Wang, Oliver. “Between the notes: finding Asian America in popular music.” American Music (2001): 439-465.
Journal article (solicited, refereed).
Examines how trends in Asian American popular music-making reflects changes, tensions and aspirations within the Asian American community from the 1970s until present.
Background: This essay, my first published piece of academic work, represented a culmination of nearly 10 years spent researching the politics of identity amongst Asian American musicians. As an undergraduate and graduate student – as well as music/culture writer – I had interviewed many Asian Americans involved in jazz, folk and hip-hop and used this essay as an opportunity to lay out ideas about how those musicians perceived the role of race and identity within their work. Asian American music is still largely understudied and theorized in my opinion (the excellent work of my mentor Deborah Wong excepted) and especially with the seeming explosion of musical interest in a younger generation of Asian Americans during the ’00s, there’s many new ideas to bring into that conversation.