WARNING: Some of the music in this article is explicit.
When I first started working on this article, my assignment was to learn about Chinese musicians. Unfortunately, at first search, I could only find slow, acoustic ballads- certainly not the music that my friends and I enjoy.
So, what I thought would be a quick assignment turned into a quest for hype Chinese music.
Awkwafina is probably the most well-known artist on this list. Her father is Chinese-American and her mother is South Korean. She’s a rapper and an actress— you might have seen her in Crazy Rich Asians or Ocean’s 8. She rose to popularity after her song “My Vag” (explicit), which was written as a response to Mickey Avalon’s “My Dick”.
Kris Wu started out as a member of the South Korean-Chinese boyband EXO and their Chinese-targeted subgroup, EXO-M. He left the group in 2014 after he sued the management company for violating human rights, overwork, and treating him like a product instead of a person.
Since then, Kris has starred in several major movies and build a successful solo career. He has collaborated with major artists like Travis Scott and Jhené Aiko.
Luhan was also a part of EXO and left shortly after Kris Wu (for similar reasons). He has been incredibly successful in his solo career. In fact, in 2017, Forbes listed him has the second highest-paid celebrity in China.
Huang Zitao, known by his stage name Z.TAO, was yet another former member of EXO. He also left the group because of mistreatment and a lack of freedom. The company countersued him for violating his contract when he started making serious solo ‘money moves’ (as Cardi B would put it).
He has released multiple albums and starred in several films.
Like many of the other artists on this list, Jolin Tsai can do it all! She’s a singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, author, fashion designer, producer, and entrepreneur.
Jolin has been making music for more than two decades and released her 14th (!!!!!) album “Ugly Beauty” last year. Her music features amazing beats and a gorgeous vocal range.
7Senses, also known as Sen7es or 7SENSES, is a subunit of the Chinese girl group SNH48. They made their debut in 2017 with the song “Girl Crush.”
Since then, they have differentiated themselves from their parent group by presenting a cooler, hip-hop image.
Jackson Wang is a Hong Kong artist who is primarily based in South Korea. He’s a member of the K-pop group Got7 and has a strong solo career as well. In China, he is a solo artist and television host.
Fun Fact: Jackson Wang was an internationally ranked junior fencer before he became a musician.
WayV is the Chinese subunit of the South Korean boyband NCT. They’re pretty new- only releasing their debut EP this year. So far, they’ve made a name for themselves with their phenomenal visuals. See for yourself!