Top Asian Music Artists of 2018

Read on to learn about the top Asian music artists of 2018. They're already creating chart-topping music, so be prepared to add some amazing new songs to your playlists.  

1. Peggy Gou

(Portrait taken by Jungwook Mok from Dazeddigital)

The Berlin-based South Korean electronic music artist is taking over the world’s techno scene. Gou began Djing in London while studying at the London College of Fashion. She later moved to Berlin, where she produced her four major eclectic EP’s. Undoubtedly, her most popular song, “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane) has an addictive and lively house beat that includes her own vocals in Korean. She has also achieved her ultimate goal: to be the youngest and only Korean woman to play at Berghain, Berlin’s most exclusive nightclub. She played at Coachella this year and toured extensively around the world, Djing in different countries every night. Peggy Gou is now working on her first full-length album and plans to launch her own music label.

Song Recommendations: It Makes You Forget (Itgehane) and Han Jan

2. Jay Park

(Image from ROCNATION Artist Biography)

Jay Park is a Korean-American singer, dancer, rapper, as well as the CEO of independent hip hop label AOMG and global record label H1GHR Music. He started off as a K-pop star in the boyband 2PM, later leaving and gaining success as a solo artist with the help of his viral YouTube cover of “Nothin’ On You.” After gaining success and recognition in Korea as a recording artist, he regularly appeared on Saturday Night Live Korea. In 2016, his efforts were finally recognized with the release of his third album, "Everything You Wanted," peaking at number three on the World Album chart. In 2017, it was announced that he would become the new judge for Asia’s Got Talent and the first Asian artist to sign with Jay Z’s record label Roc Nation.

Song Recommendations: All I Wanna Do and Mommae

3. Joji

(Photo by Roman Koval, taken from Complex)

George Miller, known professionally as Joji, is a Japanese entertainer, singer, and producer. Miller’s entertainment career began on YouTube, where he produced comical skits and music videos as his characters the "Pink Guy" and "Filthy Frank." Miller is also credited for having started the viral dance craze, "Harlem Shake," in 2013. In 2017, he announced that he would retire Pink Guy and Filthy Frank to focus on his music career, producing music under the name Joji. He joined Asian music label 88Rising in 2017. After debuting his first full album “BALLADS 1” this year, Joji becomes the first Asian artist to top Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop Album Chart. His music takes a more serious tone, with melancholy themes and soulful vocals.

Song Recommendations: SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK and YEAH RIGHT

4. Higher Brothers

(Photography by Tony Wu from GQ)

Higher Brothers is a Chinese hip hop group from Chengdu that consists of members MaSiWei, DZknow, Psy.P, and Melo. With the help of the Internet and the rise of hip hop culture popularity in China, they have established themselves as Asia’s hottest rap group. They describe their music as “Asian Trap,” a style of music that sounds completely different from other Chinese rappers in the industry. With the intent of merging Eastern and Western cultures, their most iconic song, “Made In China,” has caught the attention of listeners outside of China. They signed with Asian record label 88rising and participated in their summer album “Midsummer Madness,” embarking on a tour across the Unites States.

Song Recommendations: Lover Boy 88 and Flo Rida

5. Yaeji

(Photography by David Brandon Geeting for FADER magazine)

Yaeji is a Korean electronic music artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She’s your everyday next door raver, sporting her signature wire framed glasses and messy bun. Yaeji had an extremely busy year, hosting her Yaeji and Friends event with 11 of her favorite techno artists - an event that sold out in 10 minutes. She then went on to perform at major festivals like Coachella and Sonar, later releasing her single “One More.” Yaeji sings in a hushed like voice, creating an ASMR-like sensation to accompany her dream-like house beats and rhythms. Her lyrics are sung in both English and Korean, to which she says “I realized Korean sounds really nice, just texturally. It’s almost very percussive, very angular.”

Song Recommendations: Raingurl and drink i’m sippin on

Happy listening!