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Gender Diaires: Japanese Breakfast

As the world continues to push against gender constructs, the conversation around how people are identifying themselves is constantly evolving. Every other week, Milk will feature a guest artist discussing their experience with the industry’s expectations of gender and, often, where it intersects with their artistic practice. This week, we feature musician, Japanese Breakfast.

“I don’t sit around thinking about how I am a woman in music or an Asian woman in music very often, but I do spend thousands of hours and years working on my craft.”

Amidst a ‘real job’ in outdoor mural advertising musician, Michelle Zauner, broke-off from Little Big League in quiet pursuit of her own endeavor, Japanese Breakfast. Since the sudden, unanticipated success of her first 2016 record release, she has continued to invite millions of listeners into meticulously evocative productions such as Roadhead and Boyish. Her work is evidence of zealous preparation: a culmination of incalculable practice hours, recording sessions, and DIY tours.

Although the entertainment industry categorizes Zauner’s gender and race, how does the skilled, determined craftsmanship of a woman in music differentiate from any man? It doesn’t. Zauner does not work on how to be a ‘Korean-American woman in music,’ but she does exercise discipline, like any devoted artist, to reflect technical vision and mastery. Recently, she graciously invited Milk into her Philadelphia home to discuss the importance of recognizing musicians for their capabilities over buzz-worthy identities. Check out her full interview above and her latest 2019 release, Head Over Heels.


STARRING: Michelle Zauner AKA Japanese Breakfast
DIRECTORS: Gabriella Plotkin + Bren Cukier
DP: Gabriella Plotkin + Bren Cukier
B-CAM: Derek Matar
EDITING: Gabriella Plotkin + Bren Cukier
SOUND MIX: Hayden Ticehurst
MUSIC: “Boyish” by Japanese Breakfast

Images courtesy of Stephanie DeFeo.

Stay tuned to Milk for more GENDER DIARIES

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