There’s so much on TikTok that it’s easy to just scroll through your For You Page, listening to the same three creators talk about whatever niche group the app has placed you in (which, unfortunately in my case, is single New York City women with an avoidant attachment style). But throughout Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, TikTok is highlighting its API creators — from comedians to dermatologists to nail artists — who are making some of the app’s most compelling content you just might not have seen yet.
Throughout the month, the platform is highlighting its 12 creators with more content than anyone knows what to do with, including themed LIVEs. The app will also debut in-app music programming, including API-centered playlists and a special #JPop Sounds Page feature to highlight Japanese music.
“We're recognizing the rich history and achievements of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) people, their unique life experiences, traditions, and incredible impact on culture,” TikTok said in a statement. “With the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes since the pandemic, now more than ever it's important that we come together to support and protect our #APIFamily.”
The app will also host its first-ever Live Shopping event dedicated to supporting API-owned small businesses on May 24 from 8 pm - 10 pm EST on TikTok For Business, featuring Cocokind Skincare, Immi Ramen, August, Sanzo, Sassy Woof, Sani, Everydaze, and TamTak Jewelry.
See TikTok’s 2022 API trailblazers exclusively on NYLON, below.
Korean-American creator Ashley Yi believes the camera eats first. Whether it’s sharing words of wisdom in her car or giving a boost of serotonin with her quirky facial expressions, you can always count on a tasty meal in front of her.
David Ma is a commercial director and filmmaker who creates short films, commercials, and viral content on TV and social media. He’s known for taking people behind the scenes on his sets and sharing his creative process and unique approach to filmmaking.
Dr. Muneeb Shah is a practicing dermatologist whose passion for skincare education led him to start his social media journey in 2020. Using his motto, “education, not influence,” he teaches his followers how to make informed decisions about their skin health, mixed with the right amount of humor and fun.
Drew Afualo is known as the crusader of women and many other marginalized groups on TikTok. With a no-nonsense attitude and a good sense of humor, Afualo helps in the fight against misogyny and bigotry of any kind.
Dynah Tuia'ana is a young Pacific Islander creator known for sharing the intricacies of her culture on TikTok. For Tuia'ana, it’s all about making a positive impact on those near and far through content creation.
Erika Kullberg is an attorney, personal finance expert, graduate of Georgetown Law, and now one of the most followed lawyers on social media. She discovered her passion for educating others about personal finance after paying off over $225,000 in student loans in under 2 years, and shares her financial knowledge on TikTok. After spending years as a corporate lawyer, she founded Plug and Law, an online legal company making legal more accessible for online business owners and entrepreneurs.
Soy Nguyen explores the intersectionality between food, culture, and mental health as she embraces food from different cultures, recommends her favorite spots and food hacks, and shares educational content revolving around her Vietnamese-American identity through her mom's recipes.
The Jikaria Sisters (Omika, Rishika, and Aashika) are a sister trio from NYC, who share content that blends their South Asian and American identities. From dance and music, to fashion, beauty, culture, and social justice, the Jikaria Sisters aim to break barriers across the app.
Just The Nobodys is a podcast where two brothers, Ryan and Daniel Omoto, talk about pop culture, science, and everything in between, with a goal of building more Asian representation. Just The Nobodys represents not having to be a “somebody” to make a difference in the world — their platform showcases family friendly content inclusive to all races and communities.
Hina Sabatine is a Japanese, non-binary lesbian who creates comedic and fashion content on TikTok, and focuses on bringing light to lesbian culture and the intersections of their identities. To Hina, the most important thing is bringing representation to their communities, especially young queer Asian folks who never saw themselves in the media.
Kukombo is a Chinese-American creative based in NYC with an interdisciplinary artistic background in fashion design, filmmaking, music production, and photography. In his TikTok videos, Kukombo takes his audience on an unexpected adventure through his cinematic take on cosplay.
Vivian Xue is a first generation Chinese immigrant who started her career as a software engineer, only to find her true calling as a nail artist. She's built an audience on TikTok from sharing her creative nail art and behind the scenes clips of making reusable press ons for her clients.