Star2 is an Asian-American singer, songwriter and rapper who seamlessly blends pop, R&B and hip-hop for an enthralling immersion of sound. Raised in inauspicious circumstances, Star2 takes influence from overcoming his life struggles, creating music that is bold, high-spirited and soulful.
Star2 is a true survivor. Born into a refugee camp in Thailand, his family walked over 500 miles through the jungle to escape Burmese soldiers when they attacked and burned down their village. As Karen’s (Kuh-ren), a minority group that the Myanmar government has tried to destroy, Star2 (and his family) has faced immense adversity and racial opposition for generations. With no father or mother by his side, his grandmother was chosen in a lottery to be able to migrate to the United States and at the age of six years old, took him to San Diego where he began his new life. Unfortunately it wasn’t an easy one, as a young kid living in the inner city, his family struggled financially and he lived with an uncle who was addicted to drugs. Adapting to living in a new world filled with cars, electricity and paved roads, he was overwhelmed and overstimulated. Star2 found solace, however, turning to music as a teen, learning to rap, sing, write and perform. With a diverse set of influences including Justin Bieber, Tyga, Chris Brown, and more, he developed his own musical style complete with winning hooks, rich harmonies, and distinctly progressive R&B soundscapes.
Since 2020, the prolific songwriter has released a series of singles and has captivated audiences with his genre-bending music that rings true and respected. His last unveiling is a collaboration with the credited rapper Luh Kel. Titled “I Wanna Get F’d Up” the song is about heartbreak, abandonment, and disillusionment. Star2 paints the scene of painful relationship dynamics that is highly relatable. “I Wanna Get F’d Up” is a raw and authentic narrative of lost love. “I wanted to write a song with the backstory of the best relationship of your life that blows up out of nowhere leaving you wondering what happened- leaving you in pain and wanting to self-medicate. It was a dream come true to do a song with Luh Kel, my dude. Our song is the diary of a toxic relationship with a toxic shawty you loved heart and soul who cheated. Even though it’s hard because you really love that one person – there is at least one time for everyone when after a breakup you just want to be gone – gone from the universe.” The single is an emotional exorcism complete with an infectious French horn melody, somber lyrics, and soul-infused vocals over a prominent hip hop beat. His talent is undeniable.
“Real Life” is Star2’s latest hit with Jacksonville, Florida’s Lil Poppa. A child of a refugee camp, Star2 and Lil Poppa bond through their experiences growing up in inner city poverty – Lil Poppa in Florida and Star2 in San Diego, California, they both sing “I live in a place where you hear sirens all the time” throughout the song. The urban rhythmic elements of the song are presented in an overlay of classical piano and a rush of strings that bring sorrow, angst, and despair. The haunting ballad is accomplished by an A-flat major chord progression with a B-major melody across it along with rich layers from drums, bass, and a trap drum beat. The despair is highlighted by distorted 808’s and trap drums – creating the feeling of desperation and deprivation along the backdrop of violence in the refugee camp as well as the urban hood. Star2’s lyrics tell us “I grew up in the jungle” and “if it weren’t for the music, I wouldn’t be here today.” He also remembers that to help support his grandma, who brought him from the refugee camp, “gotta hustle on the block…I was just too young, I was just a kid.”
While in his upcoming single “December,” the song is a romantic song about new love – how uncertain it is, and what it’s like to miss that special someone when they’re away from you. The song has a reggae-like feel to it. “I’m a big Bob Marley fan” says Star2. The musical arrangement is sparse, yet very effective at providing the emotional landscape for the song. Drums, bass, a steel drum/music box sounding synth, piano and strings round it out. “We wanted something almost like a reggae lullaby. The main melody would be something like what you’d hear coming from a music box on your dresser – except with steel drums, and accompanied by an orchestra!” Star2’s voice retains its trademark urban heart over the pulse of the reggae-flavored beat. His voice pleads and pleas – his yearning for his girl is palpable and very familiar to anyone in love.
Star2 is an artist on the rise with a disarmingly earnest tone and deep connection to his roots that permeates his music. “December” is available on all streaming platforms.
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