The Ones to Know: AAPI Creators & AAPI-Owned Businesses

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  • Text Elise Bang, Rebecca Wentworth, Randi White
  • Design Emily Zhang

For Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander Heritage Month The Ones to Know is partnering with The Round Table, D1A’s AAPI Employee Resource Group, to highlight 10 AAPI creators and AAPI-owned businesses in entertainment and arts. We call them ‘AAPIcons’ for their impact on their communities, and applaud them for shaping American culture into what it is today and what it’ll be tomorrow.

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Adrian Per - Creative & Creator

Per is a director, photographer and an all-around multi-disciplinary creative and production company co-owner of Lumpia Watermelon. He's worked with notable artists and brands such as: Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion, Kehlani, Nike, Alo Yoga and more.

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Photo credit: Adrian Per

Stephy Fung - Artist & Content Creator

Fung is a 3D digital fashion artist, educator and content creator. She is the creator of the first 3D Qipao. She has also previously launched an NFT inspired by the Chinese zodiac.

Jacob Collier - Singer & Creative Arranger

Collier is an English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has won Grammy Awards for his unique and creative arrangements of popular tunes "Flintstones" and "You and I.”

Kaitlin Hao - Rising Content Creator & Grad Student

Hao is a creator and Columbia University graduate student studying East Asian Languages and Cultures with a BA in Art History from Harvard. She teaches her audience about the intersection of East Asian history and culture.

Derrick Gee - Iconic DJ & Host

Gee is a DJ, creator, radio and podcast host who comments on cultural and all things music. He also creates custom playlists on all platforms, spreading the good vibes to everyone.

Chorus Karaoke - Modern Karaoke Pioneer

Chorus Karaoke, located in the heart of NYC, is considered one of the pioneers of the modern karaoke nightlife scene today. Chorus offers new songs each month, private rooms and the main lounge for aspiring singers to sing to their heart’s desire.


Image credit: Chorus Karaoke

Konbini & Kanpai - Bottle Shop & Convenience Store

Konbini & Kanpai, located in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood, is a family owned craft bottle shop and convenience store where you can enjoy beverages and snacks in store. The name combines the owners' love of the Japanese convenience store (aka Konbini) and Kanpai (cheers in Japanese), which speaks to the down-home memories they want to create for their community.
(Image credit: Konbini & Kanpai)

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Lucky Cheng’s - NYC’s First Drag Cabaret

Lucky Cheng’s is New York's first and longest running drag cabaret. It opened in 1993, and was East Village's first Chinese restaurant and bar where all the staff were AAPI drag queens.

OTOTO LA - Sake Tasting & Events

OTOTO LA is the perfect venue for sake class tastings, shareable food, events with influential AAPI chefs, food writers and more. They also partner with a chef team to create unique adventure packages catered to your party’s needs.

Tomi Jazz Bar - Japanese Speakeasy

Tomi Jazz is a Japanese speakeasy-type of bar in NYC that serves dinner with a live jazz show each night in an intimate setting.

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Image credit: Tomi Jazz Bar