The First All-Asian Music Radio Station in America


Lauren Zhu, Managing Editor

On December 3, 2020, broadcasting company SiriusXM debuted the first all-Asian music channel in North America: 88rising Radio. Listeners can tune in to this commercial-free station 24/7 all across the United States, through car radios on SiriusXM’s channel 305, or via online streaming on the SiriusXM website and app. 

88rising Radio was created by 88rising, a Los Angeles-based music and media label focused on promoting Asian artists around the globe. With leading artists like Joji, Rich Brian, Niki, and more, 88rising’s goal to bridge the gap between the East and West through music and culture has been unceasingly met, the company becoming the forefront of intercontinental pop-cultural fusion. 88rising Radio will broaden the scope of American radios, bringing in multi-genre artists from all over Asia and highlighting the great Asian American artists we have at home. 

The station will hold daily programs, starting the day with Dumb Early hosted by rapper Dumbfoundead, followed by SOSUPERSOUNDS with singer SOSUPERSAM. In 2021, 88rising Radio will feature The Greatest 8, the soon-to-be first ever global Asian countdown show. Other plans for future programs are in the making, including a comedy broadcast with comedian Joel Kim Booster, and a variety-podcast with singer-guitarist Jae of rock band Day6. The radio station, once traveling is safe, will also serve as a platform for touring artists, where they can perform and conduct interviews. 

88rising Radio began its launch with a 24-hour artist takeover, featuring renowned Asian and Asian American artists Yuna, beabadoobee, Stephanie Poetri, mxmtoon, and more, each DJ-ing their music and giving performances. Many of these artists also revealed their experiences and how they found their way onto the music scene. Malaysian singer Alextbh shared his gratitude towards the creation of the radio station, “[I have] this sense of pride knowing that I’m inside this sphere and in this community that accepts me for who I am in terms of my identity and my culture.” Asian American singer-songwriter Keshi talked of representation, and explained his own music inspiration, Korean R&B artist Dean, “It was really motivating to see that [the R&B/trap/soul wave] was a worldwide phenomenon, and somebody from Asia was doing it too.”

The all-Asian artist roster on 88rising Radio is an enormous change to the United States’ minimal media representation of the East. “This is a great indicator of where Asian music has come today,” Sean Miyashiro, founder and CEO of 88rising explained. “Just playing Asian music 24 hours a day is a huge win and a massive step forward.” 88rising Radio is incredible for Asian and Asian American artists, who have had nearly no airplay on American radios in the past, but also for regular Asian American citizens, who will finally be able to turn on the radio and sing along with artists that look like them and speak their language.