Head In The Clouds 2024 Celebrated the Richness of Asian Artistry and Music - Mission

Head In The Clouds 2024 Celebrated the Richness of Asian Artistry and Music

By Kala Herh.

Last weekend, all your favorite Asian artists gathered in New York City to usher in Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. 

Festival season is upon us, and among the many names featured in the lineup posters are artists of Asian heritage. From Mitski to New Jeans, Asian musicians are making waves in music and slowly rising to headliner status. But one place where Asian artists have always taken center stage? The Head In The Clouds Festival. 

The internationally renowned festival, organized by 88rising, showcases Asian music, art, and cuisine—and has since 2018. This year, the two-day festival took over Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York, after a sensational East Coast debut last year. The celebration, produced in partnership with The Bowery Presents and Goldenvoice, highlighted Asian talent across a range of genres. This included festival mainstays Joji and (G)I-DLE as well as explosive emerging acts ATARASHII GAKKO!, thuy, Juliet Ivy, Dhruv, and Spence Lee. Transforming Forest Hills Stadium into a beacon of Asian culture, the event also saw an equally diverse food court highlighting New York’s best offerings (Silk, Rokstar Chicken, 5ive Spice, Obao Noodles & BBQ, and Gai Chicken & Rice). 

Because Head In The Clouds focuses on artists from the Asian continent and the Asian diaspora—many of who are performing in the US for the first time—its lineups always present a variety of fresh acts. Every year, festival attendees have the opportunity to discover something new as artists from China, Korea, and Japan perform a specially curated setlist for their US audience. 

Head In The Clouds New York is the second North American iteration of 88rising’s festivals. Alongside its sister celebration in Los Angeles, the festival has made its mark in Jakarta, Manila, and China in recent years. Didn’t get a chance to catch the festival last weekend? Add these five artists to your playlists. 

Warren Hue 

The Jakarta-born musician Warren Hue has propelled himself from hometown hero to international sensation since debuting BOY OF THE YEAR in 2022. As a rapper, singer, and producer, Warren draws inspiration from his diverging musical interests to create his ever-evolving sound. From R&B and alternative hip-hop to house and electronic, Warren is unafraid to explore and veer towards the unconventional. For example, his latest releases (“TENNESSEE” and “SPLIT”, which he played last Sunday) blur traditional genre lines and detail his growing confidence as a star in the making. “This year’s festival was really nice,” Warren shares with Mission. “Everyone was showing love and I saw some fans repping BOY OF THE YEAR with the gloves and the merch. I also felt like it was my favorite tracklist yet. It had the best balance of songs and performing new songs is always exciting to me.  I can’t wait for the next time I’m in NYC.” 

Lyn Lapid

Over the past year, Lyn Lapid has affirmed herself as an emerging artist to watch. Lyn began her career posting ukulele covers on YouTube, steadily building her fanbase on social media. Soon, a snippet of her “Producer Man” track exploded. Produced by Dan Nigro, the song gathered over 70 million views and 8 million likes. Lyn later followed up with her debut EP, The Outsider, dedicated to all “the outsiders” like herself. The project features fan favorites “In My Mind” (now Certified Gold), “I Guess That Was Goodbye,” and “The Outsider.” Hot off the heels of her Head In The Clouds performance, Lyn will release a new single, “Back From The Dead,” with mxmtoon this Friday, May 17. 

wave to earth

Korean indie rock band wave to earth first emerged on the scene in 2019 with their single “Wave,” which they shortly followed up with two EPs (wave 0.01 and summer flows 0.02). The band comprises of three members: singer-songwriter Daniel Kim, drummer Don Q, and bassist John Cha. And while the members hail from Seoul, Korea, they write and perform mainly in English. Their first long-play album 0.1 flaws and all. is split into two discs, with the A-side capturing the band’s bright pop side and the B-side highlighting their more jazzy and lo-fi roots. When it comes to who they are, wave to earth shares they’re best understood through their name: “One day, I saw the biggest wave in my life, and I thought, let’s make a big wave with my friends,” Daniel says.

Deb Never

Among this new class of artists defining our generation is Deb Never, who hails from Washington State. The alternative hip-hop artist pulls from her experiences growing up in the Pacific Northwest, and her songs often touch on girlhood, queerness, and being Asian American. The now, LA-based songwriter has also built up an enviable list of cosigns—she’s been featured on songs by Brockhampton, Slowthai, and Lava La Rue and collaborated with Kenny Beats, Dylan Brady, and Shlohmo. This weekend, armed with her acoustic guitar, Deb performed fan favorite singles like “Momentary Sweetheart” and “Someone Else.” 


The 25-year-old singer BIBI has been a Head In The Clouds regular since her US festival debut at the 2021 event in Los Angeles. In the intervening years, the South Korean musician has collaborated with artists spanning all genres, like Baby Tate, Becky G, LE SSERAFIM, and fellow Head In The Clouds 2024 performer Soyeon of (G)I-DLE.  And now, after performing around the world, BIBI brought her self-proclaimed “bad bitch” persona to Forest Hills with hits like “The Weekend” and “BIBI VENGEANCE.” Her music traverses various genres, including R&B, hip-hop, and alt-pop.

All imagery courtesy of 88rising.