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Written By ASIAN AMERICAN GIRL CLUB - October 01 2019
Singer, songwriter, member of RCA Records’ girl group Citizen Queen.
Who inspired you to start singing?
Nina: My parents. I feel lucky to have felt comforted, loved, and supported through my journey in an industry that is not always so loving. I started singing and acting professionally when I was around seven years old. Rejection after rejection later, as everyone that auditions experiences, I couldn’t help but question if who I am, and what I looked like was the issue. I wondered if there was love for Asian American Girls, and if there was even a story of a multiracial girl in America to BE told in the first place. As time has gone on, I have learned that those not represented in media have to take the bull by the horns and MAKE space. The girls of Citizen Queen, my girl group, are doing just that. I’m proud to be the figure for Asian American and multiracial girls I never really had growing up. And I get to be that by doing what I love - singing.
Photo by Luke Fontana
There aren't many Asian Americans in mainstream music, who or what gave you the courage to pursue this industry?
I actually think Asian Americans are slowly starting to rise and become more known than before. Some of the biggest asian American artists dominate the charts: Bruno Mars is half filipino, so is Hailee Steinfeld, BLACKPINK is taking over, and Awkwafina is making space in the industry for herself quite successfully. These artists keep my head up. What I think is definitely missing is the story of the Asian American experience in mainstream music. An amazing example of a song like this is “I Can Only Write My Name”, by Will Jay. Composing stories like this is NECESSARY for the normalization of Asian American Artists into Mainstream Music. People need to hear our perspective. Until people are willing and excited to listen, we will continue to make space for ourselves. And for those of you reading this that feel hesitant to enter the music industry because it seems as though not many Asian Americans succeed in it:
It’s about the music. Tell your amazing story, and REGARDLESS of who you are or what you are, people will listen.
Your story needs to be heard. Be the first to say something or be something if no one has yet.
Don’t trip. We’re thriving. We are making space for ourselves, and even more for you.
Check out some inspiring words of motivation from Nina!