Trace Repeat are a 6-piece Oakland based funk and soul band (think Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”, “24K Magic”, and “Treasure”) who are not only bringing you music that’ll get you up and moving (it is seriously catchy), but that brings attention to a much larger issue—Asian American stereotypes.
“So the problem is really this,” explains vocalist Wesley Woo, “Asian Americans are most commonly known as the quiet type. Silent and compliant, the submissive race. We are the quiet kid in the back of the class that minds our own business and doesn’t cause trouble. You know, a pushover, right?
What we’re really setting out to do with Trace Repeat is break down these stereotypes, in an industry that expects us to sit down, shut up, and behave. It’s an unapologetically sexy representation of funk and soul in an industry that expects us to be anything but that. We refuse to be your good Asian kid any longer.”
It’s a cause that has gained them attention on NBC News, The Huffington Post, and Mother Jones, and led to the funding (and then some) of their IndieGoGo campaign within the first week of launching, resulting in their campaign being featured on IndieGoGo’s trending page.
Their new album, The Oaktown Sound, sees them reviving the aesthetics of their Motown forefathers: Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and the tempting Temptations, to create a throwback album packed with James Brown references, Al Green harmonies, and Prince vocal runs. It’s also an album that pays homage to their roots—Oakland.
“[This album is us] paying our respects to the city that allowed us to cultivate the creativity that turned into what you hear today. We owe a lot to the creative spaces and communities in the city of Oakland, and I can only hope our record does it a little justice.”
The Oaktown Sound will be released on September 22nd, 2017.
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