Category Archives: Music

Brenda Xu Unplugged


From singer/songwriter Brenda Xu, this is a video that was shot for a promotional piece for the San Diego Asian Film Festival music event, Blowfish: Unplugged.

From her site:

Taking piano lessons from her mother at age 10 was almost enough to scare her off music forever. But San Diego’s Brenda Xu said that within a few years she’d rekindled her love for the music.

Today, the UC San Diego grad is devoting her energy and time to her budding career as a singer-songwriter.

The native of Harbin, China (next to Russia’s southern border), Xu came to the United States at age 5 to live with her grandmother in the L.A. area. At 10, her mother was able to join the family here —- and it was then she decided that Brenda should learn the piano.

But Xu said the lessons didn’t go very well.

To learn more about Brenda Xu and pick up her CD check out her MySpace page.  


Reader Love: Tucker Carlson, Cinema Seoul, and sex and the Asian male

Check out some of these great articles/blog posts for some worthwhile reading:

Take a music ride with Foxxi misQ

Being in the music scene for about a year now, the trio has been publicized as kind of an Asian Destiny’s Child. Check out their video for one of their earlier tracks Ultimate Girls.

Star Rising: Telly Leung and Rent


It seems that not only are Asian-American males getting more play in television and movies these days, but also on Broadway too. Case in point is Telly Leung, a 27 year old actor who is playing the role of Angel in the hit musical Rent.

Some of the national shows that Telly has played in (including Rent):

RENT (Angel / Steve and Others)
WICKED – Chicago Shiz Co. (Boq)
PACIFIC OVERTURES (Boy, Oberserver, Sailor)
FLOWER DRUM SONG (Ensemble, Ta u/s

At the same time Telly is also working on a full length feature album for release on MoppTopp records. To learn more about Telly Leung visit his site.

Prince and Purple Rain voted Best Soundtrack


Who knew that a guy who liked to show his naked butt in public and change his name to a symbol for a while would beat out four Londoners known as The Beatles for Best Soundtrack ever as voted on by Vanity Fair?

Man of color – sweet funky R&B heavy riff guitar OMG did he really do that color – beats out four hard rockin’ change the game it’s never been done like that before white dudes.

And Yoko.

Hot track: 2Backka and Bennie K – Home

The MV for the Japanese band 2Backka’s new single Home released this month, featuring the female duo Bennie K

You’ve never heard of David Choi?


O.K. – to be honest, not knowing the semi-famous, or maybe rather semi-internet famous musician/producer isn’t something you may feel completely terrible about in regard to knowing culturally relevent information – at least in some circlesbut you really should know about him.

Usher, LeAnn Rimes, Monica, Michelle Branch, and the Black Eyed Peas’ can’t all be wrong

If you have to peg the first moment that David Choi hit the spotlight it would be in 2004 when he won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for Teens which was judged by musicians and songwriters like Usher and LeAnn Rimes. Out of roughly 9000 student entries his was chosen as the winning song with comments like these from Usher:

“I was struck by how broad the song is and how I could relate to it. I felt like he’s actually speaking for race, he’s speaking for life, he’s speaking for sports, he’s speaking for youth, he’s speaking for adults […] In the future, David may become one of our prolific writers. He has a natural talent […]”

Read an article about the contest in USA Weekend.

And then came Bowie

2004 was a good year for Choi as later on he also won the David Bowie Mashup contest where fans competed to take one track from Bowie’s album Reality and another track from his other albums to create a new mashup single. Combining the tracks “She’ll Drive The Big Car” and “Shake It”, David Choi’s win netted him a new 2004 Audi TT Coupe.

Not bad for someone who just graduated from High School that year. 

Being a YouTube sensation

After a workshop with ASCAP, Choi landed at Warner Chappell Publishing as a staff songwriter/producer where he’s been since the Spring of ’06 working his daytime job and building his credentials – but it’s on social networking sites like YouTube where he seems to be making even more of a name for himself and building a loyal fanbase of listeners and fellow singer/songwriters. At the time of this post he has 23,000+ subscribers to his channel which has been viewed over 1,000,000 times and he is the #10 most subscribed musician of all time on YouTube.

But the numbers, while impressive, are only just part of the story.

Do a search at YouTube for David Choi and you’ll find covers of his original songs that he’s put there – as well as his MySpace pages (which are more polished studio versions of the acoustic versions on YouTube).

Think about that for a second.

These people aren’t covering songs that are commericial hits played on satelite, digital cable, or your old fashioned radio stations – but rather someone’s YouTube songs – David Choi’s songs – because they love them – and him – that much. One of his songs, and probably his most famous That Girl was even partially translated to Korean

But even better than that – check out the faces – the Asian faces – the younger than him Asian faces that are covering his songs, playing their music, and recording it for the world to see in a mini revolution taking over the Internet’s fiber-optics one bath and bedroom at a time.

Pretty cool don’t you think?

Even if you don’t, at least now you’ve heard of David Choi.

View more down at his YouTube channel and MySpace page.