 07-08-2002, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by G. Nome
Bic Runga is a singer songwriter who is Chinese
Actually, she's half Chinese and half Maori (indigenous race of New Zealand)

Her sister Boh Runga also a singer in a band called Stellar*

The Linkin Park guys. Joseph Hahn. Mike Shinoda? Probably, since it's a Japanese last name. I can't tell anymore and I honestly don't think about it when I listen to any musician.

I think the problem of just coming out and saying "Why aren't there any asian rock stars" is that many are half asian and don't see any reason to make it an issue. Like one site says Michelle Branch is half asian. I don't know whether thats true or not, but I can't tell and I never would have guessed.
#31
Old 07-08-2002, 05:11 AM
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The Guitarist from Sum 41, Cornershop, Tindjer Singh, Cornelius, the bassist from Feeder, Jina the lead singer from Racecar... there is a lot out there.
#32
Old 07-08-2002, 06:10 AM
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Yoko Ono. Fun-da-mental (which had numerous spin-offs). Ian Brown's guitarist Aziz Ibrahim.
#33
Old 07-08-2002, 07:20 AM
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Aziz Ibrahim was also John Squire's replacement.
#34
Old 07-08-2002, 07:31 PM
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Towa Tei.
#35
Old 07-08-2002, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tsubaki
What about Seiko?
She had a duet with NKOTB's Donnie Wahlberg. I remember her.
#36
Old 07-08-2002, 09:22 PM
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DJ Krush
#37
Old 07-09-2002, 12:19 AM
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Well, there was Yoko Ono...
#38
Old 07-09-2002, 02:27 AM
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Eddie and Alex van Halen are half Indonesian.
#39
Old 07-09-2002, 05:31 AM
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Ryuchi Sakamoto anyone?
#40
Old 07-09-2002, 05:53 AM
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I seem to recall the singer for Sneaker Pimps was asian. Too bad they have disapeared from the music scene.
#41
Old 07-09-2002, 06:37 AM
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Someone mentioned Towa Tei...just wanted to mention he was in Deee-Lite (they were actually top 40 for a while). Sean Lennon is asian (and part of the previously mentioned Cibo Matto). The 'asian guy from smashing pumpkins'-- James Iha-- would probably be considered a rock star-- they sold a pretty large number of albums. Jeff Lin from Harvey Danger is asian.
#42
Old 07-09-2002, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bad News Baboon
Wasn't he Iranian? His family was Farsi, right?
Azeri. As posted, born in Zanzibar, grew up in India and England. Not Asian in North American usage of the term, nor properly speaking British insofar as his ancestry is Caucasian (the region).
#43
Old 07-09-2002, 08:31 PM
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It should be pointed out that there are hundreds and hundreds of acts in Japan, Greater China and Korea that are HUGE in their respective countries, and indeed many of them have no need to become popular outside the region because they are too busy already just dealing with the Asian market.

The sad thing is there are a lot of greatly talented Asian artists which deserve recognition in the west but will never get it because we (more specifically, Americans) are totally turned off by foreign sounding languages. I don't understand a word of Japanese but Chara is IMHO one of the greatest artists to come along in the past 10 years -- anywhere (particularly if you get her lyrics translated). And many Japanese would agree. It's a shame she will probably never get recognition for her craft outside Asia.

BTW, right now Puffy(AmiYumi) are touring the US. Go see them and you'll experience a concert and music like nothing you've ever witnessed before.
#44
Old 07-10-2002, 07:32 AM
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Poi Dog Pondering. It's true. I saw their act once.
#45
Old 07-10-2002, 10:35 AM
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GOD, how could I forget Guitar Wolf?

Japanese garage rock band. Fucking bad ass, loud, Japanese, and at least four albums on an American Label.

And they even stared in Wild Zero fighting zombies. How much more "popular" can you get?
#46
Old 07-10-2002, 12:15 PM
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I heard somewhere that Norah Jones is the daughter of Ravi Shankar (Indian sitar guru), however have found nothing that supports that claim. *shrug*
#47
Old 07-10-2002, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by islandgirl
I heard somewhere that Norah Jones is the daughter of Ravi Shankar (Indian sitar guru), however have found nothing that supports that claim. *shrug*
Check out the press releases on her website.

While Jones has been somewhat estranged from her father, they have had recent intermittent contact, and she does not hide the fact that he is her biological father.
#48
Old 07-10-2002, 02:39 PM
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Thanks, bordelond
#49
Old 07-10-2002, 08:00 PM
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Cibo Matto rules the earth as far as I'm concerned. Great thing about living in NYC is we get to see all their kick ass side projects.

The only Japanese group that made some headway in the US that I can think of that has not been mentioned here yet is Super Junky Monkey. They had some success in Japan and scored a record contract with Sony USA, but only had one American release, entitled "Parasitic People." It rocked. Sadly, the singer Mitsumi (??) died recently.

And let's not forget the mighty mighty John Myung from Dream Theater, who I believe is of Korean descent. Worshiped as one the worlds greatest bassists in prog rock circles, the only bassist I like better is T. Lev himself!

(**flashing back to Jack Black's "Bass Off" sketch from SNL )
#50
Old 07-11-2002, 01:09 AM
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Jeez, 48 posts and no-one's mentioned Don Ho.




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