2024 Season

Austin FC Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month


During Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Austin FC celebrates over 50 ethnic groups with roots in just as many countries, including those hailing from across the Asian continent and from the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

Austin FC kicked off the 2024 season with a new secondary/away kit that salutes the once electric Armadillo World Headquarters for its contribution to the Austin music scene. In continuation of the celebration of Austin’s vibrant local music scene, Austin FC is kicking off AAPI Heritage Month by featuring local artist Nagavalli for her contributions to both the city’s music landscape and local AAPI community. 

Nagavalli is a Mumbai-raised, Austin-based musician who creates an innovative mix of sounds fusing pop/hip-hop/trance with Indian classical roots. Nagavalli combines passion with purpose in serving as the Board Chair for EQ Austin, a non-profit organization bringing diverse representation in the music and creative sectors. Currently chairing the Austin Music Commission, Nagavalli holds the title of the first Asian-American Chair of the Music Commission and is also Mayor Kirk Watson's appointee to the Arts Commission.

An early pioneer of this Indo-fusion song-writing style, the artist’s repertoire ranges from original songs in English to East Indian contemporary and spiritual music. In March 2024, Nagavalli was the cover woman for the Austin Woman magazine and an “Extraordinary Woman” award winner in the Austin American Statesman.  

Austin FC sat down with Nagavalli to get more of understanding of the importance of AAPI Heritage Month.


Q: Music has historically been a voice for the voiceless.  Why is the musical artform so ingrained with people sharing, advocating, and demanding their truth?

Nagvalli: Music has the capacity to convey deep emotions and even complex ideas, some simple and direct, some through storytelling, and metaphors, making it a powerful tool for expression through times. It penetrates through barriers, engaging the listener's emotions and thoughts. I think that this resonance makes music an effective medium for sharing, advocating, and demanding the truth. Individuals and communities have relied on music through moments of joy, hope, and through pain. Songs and music are also carried through generations in various cultures. Music associated with movements or moments in history often become a representation of those times; also getting invoked again in other like experiences. Music is accessible to all economic strata in societies as a form of expression through singing, playing instruments, or simply listening. Whether one speaks of external struggles in the world or struggles that we as human beings go through even within our own selves, music has power as an agent of profound change.

Q: What is the outlook for the future AAPI artists and musicians within the Austin music scene. *

N: The AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) population is a fast-growing population in the Austin MSA. The outlook for AAPI artists and musicians within the Austin music scene is promising, but it also comes with challenges and opportunities. On one hand, the growing recognition of diverse voices in the music industry present an opportunity for AAPI artists to showcase their talents and tell their stories. However, AAPI artists may still face barriers such as cultural biases, genre constraints and lack of representation. Overcoming these challenges will require continued efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within the music scene. This includes creating avenues for AAPI artists to perform, fostering mentorship programs, and amplifying their voices through festivals, showcases, and media representation. There is also a need for the AAPI communities to engage more directly in the mainstream music scene that could lead to creating win-win situations for everyone involved.

More about the history of AAPI can be found at the US Library of Congress’ website: https://asianpacificheritage.gov/about/