Featured Articles

Explore a featured selection of my writing work below.

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K-pop Star Somi Is Kissing Goodbye to Limitations

It’s this sure sense of self that’s guided her to conquer the seemingly impossible as an artist on the cusp of worldwide domination. The music video for “XOXO” features offroad joyriding, down and dirty explosions, and spectacular rage as Somi forgets about some dusty ex, finalizing it with a handwritten “Boy, bye!” It’s an anthem for the dismissed women, now doing things their own way. Somi has always allowed herself the radical act of feeling the extremes of every emotion — whether it be love

Head In The Clouds Filled An Entire Stadium With Asian Joy

To experience 88rising’s recent Head in the Clouds festival was to feel pure jubilance. Bursting through sunny, sublime skies on November 6 and 7 was history in the making: Every space inside Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Stadium was interwoven with Asians and Asian Americans owning their power. In the middle of the gathering, an Asian plaza-inspired sign directed crowds to the heart and soul of the festival — Asian-owned restaurants and businesses. The smell of Bopomofo’s spicy Sichuan wafted through th

On ‘Gabriel,’ Singer-Songwriter Keshi Melds Two Sides of Himself

The end goal of sudoku is cut and dry: use the numbers 1 to 9 to fill in a grid of missing digits. According to the singer-songwriter Keshi, the logic and numbers puzzle is a lot like music-making. “You get clues and bits and pieces of where things are supposed to go. And then once you finish the whole puzzle, there’s the sigh of relief—like euphoria,” Keshi tells W during a Zoom call from New York, right before his first rehearsal for his Hell/Heaven tour. “It’s like your child has just been bo

Rising R&B Artist Thuy Sings to Heal Her Past

Thuy is rewriting the rules of her universe. Hailing from the East Bay town of Newark, the up-and-coming singer is carving out new paths, bringing light and vulnerability into her galaxy of sound. It’s music she’s spent her whole life wanting to make. Now, she’s found her voice, and is done waiting for what anyone else has to say. Throughout her work, 29-year-old Thuy turned the private process of reckoning with her past and present selves and translated it into TikTok-trending singles. Tracks l

Red Velvet Shine Together

Red Velvet have never been interested in following anyone else’s rules. It’s a heavy thing, to make noise and push the boundaries when the voices of women artists so often get lost in the music-industry shuffle. Though, for Red Velvet, it’s a piece of cake — note by note, line by line on their new mini-album Queendom, they harness the power of the musical empire they’ve ruled for seven years and dictate their clinic on taking charge of your own world. “Watch out! We are makin’ the rules,” the gr

How Costume Designer Brenda Cooper Ensured 'The Nanny's Fashion Would Live Forever

Like it or not, we were — and still are — one nation under Fran Fine, fashionable and with miniskirts and big hair for all. It’s undeniable Fran’s fearless ‘fits on The Nanny delivered style lesson after style lesson, influencing even recent fashion trends in an enormous way. Through a fervent commitment to styling few other people have, Emmy-award winning stylist Brenda Cooper, the mastermind behind the TV show’s most iconic looks, singlehandedly disrupted the fashion world and empowered people

TWICE

K-pop sensations TWICE are reinvigorated in their quest to reclaim their own stories. Throughout their six years as a group, TWICE took every opportunity to melodically muse on the meaning of growth, love, and longing. It’s part of a formulation that makes the group so successful: good music, incredible group chemistry, and infectious charm that strikes the screen so very few times in a lifetime. In all their iterations of solving the complicated equation of love, there is one thing the group ne

Rexx Life Raj talks Bay Area artistry, ‘California Poppy 2,’ cannabis disparities

Rexx Life Raj has assumed many roles throughout his life. Raj, at one point, was Faraji Omar Wright, a Division 1 athlete with musical aspirations and the son of a Black Panther. The Rexx Life Raj we know now is a critically acclaimed rapper who has self-proclaimed the role of the “Berkeley superhero.” He insisted it wasn’t deliberate. According to Raj, his nickname was simply a line from one of his songs that just so happened to stick. It could be daunting to some, the act of forfeiting normal