SSUN celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by getting back in the studio
May is officially Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and SSUN celebrates as she prepares her first full length album. Over the past year, Asian artists have worked tirelessly to gain representation and recognition for their contributions to Canadian and American culture and society. Shanghai-born, Toronto-based musician SSUN hit the scene earlier this year with her first-ever EP, Eclipse, and has identified how her Asian heritage is inextricably linked to her identity and her music. SSUN is now preparing for her first full length album during a time when celebrating Asian heritage has become a prominent response to backlash among the community this past year, as Asian Americans continue to be the subject of rising hate crimes.
“The challenges facing the Asian community this past year has created a ripple effect that impacts all of us,” says musician SSUN. “I’m proud to be Chinese, and I’m also proud to live in Toronto as a resident. Toronto has embraced my culture in an unexpected way, and it pains me to see the turmoil and conflict happening within our society today, leading to this rise in hate crimes against Asian people. I launched my EP Eclipse in February and noticed it coincided with Lunar New Year, which I interpreted as fate and good luck. I knew instantly it was the right decision to share my heritage with the world, and be proud of who I am and where my roots began. I announced the this fateful coincidence in all press materials. Living in Toronto has allowed me to grow into myself, and having a cosmopolitan upbringing between two countries has shown to me that now, more than ever, is the time to move beyond a singular identity. We’re all so complex.”
SSUN further commented on her move to Canada, saying, “Living in North America has exposed me to stereotypes, too. For example, I was surprised to learn that a lot of North Americans assume all Asian musicians were K-Pop stars. There’s so much more diversity in Asian music than that! For one, we’re not all Korean. I grew up in Shanghai with musically-talented parents. My father began teaching me piano at the age of three and my mother was a singer. Singing and songwriting are my first and foremost passions.”
SSUN’s music is about embracing universal, human emotions. She wrote her EP, Eclipse, during the pandemic and under lockdown. Dear Lover is an ode to those lost during COVID 19, and Motive was a progressive track she used to lift her own spirits up, by dancing and smiling freely again.
“I’m very happy to begin the process of starting a full length album. I hope that this commitment to songwriting provides a unique voice to the music scene and represents an otherwise unheard voice. I don’t want anyone to ever feel alone.”
We would like to thank Jyoti Minhas of Minhas PR for the artist profile.