May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, providing us with the perfect opportunity to feature the incredible Asian-Canadian talent we have in our country—talent like Shanghai-born, Asian-Canadian musician SSUN, who recently launched her first-ever EP, Eclipse, written during the pandemic. We asked her to share some of her thoughts around the importance of celebrating her Asian heritage, now more than ever.
“The challenges facing the Asian community this past year has created a ripple effect that impacts all of us,” she says. “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 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 complexity to Asian artists! 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 song writing are my first and foremost passions.”
SSUN’s music is about embracing universal, human emotions. Dear Lover is an ode to those lost during COVID-19, and Motive is 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 song writing provides a unique voice to the music scene and represents an otherwise unheard voice. I want to inspire people through singing to realize that we are all so much more similar and intricate than we think we are.” —Vita Daily