It’s finals time for many students across the country, which could account for any irresponsible and recent YouTube blowups. Some may have just Bruined their image (sorry, I just had to). Instead of stressing, let’s stop, take a breather, and smell the roses! And by roses, I mean all the budding talent among Asian Americans that are helping to empower the community through entertainment.
Last Sunday, Jonathan Kim, 17, and Nessa Rica Ramos, 20, were among those who auditioned for L.A.’s upcoming Kollaboration Acoustic 5, a U.S. and Canada showcase where the finest singer-songwriters, instrumentalists, spoken word artists, and other acoustic Asian American artists perform and compete.
Kim is a Torrance local who picked up acoustic guitar, singing, and songwriting abilities while going back to his clarinet days in high school. The Korean American heard about Kollaboration Acoustic through a friend and YouTube stars Clara Chung and David Choi. “I think this can help spread word about the AA community in the media, especially with such talented people such as AJ Rafael and Gabe Bondoc. [They] and many of the AA artists on YouTube inspire me to do what I do,” says Kim.
Australia-born and -raised Ramos continues to pursue her musical dream as a Gardena, Calif., transplant. The Filipina has the heart it takes to help bring AAs to the mainstream. “I sing and play guitar, and was encouraged to audition because of what the Kollaboration platform gives to Asians Americans: a chance to shine and share our talent in hopes to be brought to mainstream. I feel as though AAs are not given the recognition they deserve because of their color, race, or style amongst other things … and being categorized as ‘foreign,’” says Ramos.
Here is a clip of her self-written “No Secret, I Admire.”
There will be 15 shows across 13 cities, with the first in L.A. The L.A. showcase will be at Hollywood’s Ford Amphitheater on Friday, June 17. The contestants will have a chance to perform in front of thousands, while competing for a grand prize of $1,000 and exposure on Kollaboration’s social media network.
I hope your frazzled self is bedazzled by all the talent among the AA community. Just as the two participants are waiting a few weeks to hear the results of their auditions, just hang in there!