“Asian people love to party. They’re the only ones who are still partying at 8am.”
Far East Movement have discussed overcoming stereotypes and their first trip to Asia.
The ‘Like A G6’ stars are set to play Hong Kong’s Central Harbourfront on 19 January as part of the Billboard Radio Live. In an interview with SCMP, the all Asian-American group said the trip was their visit to Asia.
“We’d never been to Asia before,” said band member Kevin Nishimura, AKA Kev Nish. “It was a culture shock; we just knew the stuff we’d seen on TV. We were surprised how many people spoke English.”
“And we were like, ‘Wow, everyone here has black hair’ – we were used to a lot more diversity in Los Angeles. Also, a lot of what we do is just like a bunch of dudes jumping around and yelling, and we found that didn’t always work there, so we learned a lot about how to put on a show.”
James Roh, AKA Prohgress added, “we also found that Asian people really love to party. They’re the only ones who are still partying at 8am.”
Nish also spoke positively about Hong Kong, saying their activities are “built around shopping. It’s really ahead in terms of fashion and technology.”
The Rocketeer singers also spoke about struggling with stereotypes the music industry branded them with in the early days, which criticised the band for being “too Asian”.
“It was weird,” says Kev Nish. “We’ve been told that ever since we started, and we expected nothing less, but we are a bunch of positive people, and we like to feel that our destiny’s in our own hands.”
“The biggest complaint when working with Western artists is it can be so impersonal; it feels detached. We thought: if we’re going to make a record that represents both cultures, let’s make the investment in a plane ticket,” Nish added.
Consequently, Far East Movement’s most recent Identity, featured a number of collaborations with Korean artists including Chanyeol, Hyolyn, Yoon Mi-rae, Loco and Urban Zakapa. Nish also discussed how the South Korean music industry differed from the US.
“They’ve scientifically figured out the A&R process, and how to get hits to artists. And it was cool, because the labels were very supportive of them working with us,” he said.