No-No Boy Weaves Family And Other Immigrant Stories Into Catchy Folk Songs : World Cafe : World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN Previously heard as a member of The Young Republic, Julian Saporiti's new project incorporates his own family history, including the experiences of his Vietnamese mother.
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No-No Boy on World Cafe

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No-No Boy Weaves Family And Other Immigrant Stories Into Catchy Folk Songs

No-No Boy Weaves Family And Other Immigrant Stories Into Catchy Folk Songs

No-No Boy on World Cafe

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No-No Boy Diego Luis/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Diego Luis/Courtesy of the artist

No-No Boy

Diego Luis/Courtesy of the artist

Set List

  • "St. Denis or Bangkok, From a Hotel Balcony"
  • "Tell Hanoi I Love Her"
  • "Khmerica"

When you think of a university-level history lesson, or a book-length PHD dissertation, you might think "OK, that's probably gonna be a slog." Even if you're interested in the subject, it'll be a lot of dates and names and five dollar words... right? Not in the case of No-No Boy.

No-No Boy is a music project from Julian Saporiti that was born out of his doctoral studies at Brown University. You may have heard his music before as a member of the band The Young Republic, which we featured on World Cafe in 2006. But for his new project he weaves his own family history, including the experiences of his Vietnamese mother (as well as other immigrant stories) into gentle, catchy and accessible folk songs that feel instantly familiar.

His new album is called 1975. This this episode, you'll hear Saporiti perform songs from that album, and you just might learn a lot from our conversation. But don't worry, there's no quiz.

And a quick editor's note: There is a song in this interview that contains offensive language.