1. What is your name and your profession(s)? India Pascucci, drummer
2. What is your ethnic background and what is your citizenship (US native or naturalized etc.)? Filipino/Italian, born in the US
3. Are either/both of your parents musicians or somehow involved in the music industry? No, however my grandma, Merceditas Pascucci, loves to sing and has a beautiful voice - seems like it skipped a generation! She never sang professionally but she had her moments.
4. Please tell us a little bit about your experience, either growing up as an AAPI in America, or as a person of Asian descent who immigrated to America, whichever applies. Both of my parents were born in the Philippines and immigrated to America and I was the first of my family to be born here. It was just my mom and I growing up as my dad ended up moving back to the Philippines permanently when I was young. It was interesting growing up in America because I was brought up with mixed cultures. At home I was heavily influenced by my family’s Filipino culture and at the same time, I was experiencing things through school and my friends and their families. There were definitely times when I was younger where I felt like my mom was a bit unfair and too strict - I was always comparing my experience to my peers, but looking back I wouldn’t change things because I’m proud of my culture and its traditions and I wouldn’t be who I am today.
5. How connected do you feel to your heritage/culture(s)? I feel pretty connected to my Filipino heritage/culture, but not at all really to my Italian side, and I wish I was! Growing up, I was always surrounded by my Filipino family, food, and family and friends speaking Tagalog. I also visited the Philippines a handful of times and got to meet more family which was super fun - the Philippines is so beautiful and the culture is special. I am really proud to be Filipino and anytime I hear anyone speaking in Tagalog near me, I get all excited. I wish I had the same experiences with my Italian side and I plan on doing that soon! I think once I get to visit Italy and learn more about my family on that side, I’ll start really feeling connected with it.
6. 6a.) How did you get into music? Did you major in music in college? Where did you attend college/university (and grad school(s), if applicable) and in what subjects did you get your degree(s)? 6b.) When and how did you decide you were going to pursue music professionally? What were your parents’ reactions to you deciding to pursue music? Do they support your music career now? Ever since I can remember, I always had a passion for music and drumming specifically. I remember begging my mom for a drum set, but she couldn’t afford one, and one day when I was really young, maybe 7, a family friend gave me their hand me down kids set and I was beyond excited. I would practice everyday after school and taught myself how to play. I even had one neighbor who would always complain and yell at me for being so loud. I’m really thankful for my mom who always supported me - she would even leave to get groceries when I’d practice, so she could get a break from the noise. After that, I continued to play and through middle school and high school, I was in literally ever band class available and even had a few of my own bands outside of school. I remember in middle school I decided I wanted to pursue drumming and nothing else. And so I did! I ended up going to USC - my major was Popular Music and here I am today! A whole ass professional musician. Also, I just want to give a shoutout to my mom because she’s my number one fan and my biggest supporter and I wouldn't be where I am today without her.
7. What are a few of your (music) projects of which you are the proudest? What were your roles on those projects?Beyond those projects, please feel free to name some of your other credits as well as any brands/companies you officially endorse. I think in general I have a lot to be proud of. There’s not really one specific thing that I am proudest of, but I am just really proud of all of the hard work I have done to get where I am now. Along the way I have had some really amazing and crazy experiences and collectively I am proudest of all of that. A highlight of this year was doing my first TV performance with Daya on Jimmy Kimmel and aside from that I was set to play Coachella with an artist named NIKI as well as an Asia tour right before lockdown happened and I think those two experiences were about to be some really proud moments, but unfortunately they didn’t get to happen.
As for brands, I am a proud Paiste artist!
8. Describe to me your dream project. Honestly my dream right now is to just tour the world with my best friends. Getting to do the thing I love with the people I love while experiencing new places seems like the best thing to me.
9. What are some obstacles you have encountered (if any) being an AAPI in the music world? What are some obstacles you have encountered (if any) as an AAPI in general (non-music)? Conversely, has being an AAPI ever helped you in the music industry? I don’t really get this now, but when I was younger, I remember getting comments about being Asian and playing an instrument. It was always tied with how good I was. Like “Oh of course you’re Asian!! That’s why you're so good!”. These types of comments were always interesting to me because I always felt off about them, but never realized why. Looking back, I understand that comments like that weren’t complimentary at all.
10. 10a.) Who are some AAPI musicians/composers/producers who have previously inspired and currently inspire you (if any)? Why? 10b.) What are your hopes for the AAPI music community and your hopes for AAPIs in general? Lea Salonga was someone I felt inspired by because she is a huge deal in musical theater. I remember being so excited and feeling so inspired by her because she is Filipino and was really well known and respected and was in so many of my favorite movies. My hopes for the AAPI music community and AAPIs in general is that it won’t feel so rare when we are awarded for our talents and triumphs. There are so many of us who are really killing it in the industry and we deserve recognition. I also just want us to feel safe and respected. Treat us with basic human decency.
11. If you could give advice now to your younger teenage self, what would you tell her/him/they? This sounds cliché but I really believe that no matter how difficult things get, you can't give up and you have to keep pushing and fighting for yourself and your dreams. It’s all worth it in the end and if you believe in yourself and don't let people who don't support you get to you, you really can make your dreams come true.
12. Do you have any upcoming projects for which you are excited and about which you are allowed to share? Is there anything non-music-related on the horizon about which you would like to share? I’m excited to be working with a group of AAPI musicians for an upcoming music shoot and AAPI fundraiser! Other than that, i’m just excited and ready for live music to happen again.
13. Name one or two non-music-related things/subjects about which you are also passionate. Right now, some things that make me happy are baking, taking care of my plants, and going on picnics!
14. Any final thoughts? (non-self-promotional). Alternatively, do you have any questions for me and/or the greater AAPI music community? Nope!
Jammcard: India Pascucci
Photo provided by India Pascucci