Jaeson Ma’s Asian Movement

In the global’s eyes, the 38-year-old media mogul is known as the founder of the hippest 88rising. In the span of 2 years from 2015-207 since its installment, 88 rising, through its co-founders both Sean Miyashiro as well as Jaeson, has brought the world many of its talents from Joji, Rich Brian, Keith Ape, to many others.

The next chapter for Jaeson is East West Artists or EWA, a talent management firm and production company. If you pay attention closely, what Jaeson consistently did, is doing, and will do is to visualize a vision: to get Asians to Hollywood and from Hollywood to Asia.

Dating back his years in his hometown Lubbock, Texas, the youngest of the three children was first discovered by none other than MC Hammer. A passion collision, as one might call it, Ma found his calling since young age: church community and hip hop world. The year was 1998, Ma led a hip-hop Bible study group in Northern Cali at the time, and that’s when Hammer discovered him. What made the two click instantly is their vision about doing something in the digital marketplace. They were visionary, both realized the potential of exploring Asian media and the digital market itself. Hammer was approached by Justin Lin (The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Beyond) to invest in his movie Better Luck Tomorrow –which turned out to be one hella investment as the movie got into Sundance Film Fest and two thumbs up from movie critics Roger Ebert. Such achievement and acknowledgement in Ma’s eyes were not about the movie per se, but as a whole; a bigger picture:

“Whether you’re Russian, or whether you’re Middle Eastern, or you’re Asian, or whether you’re from Latin America, whether you’re from Africa, or you’re European. All of us have stories, all of us have talent, all of us have a narrative, and I think what’s happening today in this digital world is that now everyone has a chance to tell their story and bring their culture to the rest of the world and have it appreciated and celebrated and respected. So I think we’re in a new day, it’s very exciting.”

From Hammer and Lin, Ma invested in MC Jin’s and Far East Movement’s Asian-American entertainment company in 2007. Not long after, Like a G6 went worldwide. But Ma didn’t stop there, he went further and suggested Kevin from Far East to hit up a Myspace artist who sounded like Michael Jackson.
His name? Bruno Mars. Ma wrote 1500 bucks check for Bruno, got Burno played 4 tracks for Ma and put them out there in the market. 6 months later, Far East Movement got signed to Interscope and Like A G6 being number 1 on the Billboard charts. Followed suit 6 months later was Bruno himself, signed by Warner Atlantic records. Ma thought to himself: “It was crazy, because 2 Asian American artists were number 1 on the Billboard charts in 2010! It was crazy, we rode that wave for the next few years.” as he told Medium. Vision became clearer, Ma’s goal in bringing Asians to the front line and so he reached out to Sean.

Brainstorming, aiming, and then 88rising was born. Not just 88rising, but it seems like Asians were sporadically on the rise in various backgrounds: from fashion influencer Aimee Song, vlogger Ryan Higa, new-found rapper Awkafina and so the 88rising’s stars were no doubt responsible for bringing about their talents to the digital world. Breaking the ground significantly, Ma couldn’t be more proud with 88rising. Currently, Ma is planning to launch his next business venture, to produce premium content to continue discovering Asian/Asian-American talent to Hollywood.
But one thing that also stands out from Ma is his gratitude towards God through his highest or lowest days. “It’s really just reminding yourself of who you are, going back to God, going back to reading God’s Word, and being reminded of what God’s Word has to say about promises that tells you who you are and not what the world says. And then it’s surrounding yourself with good people. You don’t need a lot, Jesus only had 12, and out of the 12 he really had some of his closest friends. Even when those abandoned him, he went back to the Father.”

Source: Medium and Global Glam
Photos courtesy of Converge Magazine, iTickers, Bandwagon Asia and Medium

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