Watch DAVID CHOI’s Award Video: Arts & Entertainment Award 2013

Earlier this month, Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal presented their 12th annual awards gala, Unforgettable. Historically, this event recognized the success of the Korean American community, but in honor of Audrey Magazine’s 10th anniversary, Unforgettable expanded to celebrate the achievements of the entire Pan-Asian community.

Aside from a lavishing dinner and show-stopping performances, Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal honored three individuals with achievement awards: producer of The Joy Luck Club and Shanghai Calling Janet YangYouTube artist David Choi and journalist/activist Jose Antonio Vargas.

David Choi was presented with the Arts & Entertainment Award for his success in the arts & entertainment industry and for paving the way for future Asian Americans to thrive.

About David:
David Choi is a native Los Angeles singer, songwriter and producer. On YouTube, he has close to a million subscribers and over 117,000,000 total video views. David has toured all over the world performing his original songs and covers in front of thousands of people. He wrote and self produced all three of his albums including “Forever and Ever” which debuted at #97 on the iTunes top album charts.  His songs and tracks have been heard on NBC, FOX, VH1, MTV, A&E, E!, Travel Channel, Style, PBS, Food Network, Disney, retail stores all over the USA, as well as in national commercials overseas and he has worked with brands such as Kellogg’s, Starburst, American Cancer Society, GE, YesStyle, Blue Microphones, Google, Toyota, Samsung, Hyundai and JC Penney.

WATCH HIS AWARD VIDEO BELOW:

 

Watch JANET YANG’s Award Video: Audrey Woman of Influence Award 2013

Earlier this month, Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal presented their 12th annual awards gala, Unforgettable. Historically, this event recognized the success of the Korean American community, but in honor of Audrey Magazine’s 10th anniversary, Unforgettable expanded to celebrate the achievements of the entire Pan-Asian community.

Aside from a lavishing dinner and show-stopping performances, Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal honored three individuals with achievement awards: producer of The Joy Luck Club and Shanghai Calling Janet YangYouTube artist David Choi and journalist/activist Jose Antonio Vargas.

Janet Yang was presented with the very first Audrey Woman of Influence Award to acknowledge her inspiring efforts as a woman in the Asian American community.

About Janet:
Janet Yang is a prominent Hollywood producer with deep roots in China.  Her award-winning film and TV credits include The Joy Luck Club,  The People vs. Larry FlyntDark Matter and Indictment: The McMartin Trial. Most recently, Yang produced the international film, Shanghai Calling, a romantic comedy shot entirely on location in Shanghai and played to great acclaim.  Yang began her career bringing Chinese cinema into North America, and then representing the Hollywood studios to broker the first sale of American cinema into China. This in turn led to joining Steven Spielberg on the historic production of Empire of the Sun. Yang has been named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood” by the Hollywood Reporter. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and the Committee of 100. Yang holds a B.A. from Brown University in Chinese studies and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

WATCH HER AWARD VIDEO BELOW:

 

 

Spotlight on Unforgettable’s Awardees | Jose Antonio Vargas, Inspiration Award

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has written for the likes of The New Yorker, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Rolling Stone to document stories of Americans around the country. Recently, he decided to tell his own story.

The Philippines-born Vargas was brought over to America as a young child and didn’t even know he didn’t have the right papers until he went to take his driver’s permit test as a teenager and was told his ID was fake. As a young adult, he became obsessed with proving himself as a true American, doing excellent work, paying his taxes, and eventually winning a Pulitzer — even if it meant keeping a very big secret. Eventually, he was tired of hiding and lying about his identity. He shook America with his 2011 The New York Times Magazine essay, in which Vargas came out as an undocumented immigrant.

Since then, Vargas continues to fight for the plight of undocumented immigrants, which many dismiss as “illegals.” He’s founded the organization Define American, which shares the many different stories much like his own. Earlier this year, he not only testified before the U.S. Senate on immigration reform but he also turned his personal story into a documentary film — fittingly called Documented — which premiered as the centerpiece for the AFIDOCS film festival in Washington D.C.

How did your documentary Documented come about?

Jose Antonio Vargas: Well, this was not the film I was originally going to make. Originally I was going to do a DREAM Act film. I was following five different people with different backgrounds, and I was going to do it Waiting for Superman style. Where you’re doing a vérité-style documentary, you just film, film, film, because you don’t know what you’re going to get.

And then halfway through the filming, one of my filmmaker friends asked me, “How could you do a film on immigration and not include your mom?” I barely talk to my mom [who he hasn't seen in over 20 years because she lives in the Philippines, and he cannot leave the US], let alone did I want to see her on film…. So in some ways the [autobiographical] film was not something I wanted to make, but it was a film that I needed to make.

documentedlogo

On the Define American page, the Documented logo is made up images of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Why did you want to link your story with images of social media?

Jose Antonio Vargas: It’s the idea that undocumented people are documenting their lives. For many people, social media is a narcissistic cesspool of vanity. [laughs] It’s just what I ate yesterday and where I’m going tonight. But for undocumented people that aren’t even recognized by the government, it’s our way to be recognized.

 

For more information on 2013′s Unforgettable annual gala, click here.

For free tickets to our Unforgettable after party, click here. Hope to see you there!

 

Spotlight on Unforgettable’s Awardees | David Choi, Arts & Entertainment Award

David Choi is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/music producer who first gained fame on YouTube for his original song “YouTube A Love Song” in 2006. Since then, he’s paved the way for independent artists who are building a fanbase and making a living themselves by mobilizing social media resources. Choi wrote and self-produced all three of his albums Only You, By My Side, and Forever and Ever, which debuted at #97 on the iTunes top album charts, his songs have used in both American and Korean television shows, and his YouTube channel boasts close to a million subscribers and over 117,000,000 total video views.

You talk a lot about a moment in high school, where you went from hating practicing your musical instruments to being obsessed with composing music. What happened?

David Choi: Well, I didn’t know you could create music. Learning an instrument is not being creative. It’s just practicing someone else’s music. You can’t be creative when somebody is telling you exactly what to do.

Once I realized I could be creative with music, something just grabbed me and made me want to do this forever. It was weird. Maybe it was me wanting to succeed? I don’t even think it was that. I just really loved it. It’s like when you fall in love with somebody, and you want to spend time with them every single day. That’s how I felt about music.

Do you find that your good songs come to you very quickly, or do you have to work hard to rewrite, analyze the lyrics or the structure, and rewrite again?

David Choi: Now that I’ve been doing it for so long, it feels more innate. I will write a song, and what matters to me is not necessarily whether it sounds good, cool, or unique, but whether it’s honest. That’s the first part. Then the second part is sitting on it after I record it, and later listening back and being more judgmental. Here, I’m putting on my producer’s hat and looking at song structure etc.

There are definitely songs that I rewrite constantly but if I keep having to do that, often I’ll just let it go. I feel like it loses something after too much revision. But that’s just the art side of me talking, not the practical side. It’s about balancing the two.

 

Check out David Choi on the cover of KoreAm Journal’s December 2013 issue. Buy a copy to read the full cover story.

For more information on 2013′s Unforgettable annual gala, click here.

For free tickets to our Unforgettable after party, click here. Hope to see you there!

Girls’ Generation Wins Video of the Year at YouTube Music Awards

Story By Taylor Weik.

K-Pop fans went wild as Tiffany from Girls’ Generation went up to receive the Video of the Year award at the first YouTube Music Awards on Sunday night.

Held at Pier 36 in New York City, the awards show was hosted by actor Jason Schwartzman and and comic-musician Reggie Watts and credits acclaimed filmmaker Spike Jonze as its creative director. The show was live-streamed to 215,000 YouTube users and viewers themselves voted on the winners for categories such as video and artist of the year and YouTube phenemonon.

Girls’ Generation beat out American pop icons such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, One Direction and Selena Gomez to win the first ever Video of the Year award for their music video “I Got a Boy.” While the eight other members of the Korean female group were working back in Korea, Tiffany was there to represent Girls’ Generation and accept the award.

“To be here in the first ever YouTube Music Awards is a treat in itself,” Tiffany said, “But to win Video of the Year… this is absolutely unexpected, and exciting and altogether humbling at the same time.”

Check out the videos of their award acceptance and winning video below: