Last summer we treated you to a crispy trap-R&B collabo between Casie Luong and waverly called “blessing”. Rest assured, the second-generation Vietnamese-American songwriter and the Cambodian-born producer are still palling around Austin making great music together. And on that note, today, in the spirit of spring and new beginnings, the two team up to introduce a real smokeshow of a project, promqueen.
With waverly still planted in the producer’s chair, promqueen showcases a previously unrecorded talent of Luong’s: bilingual rapping in Vietnamese and English. It marks a new chapter in the pair’s shared mission to amplify Southeast Asian voices here in the states, allowing promqueen to reign in a Vietnamenglish court of cultural pride. It also reckons with Luong and waverly’s collective challenge of not quite knowing where to land in the Venn diagram of Asian-American identity. As a result promqueen presents an interesting trichotomy; although one of promqueen’s core values is natural authenticity, she sits atop a throne of carefully-concocted predominantly-digital instrumentals and hyper exaggerated character-driven imagery. But like bright lipstick against a pale complexion, that high contrast only makes promqueen’s wig-adorned aura of pizzazz glisten stronger.
This fierce, sexy, and verbally-deft belle of the ball breaks out her debut EP szn one in June, kicking off with a “must-see” event before the five remaining tracks trickle out like fashionably-late and outrageous red Tết envelopes. Fastened by saturated boom bass and tasteful 808s, “Xí Xọn” is an extra sassy first impression of promqueen and a tempting promise of what’s to come. Bonus points for the music video that puts you up close and personal with promqueen’s flamboyant makeup, rapid costume changes, and some twerk-adjacent dance moves that are much easier to learn than whatever the latest Tik-Tok routine is.