YouTube Fridays: Che’nelle (and other urban artists)

Okay, it’s not Friday, but the day before Thanksgiving counts as a Friday in my work world. After flipping through radio stations, I came across “I fell in love with the dj” by Malaysian born Australian artist Che’nelle. This raggaeton song is familiar to me because while I was in Tokyo a month or two ago, it was getting major promotion and was #4 on the charts in Japan:

Hella catchy beat (and some four-to-the-floor dance remixes) aside, she hasn’t been made much of a dent in the U.S. Billboard charts. According to a PR Release, Adrienne Lau’s “Magic Tricks” was technically the first Chinese American to enter the Billboard Hot Singles chart, but besides her MySpace page, I don’t have much information about her. Her official website reveals that she’ll be singing the Pop version of the Beijing Olympics theme song. (No wikipedia entry or video on YouTube? Really? Seriously?)

Which leads me to the following question – will there ever be a major Asian or Asian-American artist on mainstream Top 40 radio? The last single I could remember on radio was CoCo Lee’s 1999 hit, “Do You Want My Love” – other attempts by Hikaru Utada didn’t do so well. I mean, it’s not for a lack of talent: R&B A Capella group At Last made the finals of America’s Got Talent, and J-Pop artist Crystal Kay has a mighty fine song called Kirakuni, although never released in the U.S. So what’s the deal? Bad marketing? Wrong A&R? Or is there just no market for Asians in the United States?

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About Ernie

I'm the creator of 8 Asians and one of the editors. While I'm a regular blogger to the site as well, think of my role as Barbara Walters on "The View," except without the weird white hair. During the day, I'm a Developer for a major Internet company and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've also been writing in my blog,, for seven years.
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