From Hoyeon to Clinton Kane, these Asia-Pacific artists are taking on the world
JThe Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2022: The list of entertainment and sports is star-studded, and it’s easy to see why after a turbulent year in Asia-Pacific.
From the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics that finally took place a year later than originally planned, to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing – The region was a hub for sport despite the ongoing pandemic. 15 of the Olympians who have competed in either event make the list this year, including our youngest winner, 14-year-old Japanese gold medalist in skateboarding. Momiji Nishiya.
But that’s not all. Korean drama took off globally in 2021, thanks to Netflix’s most-watched series of all time, squid gamewith a 27-year-old model turned actress Hoyeon.
In 2020, Hoyeon (whose real name is Jung Hoyeon) was struggling to land modeling gigs, so she decided to try her hand at acting after watching Netflix shows between jobs. Less than two years later, she made her acting debut in the Netflix original series: squid game.
Hoyeon played Kang Sae-byeok, a brooding North Korean defector, in the dystopian South Korean drama. Her heartbreaking performance won her Best Actress in a Drama Series at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, beating out Hollywood stars including Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
Hoyeon has also gained millions of fans – her Instagram account has nearly 24 million followers – and became a brand ambassador for Louis Vuitton last year. The model-turned-actress runner-up on the popular reality TV show Korea’s Next Top Model in 2013– not slowing down. She is set to star in the next Apple series Warningwritten and directed by Oscar-winning actor Alfonso Cuarón, who has previously directed blockbusters like Gravity and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. She is also expected to star in the drama film Housekeepers alongside Lily-Rose Depp.
This year’s list also includes some of Asia-Pacific’s top musical talent, who are gaining popularity around the world.
In Australia, the singer-songwriter Clinton KaneHis soulful voice and sweet lyrics have made him a TikTok sensation with 1.8 million followers. Less than a year after recording covers and posting self-penned songs on YouTube, he was picked up by Columbia Records in 2019 and has an album in the works. Born in Perth to a Filipina mother and a Norwegian father, Kane is a self-taught singer and plays piano, guitar and drums.
US-based Indonesian rapper Warren Hue (real name Warren Hui) is set to declare himself “Boy of the Year”, the title of his next album, after signing with multinational label 88rising and rapping on four songs on Marvel’s Shang Chi and the legend of the ten rings soundtracks. Warren originally produced tracks on Apple’s GarageBand software in his bedroom under the gaming username warrenisyellow. His single “omomo punk” won this year’s NME award for best song by an Asian artist.
thai singer Peeralada Soukawatplaying the role of Pyre, has gone from an electro-R&B songwriter channeling Buddhist and Taoist themes to “dystopian pop”, with music videos alluding to the 1976 student massacre in Thailand and the ongoing youth protests in Bangkok. Her effortless vocals and desire to achieve social change caught the attention of Warner Music Thailand and NME, who named her one of 100 Emerging Artists to Watch in 2021. Pyra became the first Thai performer at the Burning Man Festival .
In Singapore, Yung RajaThe stylish, multilingual rapper has gained a global following after US label Alamo Records signed him last year. A first-generation Singaporean son of Indian parents, he caught the attention of the Tamil diaspora with his fast lyrics and references to Tamil poetry and food and the Hindu religion. Yung Raja (real name Rajid Ahamed) expressed his gratitude for being able to take care of his parents as an artist while adding to the Singapore rap scene.
performing as PRC Fishing, Shaylee Curnow imbues his music with feelings of vulnerability and difficult emotions, including writing about synesthesia and mental health. The Aussie started making comedy advice and self-care videos on TikTok before releasing her debut single, “Blondes,” which amassed over 4 million Spotify streams. Her highest-charting single, “Josh,” debuted at No. 38 on the ARIA Singles Chart, and her latest, “God Is A Freak,” where she came out as a lesbian, is for those who have left conservative anti-LGBTQIA Christian communities.
Additional reporting by John Kang.
For more on these young stars and athletes, read our full list Entertainment and Sports here – and be sure to check out our full coverage of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia here.