Urban pop artist K u d o is the newest female Asian artist on the block. She spoke with asienne about her new song, Middle Fingers, her history with music, DJing and the #MeToo message behind her new song from her own personal experience(s).
 TRIGGER WARNING: this interview contains information about sexual assault which may be a trigger to survivors.
How did music find you? Was that what you majored in in college?
Actually no, I did go to college but I didn’t go to college for music. I majored in Bio Psych.
Against my Asian parents’ wishes, I did the music thing on the side and then they were kind of expecting me to go med school after college and I just decided I had to do this for me.
I was doing music since high school. I would DJ throughout high school, but then I took it seriously afterwards. I decided to make that what I really want to do and pursue.
Can you tell us a bit more about your Asian background?
I’m half Japanese, half Chinese. My dad’s Japanese. Everyone thinks I’m Korean (laughs).
What was that like growing up?
I mostly got asked if I’m Chinese or if I’m “Asian” and I don’t even know what that means(laughs)!
How did the DJing happen?
I was really into music, so I would end up at these parties and I taught myself how to do it and I had friend who taught me too. It was a guy friend and we were DJing together first and I started doing my own thing. I got way more gigs on my own actually (laughs).
Do you still DJ for your own music?
I primarily DJ right now. I have a studio and then I have my own DJ equipment. I do private parties, corporate parties which I bring my gear to and I also do clubs but clubs usually provide their own equipment.
What gigs do you usually cover in terms of location–NorCal or SoCal?
Oh, I’m in SoCal but I travel for gigs too. I do whatever my agents find and what I get booked for and obviously I take a look at the gig and if it fits me and if it makes sense.
How would you describe your style of music to be predominantly?
I would say it’s urban dance. I definitely incorporate electronic dance music and I really like rhythmics like hip-hop and urban flavors.
 TRIGGER WARNING: this portion of the interview contains information about sexual assault which may be a trigger to survivors.
What was the history behind Middle Fingers?
It was actually a culmination of things. I would start with the [Me Too] movement along with my own experiences. I definitely had several experiences where I was put in a position where I was sexually harassed. It didn’t get as far as it could have gone but I was really upset about it and it was someone who I knew.
When I brought it up to people, no one even believed me. Everyone blamed it on me. The only person that believed me was my sister.
I can’t even imagine…luckily I woke up during the situation and I was like ‘Woah, what’s happening?!’ Unfortunately, some girls didn’t get that. I’m sure it was much worse for them. It makes me sad when women are blamed or shamed in those situations because it’s not fair.
So that [was the inspiration], plus the Time’s Up and Me Too movements and I just felt like women weren’t paid what they deserved. I was thinking in the music industry at first–it’s still common where men are put in the dominant position. I think it’s true in every industry. The more and more I talk to other women, it’s not just music.
What impact do you hope this song could bring to people?
I really hope it just empowers and motivates people for change.
So, mostly empowerment and I think change in perception of what they think they can do in their own lives.
I really wanted to make a difference [to listeners] about what they’re worth and what they can achieve.
For more on K U D O, check her out on instagram here.