In a highly under-represented industry, Chow Mane, born Charles Yan, is a Chinese-American rapper ready to take the world by storm. The San Jose native's debut EP Mooncakes has been lauded as a landmark release in the Asian-American hip-hop community for its intimate, honest look into the life of growing up as an Asian-identifying person in America.
Now, Chow Mane is back with the release of "Ever Since" - a more downtempo anthem still wrought with hip-hop influences. However, it is now a significant departure from his earlier releases as an Asian-interest rapper and signifies his entrance into more genre-bending music.
Striking a fine balance between flourishing imagery, ridiculous wordplay, offbeat flows and lively fun, Chow Mane weaves a narrative of relatable characters and cleverly-inserted anecdotes about his family in "Ever Since". The playful and melodic sounds highlight his personality whilst creating an engaging and infectious scene. The video, while not showing his blood family, shows him with his friends, all dancing and having the time of their lives. The psychedelic edits and cuts, help frame the energy Chow Mane brings to the table, and paints him in a laid-back, relatable manner. The experimentation in both his sound and in the visuals, is a testament to his growth as an artist; simplifying ideas so the story is more easily digestible, he has come to elevate his sound and story to new heights.
Speaking on his departure from being known as an Asian-interest rapper, Chow Mane shares: "Mooncakes was thematically about my Asian American experience, and I think it was an important piece of expression. However, since the release I’ve started to feel boxed in as an “Asian rapper” as opposed to an artist with many interests and talents. “Ever Since” is one of the first few songs where I feel like I’m liberating myself from those constraints."
His next project SIMMERING is set to release in early 2019.