This Austin artist honors her Vietnamese family and language through songwriting

Singing in English and Vietnamese, an artist known as Promqueen has made her music a time capsule of her personal and familial stories.

By Angela LimJanuary 25, 2024 11:00 am, , ,

From NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project:

Growing up, Casie Luong considered herself a misfit. In school, she dabbled in classical piano, choir and theater. And as her love for music grew, she noticed that her peers never asked her about her Vietnamese upbringing. At home, she says she didn’t emulate the typical Vietnamese woman from movies and pop culture.

“That wasn’t me. I did not like wearing dresses growing up,” she says. “As a baby, I ripped the bows out of my hair… I was just loud and weird and didn’t fit that stereotype. [I] didn’t fit the submissive, quiet, graceful, effeminate kind of Vietnamese woman.”

She was never part of the popular crowd, and she was never the prom queen — until she claimed this as her stage name in June 2022.

“[I want] everybody to feel like they can be their own prom queen, be their own unique self and be celebrated,” she says. “That’s really what I’ve reflected on what it means for me.”

Promqueen, a second-generation Vietnamese American, queer musician in Austin, Texas infuses her songs with her family’s language and anecdotes. Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, she says her parents emphasized assimilating in the majority-white town in fear of getting scrutinized for being different. She says her artist name represents her “cultural coming out” on her own terms. Previous generations, personal experiences and bilingual verses blend into her discography.

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