Michael Seyer Articulates the Asian American Immigrant Experience on “Little China Boy”

Photo: Roger Hallaway

Michael Seyer has staked his claim on intimate, vulnerable meditations that play out like a dream. Gentle guitar plucks and understated production seemingly come to life as Seyer's hushed vocal tone floats by in a realm all its own. It is a gift and marked skill that somewhat alleviates the blow of his heart-rending lyrics that touch upon themes of race, sexuality, and mental health.

"Little China Boy" sees Seyer leveraging this unique juxtaposition to full effect, balancing an affecting recounting of the Asian American immigrant experience against a sauntering, tranquil backdrop. "Not made from the same broth / Boy this kid is so damn lost / Who brought that yellow boy," sings Seyer in a near pained whisper. The effect is akin to a close friend confiding in you,

“Little China Boy” was probably the easiest song to write on this record. The first thing I had was the opening riff which plays on a stereotypical, oriental melody. But it didn’t feel right to just have that and not take it anywhere - I knew that the song wanted me to articulate my own Asian experience. And this might just be a nice sentiment but maybe it was the easiest song to write because it’s the most authentic to my personal narrative as an Asian immigrant growing up in America," shares Seyer.

Despite its idyllic pacing, "Little China Boy" is yet another heartbreaking reminder of the reality that is the American immigrant experience. The perpetual feeling of otherness. And in sharing his own story, there is the hope that feeling of otherness can be assuaged, even if only slightly.

"Little China Boy" arrives as yet another glimpse into Seyer's forthcoming album, A Good Fool, set to release September 24. In addition to releasing a new album later this year, Seyer will be heading out on tour this fall in support of Men I Trust.

Listen to "Little China Boy" below: