AIM (Asians in Music) Magazine

Problem Statement: 
Asian American music artists lack media exposure and have difficulty standing out in the mainstream music industry. 

Purpose Statement: 
This study was done to design a product showcasing Asian American music artists in a positive and empowering light – breaking preconceived stereotypes and adding diversity to the current music industry. 

Target Audience: 
People ages 15-30 
Asian American youth 
People with interest in the music industry 
People seeking to find new music artists 

Impact Statement: 
This project will impact Asian American music artists, the Asian American community, and the music industry in terms of creativity, innovation, and diversity. 

  • Creative/Innovation Impact – This project will have a creative impact in the music industry by offering a unique blend of music that is rarely seen in mainstream music 
  • Economic Impact – By adding diversity into the music market and providing people with new music, this will generate more sales. In addition, this will be targeting Asian Americans, who hold strong and often untapped economic power. 
  • Cultural Impact – Since this project will be focused on showcasing talented Asian American music artists, the public will be exposed to a more diverse group of musicians. We seldom see Asian American artists in mainstream media, so this exposure can break stereotypes and empower people to follow their dreams. 
  • Societal Impact – The more the general public is exposed to Asian Americans as part of our society and mainstream music, the more people will be accepting of them and not view them as “foreign”.

Ever since I started college, I have been consistently active in the Asian American community. I was first exposed to Asian American issues through the Asian American Studies and Ethnic Studies courses taken at San Francisco State University. It was astounding how much history I lacked knowledge of throughout grade school. I wondered, why was I never exposed to any of these issues or problems affecting these community of people? Being a second-generation Asian American and growing up dealing with society’s perceptions of myself and my culture created a sense of inner conflict and duality.

There are constant stereotypes and assumptions placed on Asian Americans, and a large reason for this is due to their lack of media exposure. For this project, I wanted to address the importance of Asian Americans in the media, in the entertainment industry, television, film, music, as well as in sports. However, I will zone in on a specific aspect of the entertainment industry and focus on the lack of exposure for Asian American musicians. The reason I’m choosing musicians is because their talent is heard through the ears and not the eyes. Though people under the limelight in the music industry must adhere to a set of standards in terms of appearance and stage presence, that raw musical talent must be there also. It is tough to enter the music industry in general, but it is even tougher to enter as an Asian American. They are often deemed as "undesirable" and much harder to market, because they are still seen as “foreign” and an “outsider”. How do we break these preconceived stereotypes?

I recall at a young age flipping through magazines and wondering, why don’t I see any “familiar faces” (i.e. other Asian Americans)? All of the people who graced the covers of magazines, billboards, and television were primarily Caucasian or African American. I feel that for young Asian Americans, they need to see some positive role models in their lives, especially depicted in the media. Therefore, my design solution to this project is to create a magazine dedicated to Asian Americans in music and the arts – to showcase their talent as well as providing an outlet for young Asian Americans to find role models.