By Mimi Chen, AsAmNews Music Writer
The Futures Music Guild Initiative in a partnership with Spotify, Live Nation, and Gold House have announced the three chosen for a new initiative to amplify and accelerate Asian music artists: Ruby Ibarra, Anik Khan, and Thuy Tran.
Ibarra, a rapper, producer, director, and spoken word artist from the Bay Area, is also the co-founder of the Pinays Rising Scholarship program, which aims to provide financial support and mentorship resources for self-identifying Filipina American students. She is currently a songwriter for the FOX primetime hit show, The Cleaning Lady. When asked what it meant to be one of the featured artists, she talked about how the creation of Gold House Futures Music was so impactful for Asian American artists.
“There finally exists a platform that serves to provide resources and mentorship for artists. For many, including myself, we sometimes feel discouraged to pursue an artistic career because of the lack of representation, but just as equally, I think it’s also because of the minimal opportunities that are available that focus on fostering Asian American talent. This program tells us that we have support; that we deserve to be in those rooms and stages that could potentially change our lives,” Ibarra said to AsAmNews.
Khan hails from Queens, New York City. He’s an entrepreneur who makes hip hop that travels, drawing from immigrant roots and an inner-city upbringing. Khan’s recently released double EP, Denied // Approved explores his battle for his U.S. citizenship and reflects the realities of a global artist who is dedicated to bridging different cultures and communities together.
“I feel like I’m just getting started. I’m going to continue to bridge sounds and cultures from across the global diaspora to make sure our stories get heard. I want to be the face of the New Global,” he said.
Tran is a singer-songwriter from the Bay Area and after a successful independent radio release Hands on Me, the now LA-based artist has released several records showcasing her modern R&B stylings. Tran noted how she “didn’t really have much to look up to prior to this initiative.
“It’s incredible! I’m very excited and grateful to be a part of this community and to know that I have the support of fellow Asian American executives, creatives, and leaders in the industry really means a lot,” she said to AsAmNews.
Influential and prominent API members of the music industry chose the three artists. The selection committee included names from the rosters of Capitol, Warner Music, TaP Music, and Pitchford, such as Annie Lee (Chief Financial Officer/Executive Vice President of Operations, Interscope Geffen A&M, Arjun Pulijal (President, Capitol Music Group), and Byron Atienza (VP, Global Creative, Capitol Music Group).
Gold House is a community composed of what they call “leading API changemakers fighting together for socioeconomic equity.” It aims to transform the public narrative through innovative programs that champion authentic API representation and accelerate API success.
The three artists will be awarded an opportunity to showcase their music by participating in Spotify masterclasses with members of the music industry and will also record Spotify Singles— original artist recordings made in Spotify’s in-house studios—that will be released globally on the platform for streaming.
After recording their songs, the artists will then perform at the Live Nation presented “Gold Nation Showcase,” on May 19th at The Peppermint Club in Los Angeles during Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, with the opportunity to perform in front of industry decision-makers, luminaries, and fans.
The next initiative will open for submissions at the end of this year to choose another set of artists to promote for next year. For more information about the Futures Music Guild and how to submit to the next cohort, visit goldhouse.org/music.
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