Let’s Chat: Asian Representation in Music Industry

As an asian myself, I would love to see more talented asians in the forefront of the music industry. I think many are often discouraged in their pursuit of music only because of the lack of asian representation that often goes unaddressed in the business. At least for me, me that was the impact it had for me. To me, this is unfair because it doesn’t represent what America claims to be about which is “equal opportunity”. It is very much a myth, and one that can be seen through the types of images that are pushed in the media and entertainment business.

As a lover of music, I always find myself coming back to Jessica’s performance. Jessica Sanchez’s rendition of “A Little In Prayer” by Aretha Franklin was phenomenal. She was 18 at the time. Beautiful rendition. I only wish that there are more artists with Jessica’s ability to play on the radio instead of some of the nonsense that we often hear on repeat… Not only that but her passion and love for music, always so evident in each of performances. It saddens me that it goes overlooked. I think it would help some of realize the true beauty in music.

Though I don’t believe Jessica Sanchez is a formally trained vocalist, much of her ability seems to come naturally to her. The way she goes from high to low, her technique to the way she interprets a song. Her artistry, to be quite honest in my own opinion, is unmatched to some of the people we hear on the radio. But I also know that her ability doesn’t align with the wide appeal on Pop. Unfortunately, many do not want to listen to complex runs on the radio, but instead prefer the entertainment to a simple tune. Not only that but the industry values looks and image, which can often break or break an artist’s career. Which in this case, unfortunately, happened to Jessica in the American Idol Season 12, where Phillip Phillips was announced the winner. I am not in any way discrediting his ability, but it only saddens me that Jessica’s talent was not given the recognition, I believe, she deserved. And which many others saw too. For those who are unfamiliar with it, the Season lost ratings and was discontinued the year after. To me, I believe that was enough to signify Jessica’s impact on the show. And to me, no other prize could mean as much.

Here’s one of her many performances that showcase her unique gift.
Hope ya’ll enjoyed it. She would have made Aretha proud.

Soo, like everyone else who discovers hidden gems on Youtube, I came across a video that became my main inspiration for this post. If you’ve checked out my previous posts, you would probably have already figured that I’m into blues, R&B, soul music— which you are 100% correct about. I absolutely live for it.
The video that inspired me is a performance done by 16 year old Jessica Sanchez during American Idol Season 2012. The song Sanchez performed is “Love You I Do” by the one and only Jennifer Hudson, which was first released on the music drama Dreamgirls starring Hudson herself, Anika Nona Rose, and Beyoncé. I found her performance of Hudson’s song stunning and phenomenal, even winning a standing ovation from all three judges. If you’d like to see what I’m talking about, you could find the performance here.
Also, I had the opportunity of meeting her when she came to my school last week to perform. It felt almost surreal as I consider her one of my biggest musical inspirations. She’s just as amazing live and is incredibly sweet in person too!

Jessica Sanchez and I 12/2/17 at CSULB

Anyway, after watching her performance I had to search up the original version by Jennifer Hudson. I could say it has become one of my top inspirational songs and I would like to share with you. Enjoy!

*song begins at 1:30