The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Cantando: Asian American songs

During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, multiple musical artists might come to mind. The following artists come from different Asian ethnic backgrounds and incorporate unique elements of their cultures in their music. Through their work, they have amassed big followings and reached success. They tell their stories through their songs and deliver messages of self acceptance and perseverance. The songs inspire many and help Asian Americans feel represented in a predominately white industry.


Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars’ song “Grenade” ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and sold more than 10 million copies. The song is about making sacrifices for someone he loves and not receiving it in return. A famous lyric in his song is “I would go through all this pain/ Take a bullet straight through my brain/Yes I would die for you baby/ But you won’t do the same.” In this song, he is sacrificing himself mentally and physically to do anything for the person he loves. This song shows how people will do crazy things for love and still be heartbroken in the end. 

Pretty Isn’t Pretty

Olivia Rodrigo

The song “Pretty Isn’t Pretty” is part of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts” album that was released in 2023. Twelve of the album’s tracks made the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. She garnered six Grammy nominations for the album and its songs, amounting to 12 career nominations. This song places a big emphasis on beauty and body standards that women face in society. It conveys important messages about self-love and acceptance. It also showcases the struggles women face with impossible beauty standards. 

My Love is Mine All Mine


Mitski released “My Love is Mine All Mine” in 2023, which ranked in the top 50 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song received a lot of recognition from Tik Tok, and its virality brought new audiences to the singer. The song is about giving and receiving love. To Mitski, love is something to be held onto and not be taken away like material items. She wants her love to always remain even when she is dead and wants others to know how much love means.

Comfort Crowd

Conan Gray

Conan Gray released “Comfort Crowd” in 2019 as a part of his debut album “Kid Krow.” Growing up, Gray faced difficulty fitting in being one of the few Japanese kids in his community and feeling like an outsider. In an interview with Buro, he shared he started writing music in response to the pressure of being an outcast in a predominantly white area. Friendship means a lot to Gray, and the song is about having his friends there as comfort to not feel lonely and isolated. 


Jhené Aiko

The platinum RIAA-certified song “Promises” by Jhené Aiko was released in 2014 as a part of Aiko’s debut album “Souled Out.” The song is dedicated to her daughter, Namiko Love, and her brother, Miyagi, who unfortunately passed away. The song features vocals from both and is a song for her daughter to look back on. Music is a way for her to cope and her lyrics promise that everything will be alright. The personal song expresses both love and loss.

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