Since 2013, Honda has been providing a platform for rising artists to share their stories of imagination and determination through unique content and live events. The 2022 program with 88rising became Honda’s very first big partnership with an Asian artist collective in America.
This year, the program featured Indonesian singer-songwriter NIKI, Indonesian rapper Warren Hue, and Chinese-American independent artist mxmtoon. Their mini-documentaries give viewers a personal glance at the artists’ journeys and the challenges they faced in their journeys, and often feeling not heard and misunderstood. There aren’t many household names of Indonesian or Chinese artists changing the music scene in America, and the Honda & 88rising content series sought to change that - to introduce these most talented artists and give them a platform to share their voice and stories - as to inspire more artists from their backgrounds to rise.
The content series follows NIKI, who was the #1 Asian female solo artist by Spotify’s monthly listeners and the first Indonesian female artist to perform at Coachella in 2022. The NICOLE tour is her first solo tour and this episode takes us backstage of a stop on her 28-date sold out tour in Dallas, TX. It also featured mxmtoon, an independent artist headlined the Double Happiness stage at 88rising’s Head in the Clouds LA festival in 2022, the first and largest Asian-centric festival in America. We launched the content episode during Lunar New Year to celebrate her cultural roots, showcase the new music she toured around the world with in 2022.
As a whole, artists in the pan-Asian community lack representation in mainstream media. There were so many artists that 88rising and Honda wished to highlight in this series, but were unable to feature due to bandwidth and resources. This made the selection process incredibly difficult. They hope to be able to feature more API artists next time around. On the operational level, there were multiple hurdles including timeline changes, bridging the gap between brand vs artist priorities, and accurately capturing the stories they wished to share.
For example, Warren Hue is a young rapper hailing from Indonesia and now living in Los Angeles. He performed to a massive crowd on the main stage of Coachella 2022 during 88rising’s historic label set. This is the 1st docu-featurette and deep dive on the next biggest Asia super star rapper, overcoming his fear and moving across the world for a chance to make it in LA.
Profiling artists’ journeys and live performance content is nothing new. But our series is directed by a breath of fresh air, the award winning female director: Natalie Johns - which stripped back the live performances to really focus in on the artist’s talent and their music and voice. For the profile pieces of the artists’ journey, we took a fresh approach on breaking down the phases of the artists’ journeys and inviting audiences into a personal take at things that even their closest fans may not be clued in on.
Through their unique partnership, 88rising and Honda were able to create a behind-the-scenes look at three very successful artists’ experiences breaking into the music scene. 88rising and Honda were able to work together to capture impactful and organic messages while meeting brand and advertising ambitions. NIKI’s first car ever is a Honda, mxmtoon’s fans feel very proud of her for being featured by Honda, and Warren Hue’s first live recorded performance of his latest singles incorporating energetic and artistic choreography captured fans’ hearts. The organic connections amplified the impact of this partnership and was proven by a tremendously positive social sentiment around the brand and the artists.