To celebrate APAHM and the launch of our new name Character Media, we’ll be sitting down with notable Asian American creatives working in entertainment for a series of Q&As during the month of May.
According to his Instagram bio, Charlie Yin aka Giraffage sometimes makes music and also eats food. But to the electronic music world, the Taiwanese American artist is so much more than that. He’s the architect behind ambient, feel-good bops like “Be With You” and “Tell Me” and recently collaborated with Japanese Breakfast.
The former bedroom artist has graduated from playing to the walls of his UC Berkeley dorm room to the vast crowds of Coachella’s open-air Sahara tent. This month, he’s performing at sold-out venues as a part of Bangladeshi American producer Jai Wolf’s North American tour.
Yin’s online presence is characterized by his signature brand of off-the cuff humor. His website is ironically awful. His Twitter game is brilliant. He’s a quintessential product of the millennial generation. And, the 29-year-old Yin is one of the most prevalent Asian American names in the EDM scene.
Giraffage first spoke with us in 2017 on the heels of his critically-acclaimed LP “Too Real.” Two years later, we’re catching up with San Jose-born DJ.
Ryan Hemsworth recently described you as “a funky ’80s synth dad stuck in a handsome millennial’s body.” How would you personally describe yourself as an artist?
That’s a very flattering description — I usually just describe myself as a nerd that likes synths.
The last time you spoke with us, you mentioned that you wanted to see more Asian Americans pursue creative endeavors instead of traditional roles. Give us your best pitch for young Asian Americans (and their parents) on why they should pursue an artistic career.
Because art is fun and fulfilling! There’s a huge emphasis on acquiring as much capital as humanly possible in Asian households, but that mentality neglects self-fulfillment. Humans are naturally creative and to be able to live off of doing a creative endeavor is a beautiful thing.
You also told us in our 2017 interview “Giraffage” was a purely solo pursuit. Recently, you tweeted that you were “really into collaborating these days.” What changed?
I had a string of great studio sessions in L.A. recently and wanted to keep that fire burning. Also there are some other projects in the pipeline with other great artists—more details soon. 🙂
This past fall, you toured in places like South Korea, Singapore and the Philippines. Tell me about the experience of performing in Asia as an Asian American.
It was amazing and probably one of my favorite tours I’ve ever done. It’s a really cool and unique feeling being surrounded by people that look like you.
Are you working on any upcoming projects? Any personal goals?
I have projects in the works that I can’t announce quite yet, but I’ve been keeping busy 🙂 I’m constantly working on music.
Being 6-feet 3-inches tall, what are some difficulties that only tall people experience?
Flying sucks so much because the seats are constantly shrinking. And if the person in front of you wants to put their seat back, be prepared to be wedged in between your seat and theirs. Also, always ducking so as not to hit your head on a tree branch.
Lastly, we recently rebranded as Character Media. We want to know, who is Giraffage’s favorite Asian character?
I’ve recently rewatched “Lost” and Jin is a boss. Also, Amy Wong from “Futurama” is a babe.