American television channel CNN dedicated an episode of their segment Street Food with Roy Choi to Korean-American artists Dumbfoundead and TOKiMONSTA.
The two musicians, Jonathan Park and Jennifer Lee who go by Dumbfounded and TOKiMONSTA, respectively, were featured on the show for being Asian-Americans who are pushing the boundaries of race to culture. The two, who are both from Los Angeles, California, discussed how their music careers started, bringing up the unique cultural aspects of the city of LA and its influences on their success. Dumbfoundead and TOKiMONSTA brought up the challenges they face in the American music industry in context of race and gender.
TOKiMONSTA, who is a music producer as well as a DJ, discussed the problem of gender discrimination, noting that “I don’t want to be someone’s number one favorite female producer, I’d rather be your 10th favorite overall but don’t, like, categorize me.” Despite being of the minority gender in her field of producing, she’s found a lot of success over the past couple of years. A word of advice she gave to Roy Choi was, “You can’t think about what other people are gonna think of you, cause then you’ll never innovate.”
Dumbfoundead largely discussed the positive aspects of Los Angeles, noting that its cultural diversity has helped him branch out to other communities, while at the same time keeping in touch with his own. He mentioned, “There’s Asian kids out there that look at me like ‘oh, he’s just not my hero, he’s like my Asian hero’.”
Roy Choi, the host of the CNN segment, stated, “It’s hard for Asian-Americans to succeed in entertainment, but these two are doing it, and their music and identity are forging new paths for all of us.”
What do you think about Dumbfoundead and TOKiMONSTA’s remarks? Check out the full segment on CNN below!
— CNN (@CNN) November 18, 2014