Japanese Rapper Signs With Universal Music Group

Japanese rapper Awich is gearing up for her major-label debut EP "Partition" (August 21, Universal Music Group) with the release of second single and video for "Bad Bad," out today. The record focuses on the uncertainty of new love, from the strength of taking on the world with someone new by your side, to the strange feeling of weakness around wanting someone to stay. "Bad Bad" showcases a slower vibey side of the rapper, a true multifaceted artist. First single "Shook Shook" made waves last month, garnering Awich a deluge of excitement from fans, and well deserved notice stateside. She was invited to participate in FADER’s Digital Fort in July to speak on the Black Lives Matter movement in Japan, and we’re incredibly excited to announce that she’s been chosen as Consequence of Sound’s Artist of the Month for August!

The video for "Bad Bad", premiering HERE with Consequence of Sound was directed by Kento Yamada (Double Tokyo) and shot entirely on the beautiful island of Okinawa, where Awich came up. The stunning locations were scouted by the rapper herself, and the wistful, at times haunting video features real life friends, life and love on Okinawa, and her daughter. Of the direction of the video and Awich, director Yamada states, "A rapper, a woman and a mother. I’m honored to be able to capture various faces of Awich on this video in her homeland Okinawa."
In just a few short years Awich has established herself as one of Japan’s top hip-hop artists and is actively working to redefine the hierarchy of the community in Japan, both in regards to women in hip hop, as well as around the Black Lives Matter movement. The Japanese rapper has also been attracting growing attention and acclaim internationally. Awich was featured on Red Bull and 88rising’s long form documentary "Asia Rising: The Next Generation of Hip Hop" as one of the leading rappers in Asia. She’s also done collabs with the likes of Polish rapper Tymek and Brazilian MC Krawk amongst others.

Awich, short for "Asia Wish Child," taken from her birth name "Akiko," is a name she created to reflect her roots. A child growing up on her home island of Okinawa, Awich would stay up through the night writing poetry about varieties of things such as life, love, the universe and etc. Her first encounter with hip hop was listening to Tupac’s All Eyes on Me when she was 13, and her primary English textbook hailed from Tupac’s lyrics, interviews, movies and books. A 14 year old Awich was featured on the local hip hop compilation album "Orion Beat" showcasing various Okinawan artists, and in 2006 she released her debut EP "Inner Research", and that same year relocated to Atlanta to attend school during the height of the southern hip-hop boom.  The move between Tokyo and Atlanta inspired her first full album Asia Wish Child in 2007.  During her time stateside, she married a New York native and gave birth to her daughter, Toyomi Jah’mira.

In 2011, armed with a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing the family was preparing for a move back to Okinawa when her husband was shot and murdered. Awich returned home with just her daughter and faced seemingly endless depression and self-questioning. This intense process of introspection was cathartic and helped her reevaluate a more profound meaning of life, love, and forgiveness. She emerged from tragedy stronger than ever and ready to follow her path, inspired by her life experience and intense desire to change the status quo.