The TAO of YU

The Professor and DJ.


My first time being exposed to Shortkut (Jonathan Cruz) was when I saw the Triple Threat DJs in the early 2000s at Kelly's Mission Rock, Grandmaster Flash may have DJ'd at the same event. Whether it's at Stern Grove, his monthly residency at the Emporium San Francisco, or Outside Lands, it's always a privilege getting the opportunity to catch one of the Bay Area's OG turntable masters at work, DJ Shortkut. He is a member of three of the most influential DJ crews in history: The Invisbl Skratch Piklz, Beat Junkie Sound & The Triple Threat DJs. He is a seasoned veteran in the DJ battle circuit and plays music spanning countless genres to crowds all over the world. 


I first heard of Mayday after they sold out 10 shows in Hong Kong in May 2017. The only bands that I can think of that can sell out 10 shows in one month, in the same city are the Grateful Dead and Phish. The music press has dubbed them the “Beatles of the Chinese-speaking world”, packing the Hong Kong Coliseum with 10,000 fans on all 10 nights of their run.

Hailing from Taiwan, the quintet released their first album in 1999 and is comprised of Monster (leader and lead guitar), Ashin (vocalist), Stone (rhythm guitar), Masa (bass) and Ming (drums).

They were originally called the So Band and became Mayday in 1997. There positive lyrics are emotional touching on fans' dreams, first love, young school days and general life themes. Whether in Taiwan, Hong Kong or Mainland China Mayday continues to play to sold out crowds. Not many figures in the Chinese speaking world are revered by people in both China and Taiwan like Sun Yat-sen, but Mayday has united the Chinese speaking world through their music, while global governments and media like to divide us.

Didi Han 

Born and raised in Seoul, Didi Han is a Producer and DJ currently living in Paris. She started DJing after being a music director for fashion shows and curating the soundtrack for fashion week in Korea. After a few years in playing in the underground scene in Seoul, she performed for Boiler Room on two separate occasions, leading to tours in Asia and Europe. She released her first track in 2019 and a 5 track EP Wale Up on French label Roche Musique in 2020. Her tracks fuse elements of hip hop jazz and house. 

Louise Chen 

I first came across Louise while scrolling through Instagram and seeing a college classmate backstage at Louise’s show in LA. 

Louise Chen is half-Taiwanese and half-French with deep musical roots encompassing classic & modern house, disco, should, hip pop, & more. She made a name for herself in Paris in 2012, with her collective and night Girls, Girls, Girls, providing a safe space for women to express themselves on the DJ decks and the dance floor.

She currently resides in London and is a resident at NTS Radio and Corsica Studios.

My college classmate still hasn’t replied to my DMs, but at least she didn’t block me from following her.


Asian American Festivals 

I recently watched the movie the Summer of Soul about the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969, which became known as Black Woodstock. The closest thing I could find to an Asian American equivalent would be the Diamond Head Crater festivals that took place in Hawaii in the 1970s, which became known as Hawaii’s Woodstock.  The Asian presence would mainly be in its attendees of Hawaiian locals rather than artists and performers. 

Peter Lin and Yardbird Productions put on the first AAPI Jazz Festival in Newark, NJ in May 2023. 

This weekend August 5-6th 88 Rising will put on the 5th Head in the Clouds festival in Pasadena, CA, showcasing Asian artists from all over the world. 

It’s great to see more Asian American artists and music festivals.  



Who? THE HU 

When someone first told me about the band the Hu, I thought they were talking about the Who. It was a late Saturday night at the Endup one night when Yuka was spinning and after hours was filling up with young Asians. I did not recognize this crowd and being the extrovert, I am started talking to them asking them if they had gone out before Ending up here.  They told me they were at a concert at Shoreline seeing a band called THE HU. 

What do you get when you combine traditional Mongolian guttural singing with heavy metal guitar playing? The Who? No, THE HU from Mongolia. Their debut album in 2019, the Gereg put them on the chart and they’ve sold out venues all over the world.

They’ve received critical acclaim from Sir Elton John and have a global appeal. Check out the unique sound of THE HU!