AAPI Musicians Stand for Community Empowerment, Voter Action Via New Compilation Album

By Sameer Rao Sep 06, 2016

Various Asian- and Pacific Islander-American (AAPI) musicians teamed up with a civic engagement organization to create a new album aimed at driving APIAs to voting booths this November.

18MillionRising.org released "Voices of Our Vote: My AAPI Vote Album" today (September 6). The album’s 32 tracks feature APIA artists across several genres lending their voices to themes concerning the AAPI community. 

"We hope that by encouraging these artists to use their voices to tell their stories, our communities are also inspired to speak out and bring more of their unique voices into their everyday life, whether that’s to their workplace, to their families or even to the voting booth," Marvin Yueh of Kollaboration, an organization dedicated to incubating and showcasing AAPI artists, said in a statement emailed to Colorlines. Kollaboration—alongside AAPI-focused music curation platform Traktivist, longstanding open mic Tuesday Night Project and South Asian diaspora music site Mishthi Music—partnered with 18MillionRising.org for the album.

One of the songs, The Kominas‘ "See Something Say Something," addresses xenophobic fear. Another, Priska‘s "Don’t Go Quietly," implores listeners to "speak up now" against silencing.

"If you’ve seen something revolutionary and stay silent about it, people may never hear about it and progress may be halted," Priska said in the statement. "I wrote this song to encourage Asian Americans to stop feeling like their voices don’t matter and to gently warn them that staying silent can ultimately become detrimental."

The sentiment Priska describes—that too many Asian-Americans feel ostracized by electoral politics—also underscores 18MillionRising.org’s mission to get the country’s 18 million AAPIs to organize and demonstrate their collective and underutilized power at the voting booth in November. "Voice of Our Vote’s" release also marks the launch of the #MyAAPIVote campaign to promote voter engagement. 

You can listen to and purchase "Voices of Our Vote" here. 18MillionRising.org also shared the album as Pandora and YouTube playlists.