Category Archives: Music

8/30/18 Women in Hip Hop

Tonight, we have a great panel discussion of amazing Bay Area women in hip-hop including Rocky Rivera, Chhoti Maa, and Versoul (formerly known as Babii Cris).

Get this: Less than 5% of the people creating the sounds, music and media in the daily soundtrack of our lives are women.

For 15 years, Women Audio Mission has been working to close the gender gap in creative technology careers. In addition to preparing women and girls to go behind the board of a professional recording studio, the organization also provides studio time, and a recording package so that women musicians can have a professionally recorded album.

In March this year, they held their quarterly Local Sirens concert series featuring local women musicians and performers. The performance was preceded by this allstar lineup of Bay Area women in hip hop. Rocky Rivera, Chhoti Maa, and Versoul (formerly known as Babii Cris). They cover integrating their activism and love for their community into their lyrics, surviving as musicians, and being women in a mostly male industry. Moderating the panel is Founder and Executive Director of Women Audio Mission, Terri Winston.

Community Calendar

In just over a week, Solidarity to Solutions Week of Climate Actions arrives. Asian Pacific Environmental Network and their allies from the It Takes Roots delegation will be linking up with communities on the front lines of fighting climate change around the world to show what real community-led solutions to climate change really look like. Join APEN for local solutions tours, solution-based strategy exchanges, and a democratic popular assembly. Also, join the Asian Contingent at the march! 

6/28/18 Defiantly Yours

Tonight’s episode of APEX Express features music curated by Zuha Khan (DJ Baqvas) on the continuation of a theme from the last time she was on APEX. That theme is: Defiantly Yours: Radical Music from the Asian Diaspora in the Era of Trump. Tonight’s setlist reflects coming together and standing up for what’s right, recognizing our own struggles, and our pasts through migration and movements to do what we can to survive in a country that is employing more and more fascist practices.

Track List:
  • Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) by K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente on The Hamilton Mixtape (Atlantic Records)
  • Fired Up ft. Raaginder by SETI X (Self Released Single)
  • Us (Prod. By Nphared) by Ruby Ibarra Feat. Rocky Rivera, Klassy, & Faith Santilla on CIRCA91 (Beatrock Music)
  • Hella San Francisco (Equipto & Maitre’D) by The Watershed on Equipto & Brycon Present The Watershed (IHAA Records)
  • Sound The People ft. Heems by Red Baraat on Sound The People (Rhyme & Reason)
  • No More War by Soom T & Jean-Paul Dub on Dubs for Syria (Vaticaen Production)
  • War Empire by Kohinoorgasm on Synthwali and the War Empire EP (Self Released)
  • Find Safety by LAL on Find Safety (Self Released)
  • in between things by Wisechild (Self Released Single)
  • Migrations by Diaspoura on Demonstrations (Self Released)
  • War by Sahab on Safa City (Self Released)
Zuha Khan, also known as DJ Baqvas, is a proud local of the East Bay. Zuha is a member of the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action and helps out with its projects like Bay Area Solidarity Summer — a political action camp for South Asian youth. She is a DJ at San Francisco’s Zuha enjoys politicizing radio DJ-ing through music by finding tracks produced by subversive artists from right here at home to countries most wouldn’t think to look to. You can follow her on Twitter @Zuha_Wave.

6/20/18: Original Pilipino Music

Tonight, guest host Marky Enriquez talks with Joel Quizon to help us dive into the world of OPM, Original Pilipino Music.

Marky is a west coast DJ and Music Curator for Undiscovered SF, a creative night market. Most recently, he was in a theatrical production, MUMU, at Bindlestiff Studio, which featured 1970s Filipino music.

He’ll be talking with Joel Quizon. Best known for his filmmaking, Joel is a collector, curator and archivist of Pilipino music.


Community Calendar Items

  • UNDISCOVERED SF, a creative night market is premiering on Saturday, July 21st in SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District. Check out for more information.
  • This Saturday at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Eastwind Books will be hosting a talk with Oakland-grown, Michelin-starred Chef James Syhabout about his Isan Thai and Lao roots, and the inspiration for his hugely popular Hawker Fare restaurant.

Track List
Eva Eugenio “Ang Tangi Kong Pag-ibig”

Rico J. Puno “Neither One of Us”
Jovials “Sa Unang Pagkikita”
Ryan Cayabyab & Quito Colayco “Alalahanin II”

Freddie Aguilar “Anak”
Asin “Sarungbanggi”
Bong Panera “Sa Dako Pa Roon (Reprise)”

VST & Co “Awitin Mo At Isayaw Ko”
Boyfriends “Oras Oras”

Hajji Alejandro “Ako Pa Rin”

2/1/18 Defiantly Yours Music Mix

This week, we have guest host Zuha Khan, or DJ Baqvas, who will be spinning music that is Defiantly Yours: Radical Music from the Asian Diaspora in the Era of Trump. Regardless of the offensive statements that come out of his mouth, People of Color will not be silent. The defiant music you hear tonight will underscore this very thought.

Zuha Khan at

DJ Baqvas is no stranger to APEX Express. She produced a fundraiser for Bay Area Solidarity Summer at El Rio last year, which we featured on our 2017 Bay Area May Day show. DJ Baqvas is a member of the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action and helps out with its projects like Bay Area Solidarity Summer, a political action camp for South Asian youth. She’s been a DJ for 7 years, starting at UC Davis’s college radio station KDVS and continues at San Francisco’s Her show, Fractal Chambers, is on every other Saturday at 10 a.m.

Zuha finds tracks produced by subversive artists, from right here at home to countries most wouldn’t think to look to. And we’re excited to hear her selections tonight.

You can follow her on Twitter @Zuha_Wave.

Community Calendar

  • Activist Tony Robles will read from his new book of poetry, Fingerprints of a Hunger Strike, on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Eastwind Books. This book is a journey into the soul of San Francisco, in all its cracks and fissures.
  • On Tuesday, February 6, Bindlestiff Studio, a black box theater in SOMA Pilipinas will be hosting a discussion on sexual harassment. How do we as a community address this problem amid the #metoo/Time’s Up movement? How can we prevent sexual harassment from happening in our community-based organizations? How do we cultivate an environment where people feel safe enough to speak out when it occurs? How do we employ principles of restorative justice to allow for amends? The meeting starts at 6:30 with an update on Bindlestiff Studio followed by the discussion at 7:30.  
  • Next Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at SOMArts Cultural Center is a Happy hour and conversation on queering Islam. As part of the exhibition Third Muslim: Queer and Trans* Muslim Narratives of Resistance and Resilience, this panel conversation will be made up of intergenerational community members who have made their own paths as queer Muslims. 

1/4/18 Collage of Voices

From Late Night with Joe Cascasan.

Tonight, we kick off the new year with voices from APEX contributors and our larger community. Charged with the request to share audio clips that inspired them through the last year, we hear from APEX contributors Lindsay Oda, Geraldine Ah-Sue, Nonogirl, and the Power Lee Women (Miko, Jalena, and Ayame). We also have a contribution from APEX’s co-founder Renee Geesler. And our community contributed including Oliver Saria from Bindlestiff Studio and Rachel Lastimosa with SOMA Pilipinas.

The audio contributions include music, poetry, inspirational speeches and interviews that cover labor, colonization, sovereignty and immigration. We hope this inspires you into the new year.

11/23/17 No THANKS Music Show

Tonight, we have a special music show mixed by Selector Puzzle. We’re mixing it up a bit on this annual day of No THANKS to colonization, imperialism, and white supremacy. This installment of electro acoustic resistance systems is an antidote to challenges in the world right now. Tonight’s music comes from around the world and reflects the anger and creativity in our communities. Selector Puzzle brings us noise from all over Asia and Asian America. It may be a stretch for you, but that’s what KPFA is all about: sharing ideas and sounds with you that you can’t get anywhere else! So put on your headphones and rock out with us.

Community Calendar
To stay in solidarity with Native people, on Friday, November 24, there’s a prayer and protest at the Emeryville shellmound. This is a sacred burial ground of Ohlone ancestors.

Another event we want to recognize is the Decolonize Guåhan (Guam): Chamoru 2017 UN Report Back at 518 Valencia on Friday, December 1. Members of the Independent Guåhan delegation to the United Nations share stories of resistance, resilience, and the struggles for sovereignty and decolonization from the United States.

And on Saturday, December 9, celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Anakbayan East Bay. Join with young people who have planted the seeds of Philippine national liberation in the East Bay from immigrant rights marches to building leadership among youth, students, and workers across the region.

8/24/17 Beats of Resistance and Solidarity

Download the audio.

Tonight DJ Baagi returns to host a show on Beats of Resistance and Solidarity from the Asian and Pacific Islander communities worldwide.

This episode features Omar Offendum, Shadia Mansour and more artists from Syria, Palestine and Afghanistan rapping about the political impact of war on their communities, and of gender oppression within their communities. And for the new fascist time we are living in, she’ll be going back for more DrumNbass and Jungle beats from the UK-Based South Asian, anti-racist group Asian Dub Foundation. And special guest Sharif Zakout from the Arab Resource and Organizing Center joins us!

Song/Clip List:

  • Song: Hamdulillah, Artist: Narcy featuring Shadia Mansour
  • Song: Somos Sur Artist: Shadia Mansour with Ana Tijoux
  • Song: Long Live Palestine Part 2 Artist: Low Key, Shadia Mansour, Narcycist, DAM and various artists
  • Song: Ya Halali Artist: Sharif Zakout
  • Song: Nalestan, Artist: Paradise Sourouri
  • Song: Afghanistan, Artist: Paradise Sourouri and Diverse
  • Song: Change a Gonna Come, Artist: Asian Dub Foundation

Arab Resource and Organizing Center:
Sharif Zakout:

Mona haydar

Omar Offendum


Paradise Sorouri

Community Calendar

  • The Kominas, SETI X, Commissure, Faluda Islam
    Brick and Mortar Friday at 9pm
  • Several Events Marching against white supremacy. Check to see upcoming events. 2 events in san francisco and  2 events in berkeley
  • Sa Timyas ng Paglaya: Closing Party — Art by Filipino Political Prisoners
    August 25th Friday at 6 PM – 9 PM
    E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore
    410 13th St, Oakland, California 94612
  • Several SF Chinatown community organizations and activists are sponsoring “Light Up the Night From Charlottesville to Chinatown: No Hate,” a candlelight vigil and program in the memory of slain activist Heather Heyer.  The event will be held on Friday, Aug. 25 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny St., San Francisco.

8/13/17 Beats of Resistance, Culture & Solidarity

Click here to download.
Today you will hear sounds of resistance and culture across the genres produced by Asian and Pacific Islander communities worldwide. In this show we will feature sounds of West Papuan resistance against Indonesian repression, sounds from the indigenous communities of Mindanao (Philippines), Dalit rapper Sumeet Samos from India singing about caste oppression, culture of resistance and drumming in Korea, and more, with hosts DJ Baagi and Natasha Harden.
Community Calendar
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5/4/17 Immigration and Activism

Download the show here

Tonight on Apex Express Mother/Daughter hosts Miko Lee and Ayame Keane-Lee spoke to Yvette Felarca from By Any Means Necessary about taking direct action out into the streets and stopping the Trump ICE raids.  More information about an upcoming immigration forum is listed in the calendar below.

We spoke to Michelle Lee,  curator of Shifting Movements, Art inspired by Yuri Kochiyama, which opens with a big celebration tonight at SOMARTS Cultural Center and runs through May 25. Shifting Movements is part of the 20th Annual United States of Asian America Festival. Some of the art pieces are shown above, but go check it out in person to see how amazing the work is.


Mari Nakagawa interviewed punk band Aye Nako who hits the Bay Area tonight and tomorrow night.

Poet Yujane Chan came into the studio and performed her erasure poem derived from her formal immigration papers. Ayame, also a youth poet, chatted with Yujane about her inspiration and process. Yujane performed this as part of Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam in April.


Miko spoke with award winning filmmaker Felicia Lowe’s about her latest work Chinese Couplets which is her personal tale about the Chinese Exclusion Act. They also discussed the big Rally for Inclusion that is happening this Saturday in Portsmouth Square Chinatown to acknowledge the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Find out more about the Rally and how to take action page here.

Community Calendar

May 4 -June 11, United States of Asian America, various locations

May 4 Aye Nako at the Luckyduck Bicycle Cafe located at 302 12th Street in Oakland.

May 5 Aye Nako at the STUD located at 399 9th St in San Francisco.

May 4-25, 2017  Shifting Movements: Art inspired by the life of Yuri Kochiyama

Venue: SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco. Exhibition Dates:  Tuesday through Friday from 12-7pm, and Saturdays from 12-5pm.  Closing Reception: Thursday, May 25, 2016. 6-9pm.

May 6, 2017 noon Rally for Inclusion, Portsmouth Square, Chinatown

May 6, 2017:  Asian Pacific Heritage Festival, Asian American Alliance of Marin

May 9, 2017  Immigration Forum and Community Meeting, Bay Any Means Necessary 6-8pm, Manzanita Recreation Center, 2701 22nd Ave., Oakland, CA 94606

May 16 Asian American Bar Association presents – Lessons from Mass Incarceration



Punk Band Aye Nako Hits the Bay Area

Aye Nako’s new album, Silver Haze.

Click here to download audio.

Formed in 2010, Aye Nako is a queer punk band. This four-piece include art, music and politics into their work. They want to create a space where those who fall in the margins feel OK about being themselves.

Last month Aye Nako released their second full-length album, Silver Haze. APEXer Mari Nakagawa talked with Mars Dixon, who plays guitar and sings. They talked about their experience being queer, trans, Black, and Filipino in the largely white-dominated pop punk DIY scene. Originally from Arkansas, Mars lived for a short time in Oakland and is now based out of Brooklyn. Aye Nako is on the road for their tour, so she spoke with Mars via Skype.