Alice Longyu Gao’s badass “Kanpai” is a love letter to Asian culture

August 19, 2021

Photo by Olivia Aquilina; Editing by Astra Zero, Lucas David

Chinese-born, New York-and-LA-based producer, songwriter, DJ and multidisciplinary artist Alice Longyu Gao today shares her latest single, “Kanpai.” With elastic synths, LED melodies and beats for days, “Kanpai” is yet another giddy, post-genre rush from Gao – opulent and outsized, it’s an entire mood unapologetically celebrating self-love and Asian culture. Watch/listen “Kanpai” HERE.

Of the single, Gao shares, “My best friend Madison Emiko Love and I wrote this song three years ago. Her grandma is a Japanese immigrant and we always want to champion & plug our culture everywhere we go. We’ve been waiting to put this song out, cuz back then no one with power in western music realized the power of Asian pop culture, no one really cared to put Asian talents on the table. The material world was asleep cuz they didn’t see the money-benefits.  ‘Kanpai’ means cheers in Chinese, Japanese and Korean; the joyful vibe translates perfectly throughout the song. The braggy-docious, rap-y bridge part in the song is what I wish for, it’s not my reality yet. Last year was dark for me, and for everyone. But now it is time to regroup and restart, this song wakes me up in the morning, it reminds me that I came to this earth with a mission. I aspire to inspire and benefit other people’s lives. I do that through my art.”

“Kanpai” (meaning “Cheers” in Chinese, Japanese and Korean), is an eccentric extension of Gao’s personal style, combining her Chinese heritage with the glitz and glamour of her bi-costal lifestyle; the styling is inspired by – in part but not limited to – Frank Gehry’s architecture, sustainability, cement, Dita Von Teese, the opera. Gao will bring her in-your-face, commanding energy to the stage and dance floor with a sold-out “Kanpai” release show at Brooklyn’s Elsewhere this Friday, August 20th with special guests Food House (aka Gupi and Fraxiom) as well as a release party at Soho House the following night, Saturday, August 21st. This fall she’ll also hit the road with Rebecca Black– all tour dates & info below.

Following a string of standalone singles from 2018 to 2021, Gao has drawn acclaim from FADER, NYLON, DAZED, NME, i-D, Billboard Pride, and more, graced the covers of Spotify’s Hyperpop and misfits 2.0 playlists, collaborated with Mura Masa, Dylan Brady (100 gecs), Kilder, Alice Glass, landing support slots for 100 gecs, Rebecca Black, Cashmere Cat, Dorian Electra and more along the way. Cosigned by a range of industry tastemakers and name-breakers, including Zane Lowe, who premiered single “She Abunai” on his Beats 1 show, Jack Saunders, who declared “LEGEND” his “Track of the Week” on his BBC 1 Radio show, and Lady Gaga, who placed “Rich Bitch Juice” third on her “Women of Choice” Apple Music playlist, highlighting non-male artists she sees as club-pop visionaries.

Kanpai” by Alice Longyu Gao is out now, buy/stream it here.

ALICE LONGYU GAO LIVE

Aug 20, 2021 – Elsewhere – Brooklyn, NY* (SOLD OUT)
Aug 21, 2021 – Soho House – New York, NY (“Kanpai” release party)
Sep 3, 2021 – Berlin – Chicago, IL
Sep 4, 2021 – DNA – San Francisco, CA
Sep 11, 2021 – Club Quarantine @ The Knockdown Center – Queens, NY
Sep 16, 2021 – Mahall’s – Lakewood, Ohio*
Sep 17, 2021 – Elsewhere – Brooklyn, NY (w/ Cupcakke)
Sep 23, 2021 – Cornerstone – Berkeley, California (w/ Terror Jr)
Jan 13, 2022 – Union Stage – Washington, DC**
Jan 14, 2022 – Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY** (SOLD OUT)
Jan 15, 2022 – Velvet Underground – Toronto, ON**
Jan 18, 2022 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL**
Jan 20, 2022 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA**
Jan 21, 2022 – Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA**
Jan 27 2022 – The Coast – Fort Collins, CO 
Jan 28, 2022 – Hi-Dive – Denver, CO
*Food House as supporting act
**Alice supporting Rebecca Black


Stay connected with Alice Longyu Gao:
Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | TikTok
ABOUT ALICE LONGYU GAO

Born in Bengbu, China before moving to the USA as a 17-year-old, Alice Longyu Gao has arrived at the forefront of pop music’s vanguard through unconventional means. Self-taught and fiercely committed to her own independence, Gao’s story is that of ground-up success and the tireless pursuit of your own dreams, working her way up through magazine and fashion internships during her earliest days in New York to a DJ career that landed her sets in Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles and beyond to, eventually, her own solo career. Her music pulses with a distinct punk sensibility at its heart– it’s a hyperpunk flurry, throwing bouncy, champagne melodies against distorted, confrontational club beats, wrapping daggers of anger, pain and trauma inside the high-budget sheen of pop music. Her lyricism – a mix of Japanese, English and Mandarin – draws influence from her rich background, traversing the social life of elite Manhattanites, the trials of moving from China to the United States with no support network but your own self-belief, getting her pansexual heart broken by “basic heterosexual white boys” and declarations of her superlative originality and prodigious, assured sense of self-worth.