Okinawa, Japan – 1986
Awich is a female hip-hop artist from Okinawa, Japan. Born Akiko (亜希子) Urasaki, “AWICH” is short for “Asia Wish Child,” which is the meaning of her given name. An artist, poet, and director, Awich is a product of an intensely mixed history and culture.
After graduating from high school in Okinawa, she studied in the United States, during which period she married and had a child with an American. Tragically, he was murdered in an incident after her graduation. Following this, she returned to her home island and established Cipher City, a marketing and production company, to create local content.
Today, Okinawa is under political pressure and has been a target of both fascination and discrimination amongst Japan and surrounding Asian nations for years due to its exotic culture and hybrid transformations. Her lyrics, positions, and perceptions turn her surroundings’ positive and negative aspects — cultural fusions, identity crises, pride, and shame — into an actual craft.
In 2017, she released a full album called 8, her first in a decade, in partnership with Chaki Zulu. She flows freely between Japanese, Okinawan, and English, producing a unique sound while staying true to the lyrics. Her deep vocals generate a captivating atmosphere for listeners. Awich’s ability to submerge herself into multiple global perspectives while also adding her signature feminine touch allows her to create singular but relatable music across the world.
Two more projects arrived in 2018, the single What You Want with Kandytown’s IO with a double EP, HEART, and BEAT. Two years later, Awich will make a stunning comeback by unveiling two projects that further increase his notoriety. First, the album KUJAKU was released in 2020 with several other Japanese guest artists. And the other album, Partition which allowed him to sign a contract with Universal.