88rising's Sean Miyashiro has announced a 2019 music festival, to take place in South East Asia, as part of a larger collaboration between AirAsia, RED and the hip-hop collective.
The airline has teamed with the Bono-led non-profit RED in an effort to continue to raise awareness for people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Funds generated from the AirAsia x RED partnership will go directly to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programmes in the Asia Pacific region.
To amplify their collaboration, AirAsia have rolled out a RED-branded aircraft, and will be working with 88rising on a music festival, to be hosted in South East Asia.
During a press conference announcing the three-way partnership, 88rising founder Sean Miyashiro provided a little more info; "it's going to be the 88rising crew," he said of the upcoming event. "Rich Brian, Niki, Joji, Keith Ape, all the crew. But I think one big piece in terms of us galvanising the youth will be celebrating all the talent here in South East Asia. There's a ton of emerging music in this region that I'm personally excited about, and we wanna give them a platform as well. Expect a lot of South East Asian artists as well as big global stars."
Rich Brian dropped "Dat Stick" and introduced the world to 88rising in 2016. Only two years later, the crew is forging a deal with an airline and one of the world's biggest non-profits. It's easy to talk about this being a rapid come up, but Dumbfoundead, who performed at the launch, offered a contrasting take on the collective's rise. "It’s actually not a quick rise," the rapper told Complex. "Considering there hasn’t been that many Asian-American rappers, it’s been a journey for Asian-Americans, so if you think of it that way it’s been a long come up.”
"As far as the [88rising] brand, it’s not the timing of the company, it’s the timing of the community. And it’s not just happening in music; it’s Hollywood, entertainment, this is just the perfect timing."
Miyashiro also reflected on the impact of the crew's success. "Before, I was like 'oh we’re not trying to change the perception of Asians,' but now I actually see how important it has become to people. It gives a fire to all of us to push ourselves even more."
The 88rising x AirAsia x RED festival will take place in South East Asia in 2019. We'll give you more info as it becomes available.