“Chinese American rapper Only Won has a refreshing and unique sound… with a lucid yet underground flow that mixes honesty, humour and intelligence.”
– Cross Rhythms Magazine
Only Won brings true originality to the current music landscape that crosses cultural boundaries. Whether it’s rapping about dim sum, thermodynamics or saving the world, Only Won’s music appeals to Asians, non-Asians, geeks, non-geeks, the young and the young at heart. He has performed for diverse audiences at Asian American Faith Impact Awards, Spirit West Coast Music Festival, Knott’s Berry Farm, JCTV, Green Planet Movie Awards and numerous events around the country. Additionally, his original songs have been featured in the video game Sleeping Dogs and the film Dead Man Down starring Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard.
His clever music videos have attracted fans and the attention of CNN and the Discovery Channel. Audiences have enthusiastically embraced his personal re-imagining of songs such as, “I Wanna Be an Engineer” (a parody of “Billionaire”) and “Cantonese Boy,” (a parody of “American Boy”). “I Wanna Be an Engineer” became a viral hit on YouTube garnering over one million views and spawned cover versions. It also captured the attention of Intel and the White House. He subsequently became a spokesperson for the national “Stay With It” campaign sponsored by Intel. Only Won stars in several videos promoting careers in engineering for the campaign and is prominently featured on their website staywithit.org
Baldwin Chiu was born in San Francisco and grew up in a Chinese family with humble roots. He later moved to Sacramento where he would one day become Only Won. Though he played ball and hung out with different people from the streets, Only Won stayed out of trouble and was a creative honor student who played the viola in orchestra. Instead of being an “Original Gangster,” he was an “Overachieving Geek” aka, the OG. He earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sacramento State University while deejaying at his college’s radio station and performing at his church on weekends. That marked the beginnings of a dual career in engineering and music.
His first EP, “Glory” produced by music veteran Maximillian (JC Crew, T-Bone, Nitro Praise) released singles “Glory” and “Desperate Cry” that garnered radio airplay across the U.S. Only Won’s latest full-length album on LOG Records, titled “The Lyrical Engineer,” highlights his positive lyrical wit, depth and intelligence and the occasional bilingual rhymes. For this project, Only Won joined forces with Grammy-nominated producer Noel, of the pioneering Hip Hop duo, The Dynamic Twins. It covers a broad musical landscape that not only includes Hip-Hop but Reggae, R&B, and Gospel. This further shows that Only Won is no ordinary rapper and is not bound by stereotypes.
In addition to being a performer, Only Won is an inspiring speaker who champions education and less glamorous, but nonetheless important careers such as being an engineer. His unique perspective has made him a popular speaker at schools, conferences and churches. He is committed to promoting racial reconciliation and cross cultural understanding through his music and speaking. He is also a professional actor and advanced level martial artist who has appeared in films such as The Pursuit of Happyness, The Hulk and The Matrix.
He frequently collaborates with his favorite duet partner and wife, singer-songwriter, Larissa Lam and enjoys beatboxing to his baby girl. Only Won is currently based in the traffic-filled city of Los Angeles where he can be seen driving his futuristic concept car, the Isuzu VehiCross.
Glory (EP) – 2006
The Lyrical Engineer (album) – 2010
Jun Bay (Song Planet-Marquee Music compilation) – 2010
Crush ‘Em Like Godzilla (single) – 2011