Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Blasian Sensation

Although she’s unsure of where the term "Blasian" originated, Your Hip Hapa admits she finds it to be not only an accurate idiom, but also quite charming. Like our Hapa*Teez t-shirt design on Café Press, the words Black plus Asian = Blasian.

Danni with her Mom 
This month’s featured Hip Hapa Homee is Danni Ai, a creative multi-talented performer and visual artist, hailing from Jamaica, who also happens to be Blasian.

Here’s a list of some of Danni’s many accomplishments.

Milestone performances:

“Return of the King” Tour with Shabba Ranks
"Fugees" in Miami and Hartford Tour Dates (with Pras)
“Faces in the Crowd” @ Times Square Art Center
TSW World Entertainment Network on the Hornig Hapmton Estate
“LoveJones Christmas” on VH1
"Party with Baruch Live" - NYC 
National Coalition of 100 Black Women Youth Forum Speaker
New Taste Magazine, “Showcase 101”
ROMP for Research
“Trailblazer Awards” @ Cascades Mansion
BET’s 106 & Park 
SOBs “DREAMZ” Concert Series
"Partyzone/EMG” @ Greenhouse
"DREAMZ” at the world-famous Copacabana

Danni and immediate family

And, here’s Danni’s story:
Danni with Uncle Ginger

Q: Danni, who are your parents?

A: My mom is Jamaican (of African-German descent) and my dad is Jamaican (of Chinese descent).

Danni with great Grandma
Q: How did you grow up?

A: I grew up mostly with my mom. She always lived in either all black or mixed-race communities. I want to two schools that were all white.

Q: How did you first become interested in music?

A: I always had an interest. Jamaica is a very soulful and spiritual place. My mom can tell you stories about me finding an audience long before what I can remember. She and my great grandmother had beautiful voices. I have a great-great-great that was a riverboat singer, so I guess it's in my blood.

Q: And now, you're also a visual artist. How did that evolution come about?

Danni's artwork

A: It's just another way to express myself. Art is my passion. Sometimes I have a pen in my hand instead of a mic. Sometimes all I have is a toe and the floor. If you can envision yourself crossing the finish line, you will understand how it feels when I open my eyes and let whatever I felt come out of my head.

Danni, cousin Kadia, Mom and great Aunt

Q: How did you develop such strong feminist ideas? 

A: I wouldn't say my ideas are necessarily feminist. They are people-ist. They are for victims of rape and domestic violence. That affects much more than women. I just chose to start with women because their stories are something that I am closer to having experienced. I would never forget my boys and men who have been through the same horrible victimization.

Q: Your family is so wonderfully mixed. What was it like being surrounded by so many colors and cultures?

Danni's Aunt Carol
A: Well, it taught me that tolerance is a word people use when they have seen prejudice. I don't have to tolerate people because we are all human. No one culture is better than the next. "Out of many races, one people" is Jamaica's motto. I see beauty in unity, and failure and dysfunction in the crabs-in-a-barrel scenario. 

Danni and cousins
Danni with cousin Mike
Q: What are some of your future plans?

A: Building awareness towards rape and domestic violence and changing the life of at least ONE person that has been affected by either of those things. One is enough, more than one is a blessing.

Danni with sister Alex
Danni with brother Kris
Danni and first cousins

Thanks, Blasian Sensation! Hey Hip Hapa Homeez, reach Danni through these links:

Twitter: @DanniAi
Instagram: @mydanniai

And, please remember to join our multi-culti discussions at our Facebook group page—Hip Hapa Homeez. While you’re in cyberspace, also check out the following:

Watermelon Sushi film

Watermelon Sushi on Facebook

Hapa*Teez on YouTube

Hapa*Teez on Facebook

Hapa*Teez on Café Press

War Brides of Japan v.2 on YouTube

War Brides of Japan on YouTube

War Brides of Japan on Facebook

Yayoi Lena Winfrey fan page on Facebook (sorry, but Your Hip Hapa can’t add any more friends to her regular profile page)

Sexy Voices of Hollywood


Until April 2, when we’ll have another Hip Hapa Homee for you to meet, be sweet.

Your Hip Hapa,