The inaugural NYC Head in the Clouds Music & Arts Festival will take at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens this month on May 20th & 21st. Following successful runs in Los Angeles, Jakarta, and Manila – Head in the Clouds makes its way to the East Coast just in time for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The festival is a celebration of Asian-centric music, art, and cuisine with headliners NIKI, ITZY, Rich Brian, DPR Live & DPR Ian plus cuisine from all-Asian vendors spanning Filipino street food to Hong Kong milk tea and pan-Asian barbecue to Japanese rice bowls.
Head in the Clouds features an amazing lineup and we chose 6 up-and-coming artists from both days of the festival that you need to see. If you are not attending, use this guide as a reference for new artists to add to your playlist.
Listen: “Cloud 9” (Beach Bunny Cover), “Home” (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Cover), “Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley Cover)
Similar Artists: Avery Lynch, Catie Turner
Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and artist Paravi is set to take over the airwaves with her heartfelt sound. The Indian-American from Ohio is currently studying Musical Theater at UCLA and started posting song covers during the pandemic, quickly gaining support. While Paravi has yet to release her own music (coming this summer), her debut EP Thank You For Being Here features a collection of covers that give a soulful take on the classic tracks.
Listen: “Over 85”, “Pick Up Your Phone”, “You Feel Like”
Similar Artists: Omar Apollo, Milky Day
Hojean is a jack-of-all-trades as a singer, song-writer, producer, and visual artist. Originally from New York and currently residing in Georgia, Hojean (Justin Hojean Yi) handles every aspect of his music from his bedroom to create a unique blend of R&B and bedroom-pop. After getting his start performing in a school talent show, Hojean knew he was destined to be a performing artist and already has a debut album Swing under his belt.
Listen: “So Beautiful So Lonely”, “Travel Through the Milky Way”, “Nobody”
Similar Artists: Swami Sound, MI MI
Growing up in Shanghai, China, FiFi Zhang was surrounded by music – from her dad’s love of karaoke to her mom’s love of concerts. Initially going to school for visual design, FiFi found her love of music once again during a sound design class where a series of assignments led her to begin writing and producing her own tracks. Currently NYC-based, FiFi fuses house, rap, and pop while being a singer-songwriter, producer, DJ, visual designer, and creative director.
Listen: “ALL MY FRIENDS ARE TURNING BLUE”, “EMPTY TRASH”, “Folks”
Similar Artists: Mokyo, OnlyOneOf
Alt-Rocker LØREN has worn many hats over the years as a producer, most notably on BLACKPINK’s debut album. Currently living in Seoul but inspired by his time as an adolescent in Singapore, LØREN is always pulling inspiration from the rock anthems of his youth. After launching his career as an artist in 2021 with “NEED (ooo-eee)” and “Empty Trash,” LØREN has created his own tracks that are sure to become anthems themselves.
Listen: “Sometimes”, “Baby’s Couch”, “Don’t Look Up”
Similar Artists: Akini Jing, Ashlee Yip
Shanghai artist Xu Ruoqiao who goes by Veegee is a singer-songwriter with a heartfelt point of view at the center of her music. Launching to stardom in her native China on the talent show “The Coming One: Girls” in 2019, Veegee is a rising star and ready to take on North America with her soulful voice and rhythmic tracks.
Listen: “same squad”, “Again”, “Put Me on Somethin’”
Similar Artists: Kool John, Sage The Gemini
Filipino-American rapper P-Lo (Paolo Rodriguez) is ready to establish himself as a solo artist after producing for notable artists including Wiz Khalifa, Yo Gotti, and Trey Songz. Credited with revitalizing the Bay Area music scene as part of the rap collective HBK gang alongside his friends Iamsu!, Chief, and Skipper; P-Lo’s catchy raps are sure to cement himself as a performer who can stand on his own.
Tickets are still available for Head in the Clouds here.