Just in case you missed it.
African-American icons like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Mary J. Blige are often associated with soul music. Even some white artists have found success in this genre. But Asian-American soul artists have yet to break through into the mainstream. Host Allison Keyes talks with culture and music critic Oliver Wang about a number of soulful Asian singers who are trying to reverse that trend.Check it on in full down at NPR.
ALLISON KEYES, host:
Say you're bopping around on YouTube and you might come across this.
(Soundbite of song, "Trust You")
Ms. HEATHER PARK (R&B singer): (Singing) I can't trust you. You are too smooth. So smooth. I can't be with you. No.
KEYES: That's Heather Park. She's sexy. She's soulful. And she just happens to be Korean. She's the latest in the tradition of Asian-American soul singers who are trying - so far, unsuccessfully - to break into mainstream music. That's her new single "Trust You."
Here to tell us more about what Asian-American singers face in the music business is Oliver Wang. He's a cultural critic and a sociology professor at Cal State Long Beach. He joins us from member station KPCC in Pasadena.
Professor OLIVER WANG (Sociology, California State University, Long Beach): Hey, good to be back.
KEYES: So tell us about this Heather Park and this sort of poppy reggae thing she has going. What kind of reception is she getting?