Fuse is celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future Asian and Pacific History before our eyes. Yes, we're highly aware that Far East Movement initially broke out in 2010 with the inescapable No. 1 smash "Like a G6," which was a barrier-breaking moment on its own, but what they've been doing most recently is perhaps even more important and solidifying their place in history even more so.
The FM guys' most recent album Identity was released on October 21, 2016, with the record specifically focusing on bridging stars from the West and East. The results ranged from moving ("Fighter" featuring Yoon Mirae, who is half Korean American and half African American, is a soothing ballad-anthem) to genre bending ("Don't Speak" is an explosion of glittery, glitchy dance-pop with Girls' Generation's Tiffany and L.A. producer King Chain) to straight up bangers ("Freal Luv" with Marshmello, Tinashe, and EXO's Chanyeol was the first single while the disco-rap attack "SXWME" brought together chart-toppers MNEK and Jay Park).
All the more significant, it was released under the outfit's own Transparent Music label which meant no compromising for old music industry executives and outdated standards—areas that FM has revealed to have affected them personally. "When we were first starting in the music industry people would telling us to wear glasses and change our name from Far East movement because it's 'too Asian,'" the band said when speaking about the inspiration behind Identity. They continued:
"It was a different time, but that type of stuff stays with you and affects your perspective...we decided to disconnect, work on building our production and writing skills, spend time traveling around Asia learning the music scene, the business culture and proper customs. The trips gave us some real clarity on our own identity and what we want to do next in our own lives, which gave us the inspiration to make a new album."
That album has been perhaps one of the loudest declarations of Asian and Pacific pride in pop music with the charts and radio welcoming it.
Furthermore, Identity wasn't just a one-off concept project for the band, but rather a marker of their musical and professional lifestyle. The band have a slew of major talent signed to Transparent Music including rapper Dumbfoundead and the DJ/producer Yultron, both of whom are making big moves in America and in Asia via major collaborations and consistent touring. FM is not taking their platform, access and success for granted and is instead using those resources to help lift up the talented artists coming from similar backgrounds and beginnings.
Far East Movement are living examples of the brilliance that can come by truly embracing and exploring all aspects of one's identity, an example anyone of any race, background or culture can and should be encouraged to follow.
We're celebrating Future Asian & Pacific History with videos, music, a new documentary and more, premiering all month long on Fuse! Tune in and come back to Fuse.tv every day to see a new spotlight. Don't miss Far East Movement in our Future Asian & Pacific History music block on Saturday morning, May 6, at 9/8c. Find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder.
Next, listen to Fuse's K-pop podcast K-Stop review Far East Movement's Identity album at 44:30 in a special episode below: