"We need to allow Asian women to shine": Lollaplaooza Co-Chair & Artist Etty Lau Farrell

The multi-hyphenate sits down with &ASIAN to talk about Lollapalooza's expansion into India and the launch of her and her husband's new music label, Imprint Label.
Etty Lau Farrell. Photo by Walid Azami.
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"We need to allow Asian women to shine": Lollaplaooza Co-Chair & Artist Etty Lau Farrell

Congratulations on having your own record label! How do you see Imprint Label differentiating from other labels? What can we expect out of Imprint Label in terms of becoming a destination for diverse artists and how you build your roster?

Imprint is different because there is Perry [Farrell, Etty's husband] and he is so involved! It is wonderful to have an artist that has done it and gone through it themselves, that knows the process, not just as an artist but as a producer and promoter. When you have a record label run by an artist there is always that love and care that you might not otherwise get. Also, with Perry being the founder of Lollapalooza, there is that opportunity to then promote these new artists.

Lollapalooza is really at the forefront of bringing different people and cultures together via music. Etty, as an Asian artist, how does it feel to have such groundbreaking artists like j-hope and TOMORROW X TOGETHER be apart of your line up for this weekend?

I do love that Lollapalooza was a festival that brought alternative culture into the forefront of popular culture. I would love to have Lollapalooza become a vehicle to bring other ethnic artists to the public. I’m an Asian artist and I always want to support other ethnic artists. Art and music is about accepting; it’s all encompassing and transcends cultures. With Lollapalooza, we try very hard to showcase artists that may not have the vehicle to do so otherwise. We are happy to provide artists from all walks of life and different cultures and backgrounds to share their space and their music with as many people as possible.

Photo by Johnny Rios Marroquin.

Etty, what has your experience throughout the industry been like as an Asian artist? How have you seen the industry change (or not) for people of Asian descent over time? How do you hope the industry will change in the future for Asian artists?

I hope that the industry will change and give Asian artists more opportunities. I see that the industry is trying to change and be more inclusive but I don't think it is changing fast enough. Asians are the least represented in every artistic outlet. We need that representation and it's a matter of having the opportunity to be seen and heard. I’m truly hoping that the studios, labels and powers that be will open their hearts to embrace other ethnicities more.  We need to allow Asian women to shine.

It’s super exciting to hear that Lollapalooza is expanding to India in 2023! Was there a particular process in how Mumbai was chosen as the next destination for Lollapalooza?

The expansion to Mumbai has been in the works at least three years; it started before covid happened and of course the pandemic delayed the process. It was a long, long process. India is a great place to break into Asian audiences. It is a big enough country to sustain a Lolla festival without needing international travel. Our goal is to show both Indian and Western acts: likely 60% Indian acts and 40% Western or international acts.

It will be great to work culturally with the local artists. We see Mumbai as a first city into Asia, a gateway to expand Lollapalooza there.

Photo by Walid Azami.

How do you see the continuing expansion of Lollapalooza contributing to the spread of the profile of Asian artists around the world, especially in Asian markets?

I want this to be the first of many! I’d love to do something in Singapore or Shanghai in the near future.

Might we see more Indian and South Asian artists coming over to take part in the other editions of Lollapalooza outside of Asia with this new expansion?

I would hope so!  It would be great to bring some of those artists to Chicago and other Lollapaloozas, like an International stage. We are a global brand and have the capacity to do that.

What artists are you hoping to get for Lollapalooza Mumbai? Can you share any spoilers for what fans should be excited for next January?

Not yet, but stay tuned!

Photo by Johnny Rios Marroquin.

In the past few years, Lollapalooza has gone worldwide, with Mumbai being another addition to the massive Lollapalooza global lineup. What other countries are you hoping to expand the festival to and do you have any dream cities you’d like to see the festival in?

Perry and I are really talking about Tel Aviv. We’d love to have a Lolla where we can bring Palestinian and Israeli artists together to do a festival about peace and community. That’s our dream definitely: Lolla Tel Aviv! Peace in the Middle East.

The fact that j-hope is the first-ever Korean headliner of the festival has made headlines in both the Korean community and the wider Asian community. What role do you feel Lollapalooza plays in helping to encourage diversity in the music industry?

Just as Lollapalooza did in the 90s, Lolla will continue to spearhead this international movement of bringing in artists from all over the world. So many artists from different countries are truly amazing and here in the US, we don't get to experience them. We want to be the bridge and vehicle to do that.

Lollapalooza Mumbai will be on from the 28th-29th of January 2023 with more details to be released soon.
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