Skipped a month, but I’m back with Turntable Thoughts’ monthly segment where I introduce the many underappreciated Asian artists on my Bubbling Asians playlist! This time around, I cover artists from Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Have a read about them below!
*the full songs list is down below
Talitha. | Malaysia | Spotify (184k monthly listeners)
Arguably the biggest English-language-singing artist of the country (aside from Yuna), Talitha. is nowadays better known for her fitness content on her Instagram than her actual music. However, her pleasant electronic-based pop tunes and earworm hooks shouldn’t be overlooked.
You should listen if you like: Hailee Steinfield, dance-pop
Rei | Japan | Spotify (14k monthly listeners)
My favourite Japanese artist right now, Rei was recently nominated for at the MTV EMAs for Best Japanese Act. With a fairly versatile discography, where she can from chill (“Categorising Me”), to hype (“What Do You Want?”), to funk (“My Name Is Rei”). She has a little something for everyone.
You should listen if you like: (I’m at a loss here lmao but her music is very guitar-heavy)
Plastic Plastic | Thailand | Spotify (172k monthly listeners)
I…don’t know too much about Plastic Plastic and quick Google searches don’t really bring up too much info about the brother-sister duo. Their brand of folk-pop is incredibly relaxing and cheery, feeling like a light morning appetizer in music form.
You should listen if you like: upbeat, happy pop
SURL | Korea | Spotify (96k monthly listeners)
My favourite Korean band, SURL is more indie-rock than they are pop but what really draws me to their music is how addictive their melodies can be. Paired with the nasally-tone of the lead singer’s vocals, they’re always in my library’s constant rotation. “Snow” still remains my fave to this day.
You should listen if you like: math rock but less math and more rock
Crispy脆樂團 | Taiwan | Spotify (38k monthly listeners)
I first came across Crispy on YouTube from a music video of a girl twisting a hula-hoop for 4 minutes straight. Their sound is cute and breezy (much like Plastic Plastic) so if you liked them, you’ll like Crispy too.
You should listen if you like: clean electro-pop
Three1989 | Japan | Spotify (90k monthly listeners)
This band blew up thanks to lead vocalist’s appearance on the reality show “Terrace House Opening New Doors”. Making 80s soul pop-inspired music, it’s easy to describe them as city pop with a modern-ish twist.
You should listen if you like: any sort of city pop