move over justin dweeber. it’s an invazn.

posted by missmsian

I had the biggest 14-year-old’s crush on Usher. I stuck with him beyond the “Yeah” years and even watched his awful, Godfather-wannabe In Da Mix–twice. But signing Justin Bieber is unforgivable.

In no particular order, sexy Azn male artists who got started on YouTube, whom Usher could have signed instead.

(I’m gonna save hip-hop–artists like Traphik and Lil Crazed–for another post, aite?)

Let’s start off with AJ Rafael. He recently teamed up with Wong Fu Productions to shoot a music video for his runaway hit “When We Say (Juicebox).” It’s teen-angst pop without being self-indulgent at its finest.

The song shares a similar title with Gabe Bondoc‘s “When You Say (Nine)” but their themes couldn’t be more different. The artists, though both self-identified proud Filipinos, are also quite different. Bondoc describes his style as “acoustic” while Rafael is less committal, saying he draws inspiration from artists ranging from Taylor Swift to Bob Marley to Brooke Fraser.

I was complaining to a friend that the rare times Azn guys are featured in pop culture and media, they’re almost always portrayed as nerds. She introduced me to Passion aka Jeremy Manongdo. He does covers–pop, r&b, Christian and more–and writes his own songs, like “32,” dedicated to his mum, and “My Girl, My Friend, My Lover,” dedicated to me (just kidding. I wish.) All while looking fiiiine.

Passion occasionally teams up with Melvin Gutierrez for covers like “Hard to Say Goodbye“. My favourite cover, and one of my most-played YouTube vids of all time, is their self-dubbed “man version” of Destiny’s Child’s “Cater 2 U.”

Melvin also upstages Bieber with his Baby Candle Light/Bedtime remix of “Baby“.

Jeremy Dev, Joneil Joseph and Matt Lai are new on YouTube, as eighteen19twenty, doing acoustic covers with beatboxing. I’ve been grooving to their “Whatcha Say + Party In The USA + You Found Me” medley of late. I hope these guys upload more soon.

Sadly, I haven’t heard of as many Canadian-based Azn male artists.

I want to put irazn on the list of greats but, unfortunately, he’s been too shy, too humble or too stupid to put his stuff on YouTube. You’ll have to take my word that he’s good and quietly follow his channel in case he ever decides to upload his own stuff. Think less-twangy (and not racist) John Mayer meets Marty Sampson. Hawt too. I can still admit that after almost 11 years of friendship, so that’s saying something.

Where the other Azn-Canadian independent musicians at?


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