Pushing Boundaries

Pushing Boundaries: Celebrating Asian and Pasifika Experiences Through Music


Join KEXP as we celebrate Pushing Boundaries! This May, we’ll be centering Asian and Pasifika voices locally and nationally in conversation with the Asian and Pasifika diaspora. From historical pioneers to contemporary innovators, international game-changers to artists molding Seattle’s creative landscape, Pushing Boundaries is moving past borders and conceptions to honor the musical contributions of our Asian and Pasifika neighbors.

This year’s programming will be different from last year’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration. Rather than focusing primarily on American artists of Asian and Pasifika descent, we wanted to celebrate artists from the diaspora, stories of migration, and mixed-race identity. Throughout the month, we’ll be presenting new interviews and articles, Live on KEXP at Home sessions with must-hear artists, brand new podcast offerings, guest DJ sets from local musicians, and much more. 

We also want to share our commitment to more coverage of Asian and Pasifika artists and issues year-round. As a white-led organization, we acknowledge our previous shortcomings in allyship and look to Asian- and Pasifika-led organizations and leaders in our community to guide us as we continue toward our commitment to equitable programming at KEXP. 

Learn more about the Pushing Boundaries designs from illustrator Alana Louise.


Community Resources

As we celebrate Asian and Pasifika artists in the best way we know how – through music! – explore the many organizations doing life-saving and culture-shaping work for Asian and Pasifika communities in our resources section.

Learn More


Live on KEXP at Home


Throughout May, we'll be featuring artists from throughout the Asian diaspora on our YouTube channel as a part of our Live on KEXP at Home session series. Subscribe to our channel to catch these must-see sessions and look forward to more in the coming months. 

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CHAI / May 7
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TEKE::TEKE / May 10
Miss Grit / May 14
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No-No Boy / May 17
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Vex Ruffin / May 28
Japanese Breakfast / May 31

Past Sessions

Haley Heynderickx [Bandcamp]
Sasami [Bandcamp]
Mitski [Bandcamp]
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down [Bandcamp]
Kikagaku Moyo [Bandcamp]
Cibo Matto [Web Store]
The Flavr Blue [Bandcamp]
Jay Som [Bandcamp]
Japanese Breakfast [Bandcamp]
Shugo Tokumaru [Bandcamp]
Bo Ningen [Bandcamp]
Tomo Nakayama [Bandcamp]


Designer Alana Louise on the Pushing Boundaries Artwork

"The artwork of events that celebrate a widely diverse group of cultures tend to focus on the depictions of a single one. It’s truly difficult to find an inclusive representation of so many different backgrounds. When I was approached for this project, I knew that I wanted to create something that many could have a connection to.
As a Filipina immigrant, I grew up believing superstitions from family members and family friends through elaborate stories that always had some connection to nature. In my research I learned that creatures like ‘tikbalang’ – a half horse, half human in Filipino folklore, is an entity that also exists in Hinduism and Buddhism with representations in India, Tibet, Japan, and China. Several cultures seemed to have their own interpretations of a similar spirit and this idea sparked the concept for these images.

The four creatures represented in separate styles include a serpent, a rooster, a canine, and a tortoise. These are not as often depicted as a dragon or tiger, but are symbolic creatures with deep roots in stories told throughout generations in the Asia-Pacific."

Alana Louise is an artist, first generation immigrant, and Asian American in Seattle, WA. You may view her work at www.alana-louise.com.
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