Thursday, April 17, 2008

Asian American Music: David Choi

I've been researching Asian American YouTube celebrities for my wiki, and so when Professor Lee asked us to post about an Asian American musician I couldn't resist posting about David Choi. Actually initially I was going to include him in my paper because my fiance is a huge fan, but I ended up deciding to just focus on the three most popular YouTube celebrities.

Anyway, David Choi is a Korean American musician currently living in California. In "real life" he is a staff producer/songwriter for Warner Chappell Music Publishing, but he regularly posts music videos on YouTube featuring him playing guitar and singing. Often they are covers of other people's songs, but there are several of his own original songs as well (they mostly fall into the pop genre).

David Choi gained notoreity in the YouTube community when he posted "YouTube (A Love Song)," a parody about how much he loves YouTube. Afterward Choi's videos became quite popular and he gained a sizeable fan base in the YouTube community (one that, just as an amusing aside, is constantly clamoring for him to smile in a video--something he has vowed never to do). He is currently YouTube's 13th most subscribed musician of all time, and what is perhaps his most popular original song "That Girl" (see video below) inspired a whole slew of covers posted in response (if you YouTube search "that girl choi cover" you'll see what I mean--there are almost 75 videos).

I'm not sure if there is anything particularly "Asian American" about David Choi's music, other than that he himself is Asian American; as I noted earlier, and as you can see for yourself, his music sounds a lot like mainstream pop. Yet, he does seem to have something of a following in the Asian American community (although I can't give any figures to support this, a large number of the people who posted covers of "That Girl" were Asian American, and most of the people I know who have heard of him are also Asian American). Moreover, he was featured in the 2007 Imprint media conference which took as its focus Asian American and urban culture ( Personally, I'm not really sure what it means for music to be specifically "Asian American," but since David Choi is Asian American and so are many of his fans, I think he's worth discussing. Enjoy listening to "That Girl" (posted below) and let me know what you think.

For more information, or to hear more from David Choi, check out:


Sri said...

is he gay?

Michael Teruya said...

2007? that long ago? This song is more authentic than the rap stuff he does now. He should have stuck to his guns and matured in his songwriting. That is the general problem with young Asian Americans, they tend to be flighty. David is impressive in his video.