WE’RE GOING TO KOREA!!!
But NOT without your help!!! ENTRY #31! I believe we can pull through to first place! Let’s DO this! Please spread the word!!! http://bit.ly/mfqtjk
9. Interview 1
Here are a few questions and answers from a small interview I did with my friend, Andrew O. Just thought it would make an interesting read for you guys :)
1. What do you think of famous Asian-American artists? What are your musical influences?
Most of the popular Asian-American artists I am familiar with are those who share their music on Youtube. I think they are really great musicians and that they all have their individual style. I look up to a few of them for inspirations when writing my own music these days or to get an idea of where I could take my music in the future. I have a few influences coming from quite a varied collection of music. I was inspired to play guitar in high school after being introduced to a band called Dashboard Confessional. Singing was a personal aspiration I had in middle school while listening to bands like ‘Nsync and Backstreet Boys. That passion was later on refueled by being part of my high school choral program. I remembered how much I enjoyed singing each and every day. These days, I’ve been busy doing covers of Korean pop music, which is inspired by a Korean male group called DBSK. I also have a few solo ballad performers that I idolize when it comes to singing.
2. Who do you write your music for? Does the audience you write for match for the actual audience you find listening to you?
While a lot of listeners like the music that I sing or produce, and that sometimes I would write songs for a certain person or two, I find that in the end, I write music mainly for myself. The things that I write would simply come out naturally without me thinking, “Would he/she like this song? Like this or like that?” And at the end of the day, I would be content because music relieves me of much of my stress. It’s probably what makes me such a laid back person most of the time because no one ever sees me stressing. With this given, the actual audience of listeners that find my music is much larger than what I may intend to write for. As my time on Youtube began, I only uploaded a couple of videos for fun, but those videos and subsequent ones have brought me thousands of subscribers in the end, much to my amazement!
3. How much of your popularity do you owe to the online community? Do you think you could be a successful musician without it?
I owe any and all of my successes as a performer to the online community. Without them constantly spreading the word and sharing my songs with their friends and family, I would not have had the chance to know some of them today. My friends in college also would introduce me as a “singer” to their friends, which, admittedly, always makes me nervous and shy. But I would not be where I am without everyone else.
4. Have you ever thought of taking your talent and abilities outside mainstream US? Possibly, being accepted as an internationally recognized Asian American performer?The first and only time I actually recognized the possibility of me being a singer was due to Korean pop music. I was given the chance to fly to Korea and compete in an international competition for being one of the top 25-30 singers from Youtube that entered. Walking the halls of the broadcasting stations where famous, well-known idols had walked through made me realize that perhaps that was the “dream” that most people had always dreamed of. I was living a dream, and I knew anything would be possible.
5. If you had to guess, what percentage of your fans are Asian American?I would say possibly 30-40%. There are a lot of non-Asian fans of Korean pop music, but since it is Asian, I would say that there are a lot of Asian fans. I believe a large number of them are from California and a couple of other states in the US.
6. What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years, and how do you plan to reach those aspirations?I’m currently a college student, so I hope to complete my program in that time. For now, as it had been, singing will be mainly a hobby, but if I could somehow get the chance to take it to the next level, I am willing to do my best. Of course, I will always keep in mind what it was that motivated me to sing in the very beginning.
7. How do you define the bamboo ceiling and do you actively try to respond to its presence in the music industry?To me, the “bamboo ceiling” is a subjective topic regarding someone’s potential or even their ability to communicate in their field of work. As Asian Americans face the “bamboo ceiling” in the US, I do face my own barrier when choosing to sing Korean music. Korean is certainly not my primary language nor my second. In fact, it is the fifth language that I was exposed to. I would not say that I am actively responding to this language/ethnic barrier, but I also don’t sing because I have to nor because I want to impress others. I simply sing because I enjoy their music and am fascinated by their culture. After all, music is a universal language that touches human emotions that perhaps languages sometimes cannot.
8. When called an Asian American Artist, do you mind that label and how do you feel it affects you as an up-coming artist?
I’ve actually never thought about it that way. Since I’m a big fan of Korean music and am involved as a cover performer, it doesn’t seem to make a difference to the online community that I am from America. The music that I sing would be part of a music industry outside of that in America. To me, it seems the term “Asian American artist” would be more often used to identify those who are active performers in America. Even then, I don’t believe it ought to make a difference to the true audience of their music.