I think the way being Asian- American is reflected in my music has a lot to do with how I projected those stereotypes onto myself growing up . I attended Juilliard Pre-College in high school , and there I was surrounded with so many Asian and Jewish folk that I just assumed I was to be like them since that ’ s what my parents were . In reality , my parents never celebrated any cultural traditions in my household ( not even Christmas !), and I only eat Filipino food every few years when we have family reunions . Growing up , it was so rare to see an Asian-American make it on the cover of a magazine or be the lead in a primetime sitcom , let alone front a rock band , so when I made the switch to be in a rock band from classical music , I was filled with -- and still feel -- a sort of self-doubt in myself that a person that looks like me can successfully do what I do . I ’ ve had a number of Filipino fans come up to me after shows and tell me how happy it makes them see an Asian-American person in a rock band , and I ’ m equally as happy to be able to provide some kids that inspiration .
I think the way being Asian- American is reflected in my music has a lot to do with how I projected those stereotypes onto myself growing up .