Monday, March 28, 2011

Music Monday -- The Hottest Asian Voice

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Did I tell you I'm teaching a class called Race and Racism in the News? I'm loving it and my students are too. We are having some great conversations in the class about race and stereotypes and the media's role in perpetuating those stereotypes. Currently we are talking about Asian-Americans and how limited the coverage of Asian-Americans is in the mainstream media as well as in Hollywood.

The one Asian-American in my class (yes, there's only one out of 36) is Filipino, and he has shared a lot of his personal experiences to demonstrate just how annoying/insidious stereotypes about Asians in America are. One pet peeve of his was that people don't think Asian-Americans can sing. At all. Yet as a Filipino, he informed us that so many Filipinos sing and that singing is really important in the Filipino culture. To wit, he pointed out that the hottest singing sensation in the world right now is 18-year-old super voice Charice Pempengco. If you haven't heard of her check her out on the Ellen DeGeneres show:

And that was kind of awhile ago. She's now a frequent cast member on Glee and people, she's hot all over Asia and Europe. We're just slow catching up over here. Surprise. To learn more about Charise, check out her website.




Ola said...

Oprah had her on her show some time back. Celine is one of her idols so of course Oprah brought Celine on as a surprise. She was so impressed that Celine and Charice performed in concert in NYC. There is also the new lead singer of Journey, Arnel Pineda who is Filipino. They bought have AMAZING voices. check him out too.

LT said...

Thanks for the info. I can't believe I'm so late getting to know Charice and it is fascinating to note how many Filipino singers there are making their mark in the US.

AnaCeleste said...

Wow! She’s a great singer! I’ll have to check her out some more. I don’t know if you’ve referred to and/or are using the book “America on Film : Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies” by Harry M. Benshoff for your class… I read the book a few months ago and the section on race talks about the portrayal of Blacks, Latinos, Asian, and Native Americans in American cinema. I definitely agree that in television and movies, Asian characters are typecast in roles to perpetuate stereotypes. I currently am working in South Korea as a teacher and singing is definitely a big part of South Korean culture. I went out with my job for dinner and karaoke a few weeks ago actually! Karaoke is really popular here because Koreans love to sing.
There are some phenomenal music groups here as well. I’m a huge fan of the Korean boy band, Big Bang. They’re SO hot and talented! You should definitely mention them for one of your Music Mondays. The group is hip-hop/pop/R&B style. In addition to the belief that Asians “can’t sing,” many might be surprised that they can rap very well too. Two of the members of Big Bang rap and have as much swag (if not more) as Jay-Z and Kanye West.