88rising started out as an American mass media company instead of a music creative group. Founder Sean Miyashiro started with rapper Jonathan Park aka Dumb Found Dead and Brian Puspos, who did dance choreographies for other artists.
But it was South Korean rapper Keith Ape's viral hit "It G Ma" that propelled Asian rap to popularity, which is rare. Miyashiro contacted Keith Ape and from there, they made collaborations with other hip-hop artists. Asian music was slowly getting recognition thanks to their efforts.
This allowed the company to sign new promising artists, make amazing music, and release more content on YouTube. The following are some of 88rising's most popular stars music lovers ought to look out for:
George Kusunoki Miller is a Japanese-Australian singer with a music style that many define as a mix of R&B and trip hop. His EP In Tongues and debut studio album Ballads 1 made it to top ranks in various music charts. Most notable is the album reaching the top spot of Billboard's R&B and hip-hop chart on November 2018. This is the first time an Asian artist reached the top of the chart dominated mostly by non-Asians in the past.
Before he became Joji to focus more on melancholic and serious music, he was most popular as shock humor YouTuber going by nicknames Filthy Frank and Pink Guy. Miller made a significant impact in early YouTube content along with PewDiePie and many others.
The former meme icon joined 88rising in 2017. His most recent work is "Daylight" in collaboration with music producer Diplo. The song is included in his second studio album Nectar coming this September 25, 2020.
Brian Immanuel Soewarno was formerly known as Rich Chigga before changing his artist name to Rich Brian. His debut single "Dat $tick" went viral in Vine few months after he launched it on SoundCloud.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the viral song caught international attention was when 88rising released a reaction video. Ghostface Killah, 21 Savage, and many other American rappers reacted and praised the song in the said YouTube video. Ghostface Killah and Pouyah later worked with Rich Brian to release a remix of the "Dat $tick" rap song.
The Indonesian rapper has two albums to date, with debut album Amen in 2018 and second studio album The Sailor in 2019.
Rich Brian is currently working on an EP and he released the single "Don't Care" from it.
Nicole Zefanya rose to prominence when she opened the act for Taylor Swift in the American country singer's Jakarta tour. She was rewarded the spot after winning a competition by Walls, an ice cream brand in Indonesia. From there, her YouTube channel audience grew as she continue to upload covers as well as her own original songs. NIKI later released two singles "See U Never" and "I Like U" under 88rising's record label.
Stephanie Poetri Dougharty is known for her Avengers-inspired hit song "I Love You 3000" back in 2019. The pop singer is daughter of Indonesian pop diva Titi DJ and American Andrew Hollis Dougharty. Because of her music roots, she started writing music and launched her first song "Appreciate." Released in 2019, the bilingual song had Bahasa Indonesian and English lyrics. It was also this year when 88rising label signs her up as part of their roster of talented musicians.