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 new 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.”
The video begins with Star2 rolling his desert ATV and scrambling to the top of it sharing “you will never understand the pain that I’m feeling inside, I’ve done seen a lot of shit, shit you probably don’t even want to see in real life.” The video is set in the desert with the backdrop of a plane crash, the cockpit and fuselage at opposite ends. 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.”
The video ends with a beautiful rush of purple and pink smoke bombs. According to Star2: “making the video with Lil Poppa was a rush. We acted as our own stunt men and had a blast racing in the desert. Lil Poppa is humble, not flashy but able to tell an emotional story about his struggle. I respect his unique flow and vocals. He’s been through the same struggles as me but in a different way. He is one of my favorite artists and underrated.”
Star2 is an artist on the rise with a disarmingly earnest tone and deep connection to his roots that permeates his music. “Real Life” is out now and available on all streaming platforms.