Still from Mad Tsai's music video, "in my head"

JoySauce Radio: A new playlist for the new year

Refresh your New Year playlist with these 10 AA+PI groovy tunes

Words by Anjana Pawa

JoySauce Radio: Consider JoySauce Radio our own personal song recommendations—from the tunes and videos our writers love to DJ-produced mixes of dance floor bangers—all from Asian and Pacific Islander artists around the world. 

Now that the weather is chilly, the holidays are over, and we’re waiting for the sun to start setting just a little bit later, motivation might be lacking. Maybe a new playlist will help? From exciting collaborations that were just released to some older tunes to bring back out from the archives, we’ve got you covered. Check out these songs to bring some joy to your gloomy winter blues. Don’t worry if you can’t fulfill all your resolutions—at least you’re dancing.

Tu hai kahan” by AUR ft ZAYN

This hit from Pakistan has become even more special now that One Direction alum Zayn Malik has hopped onto it. AUR has been breaking records left and right with “Tu hai kahan” across the South Asian subcontinent and it must’ve caught British-Pakistani Zayn’s attention. His vocals fit into the song perfectly and fans everywhere are delighted to hear him sing in Urdu once again after he gave us a hint of him penning and singing in his mother tongue on his first solo album.

“Slowly” by Weston Estate

This is one of those songs that feel like a warm hug, even if it’s an older track. Weston Estate is a boy group that has always delivered songs like “Slowly,” which are vocally and lyrically focused, mixed with a lovely and soft musical backdrop. Put this on your studying playlist, your work playlist, your commute playlist, it’ll fit anywhere!

“in my head” by Mad Tsai

Mad Tsai delivers an emotional tune and visual accompaniment with “in my head.” The Taiwanese Peruvian singer gets vulnerable in this music video, in which he goes through heartbreak at the hands of another boy with sweet flashbacks of scenes running through grocery store aisles and parking lots. The build-up of the song is sure to give you goosebumps.

“grass is greener” by sundial

This pop duo makes music that can only be categorized as “cozy.” The duo, which includes Dorothy Chan and Jisu Kim, met in college in Boston and formed the band in 2016. It was never meant to be a serious thing, but life had other plans. They’re now giving us certified bops to put on our playlist and we couldn’t be any happier to have tunes like this one. “grass is greener” may be an oldie, but it’s always a goodie.

Cellulite” by AUDREY NUNA

This tune is a banger. Jersey native AUDREY NUNA, born Audrey Chu will not be boxed into a genre. She does a bit or R&B, a bit of hip-hop, and also a bit of synth pop, all combining to usually give us a fantastic tune. “Cellulite” is one of those songs where she shows off that she’s a jack of all trades and it definitely deserves a spot back on your playlist this year.

Published on January 30, 2024

Words by Anjana Pawa

Anjana Pawa is a Brooklyn-based culture reporter who regularly covers music, entertainment and beauty. You can find her on Twitter at @apawawrites.