Our Favorite Songs From the Crazy Rich Asians Soundtrack
The care and thought that went into the Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack took the move to another level of awesome. The songs fit perfectly with the mood of each scene. In addition, some of the songs were English hits remixed and sung by Asian performers, giving familiar classics a new flare.
Film Director Jon Chu told Quartz that “I wanted to take hit American songs and make them Chinese, to give audiences a sense of how we feel as Asian-Americans.” The soundtrack continued the movie’s theme of how Asian-Americans create a unique identity through blending different cultures and experiences. Check out some of our favorites on the soundtrack.
“Yellow” – Katherine Ho
“Yellow” is the breakout song of the movie. A remix of the 2000 song by Coldplay, Chu had to jump through several hoops to get this song on the big screen. Warner Brothers initially expressed concern with the choice since the word “yellow” has historically been used as a slur against Asians. After Chu was able to convince Warner Brothers to allow the remix, Coldplay initially refused to license the song. Coldplay has come under fire for cultural appropriation in the past due to their Hymn for the Weekend and Princess of China music videos, so it’s understandable why Coldplay would be reserved about the idea of this remix.
Chu then decided to reach out to the band directly. He said in a letter to them that “[the word ‘yellow’] has always had a negative connotation in my life – [when] I heard your song… it immediately became an anthem for me and my friends and gave us a new sense of pride we’ve never felt before.”
Chu received full permission within hours of publishing the letter, and this song has become one of the most well-received songs on the soundtrack. It is a perfect example of the blending of different cultures and experiences that Chu is trying to capture in the film.
“Material Girl (200 Du)” – Sally Yeh
Yeh’s cover of this Madonna song was a much easier snag for the film crew because they found the cover just by searching on the internet. The song was found after the film’s music supervisor Gabe Hilfer sat down with his team and scoured the web for Chinese covers.
“Waiting for Your Return” – Jasmine Chen
Chen is a famed jazz singer in China. She was hand-picked by Chu to perform a couple different songs on the soundtrack, and even makes an appearance in the film itself. “Waiting for Your Return” is a classic jazz tune that older folks will recognize more readily. Chen’s cover takes an older song and gives it a modern feel. This song also bridges a cultural divide: the divide between generations, rather than people of differing ethnicities.
“My New Swag” – VAVA ft. Ty, Nina Wang
This song is not a cover, but rather an original song by a famous Chinese artist. VAVA and Ty are both big names in the Chinese music scene. Previously, they were featured on the Chinese rap battle reality TV show The Rap of China.