NY Times: The Work Diary of 88rising's Pan-Cultural Hitmaker

The following is an excerpt from The New York Times. Read the full article here.

For this year’s Coachella festival, the music mogul Sean Miyashiro planned to produce a groundbreaking festival showcase for 88rising. His Los Angeles-based pan-Asian music company scheduled performances for Joji, a lo-fi Japanese crooner; NIKI, an Indonesian singer-songwriter; and Rich Brian, a viral Chinese-Indonesian rap star — as well as a label showcase featuring nearly 100 performers on one stage.

Then, of course, Coachella got canceled. “It was quite deflating,” Mr. Miyashiro said. “We were trying to create the most historic, once-in-a-lifetime set featuring Asian artists. It was going to be like a whole Broadway show.”

Since 2015, the San Francisco Bay Area native has helped Asian artists find mainstream Western success. 88rising’s roster of predominantly English-speaking R&B and hip-hop acts from Seoul, South Korea; Osaka, Japan; Hong Kong, and beyond has racked up American fans by the millions, with music that fits sonically with current domestic hits.


Mr. Miyashiro compiled a workweek diary for The New York Times in late August and early September.


8:30 a.m. Wake up to a flurry of emails and messages from never-ending group chats on five different messaging platforms in different countries. I’m pumped for this week because we have so much going on. But the first order of business is to buy four cappuccinos from a local shop, Go Get Em Tiger (one for my wife, Judy, three for me).

9 a.m. Check the WeChat app to view the final music video edit for Jackson Wang’s upcoming single, “Pretty Please.” The cut is good but it needs some color correction. I send detailed notes with exact timestamps. Jackson, who is in China, notices I’m active and FaceTimes me from the studio to give me an update on his recording sessions. It’s past midnight over there and he likely won’t leave the studio until 6 a.m.

10:30 a.m. Judy and I sit outside with Polly and Milo, our Shiba Inus, and I play her some of the new music I’m making. All of her comments make sense and she’s been right before, so I take notes and plan to make tweaks.

11:30 a.m. NIKI’s album “Moonchild” is dropping in 10 days. She and I talk about what we’ll be doing leading up to the release. We also review designs that Guess, our fashion partner, sent over; they created a collection based on her album. She says, “Oh my God! I can’t believe this!” like five times.