After a slew of one-hit-wonders, U.S. audiences may be hesitant to embrace another Asian artist, let alone a five-woman, pan-Asian group brought together by an Asian reality TV show. So what sets Alisha Budhrani, Natsuko Danjo, Angeli Flores, Victoria Chan and Ji Hae Lee apart? Could be their raw talent, harmonious tunes or the fact that they reeled in Snoop Dogg for their newest single, Undivided, now available on iTunes. We get the scoop.
ISSUE: Fall 2011
DEPT: Plugged In
STORY: Shirley Lau
Audrey Magazine: Blush is the product of the reality TV show, Project Lotus. What was that experience like?
Angeli: FarWest [Entertainment] found me via Facebook and so my dad and I didn’t think it would be so big or real, but then once we went to the auditions, it was clear how serious Project Lotus was.
Ji Hae: Project Lotus was my first time to perform — I had only practiced and auditioned [before]. It was also my first time [making] foreign friends. It was only my second time outside of South Korea, my first time in Hong Kong, and I had very rarely used any English until Project Lotus. AM: How do you feel about being the only pan-Asian girl group in the U.S. right now?
Victoria: It’s really exciting because we are representing so many people and we want to do a good job. We hope Blush will inspire others to connect with their own culture.
AM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Natsuko: Pink — she rocks! Victoria: Justin Timberlake ‘cause he’s hot!
Angeli: Bruno Mars. He is so talented and part Filipino!
Ji Hae: Karina Pasian. She has a beautiful voice.
Alisha: A.R. Rahman because he creates beautiful music.
— Shirley Lau
More stories from Audrey Magazine’s Archives here.
Seeing one music video from JIN Akanishi was all the test drive I needed to confirm that this top-selling Warner Music artist, Japanese vocalist, musician, and actor has taken the U.S. by storm.
Akanishi’s single, “Test Drive featuring Jason Derulo”, which debuted on November 8th, is currently at the #1 spot on the iTunes Dance Album Chart.
“I’m so grateful for all the overwhelming support from my fans,” says Akanishi, “It’s wonderful to know that they enjoy my new music.”
What sets JIN in the driver’s seat, aside from his good looks, luscious locks, and undeniable talent, is the apparent drive and determination that his character displays.
On the day of the debut of his single in the US, JIN arrived at The Beverly Center in Los Angeles where he was greeted by 300 eager fans gathered to help celebrate the release of his single hosted by KIIS FM On-Air personality, Jesse Lozano.
After a live performance of “Test Drive”, JIN was asked, “What kind of influence do you want to have on the kids in the U.S.?”
“I want them to pursue their dreams,” he responded. “Never give up, and smile, because we were born to smile.”
It looks like JIN’s fans will be smiling into the New Year, as he is currently working on a full English album set to be released in March of 2012.
My first impression of Victor King was that he is “down-right-sexy.” Many of the celebrities I’ve interviewed agree that Victor is, indeed, attractive and a dreamer. Check out our video below to hear more of what celebs like Chester See, Ryan Higa, J.R. Aquino, Andrew Garcia, D-Trix, AJ Rafael, Wong Fu Productions, Dumbfoundead, Jennifer Chung, Jason Yang, Michelle Phan, Joseph Vincent, JK Films, Cathy Nguyen, David So, Quest Crew and Poreotics, both champions from MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew had to say about Victor:
It was great to see so many people out and support him on what is obviously a huge accomplishment. Congratulations Victor, I hope for you the best!
We love our Dia Frampton here at Audrey Magazine so when we heard that the singer was going to be appearing at our sister publication, KoreAm Journal‘s elite Unforgettable gala, we decided to invited her to pick out a dress from Sue Wong‘s LA showroom and chat about her new single, “The Broken Ones,” and her upcoming album, Red. (Okay, okay, we also chatted a bit about dresses)
Check out our interview below! Continue Reading »
Judging from their latest music video, the New York-based indie rock band, PaperDoll, is having a hard time concentrating; but not the least bit of trouble entertaining. This comes as no surprise, as PaperDoll is known for their uninhibited, high-energy live shows.
Back from their six-city, seventeen-show tour of China, PaperDoll released their latest music video for single “Can’t Concentrate” on October 20th, 2011.
Led by the band’s vocalist, Teresa Lee, who is of Chinese, Thai, and Taiwanese decent, the video features the best of New York’s hula hooping talent and was filmed in Navatman dance studio in Midtown Manhattan.
“Can’t Concentrate” is the band’s fourth official music video, and was produced by Meteor Award Winner Michael Moloney. “Can’t Concentrate” is available on iTunes, amazon, and all major online retailers. The group is also currently being featured in a NIKE campaign airing in Greater China.
“[Being married] is really challenging me to go even deeper.” — Priscilla Ahn
ISSUE: Summer 2011
STORY: Jimmy Lee
Priscilla Ahn finds her happy place — and new songwriting fodder — in her latest album When You Grow Up.
Laurel Canyon is where the likes of Jim Morrison, Carole King and Joni Mitchell once lived, giving birth to songs that would fuel the 1960s and ’70s counterculture, and creating music that would help define the singer-songwriter. This seminal Los Angeles neighborhood is now the place Priscilla Ahn calls home, and being surrounded by that illustrious musical history is a source of inspiration for this chanteuse with the beguilingly breathy delivery. But there’s something amidst Laurel’s leafy confines that’s mucking up this American idyll for Ahn: her husband.
With the “happy place” she’s discovered with actor Michael Weston comes a different, albeit not unpleasant, set of problems. “Before, I always felt a little lost … not knowing my place,” says Ahn, who grew up in rural Pennsylvania with her Korean mother. “When I established that with my husband a couple of years ago, it actually became harder to write songs.”
Now she has a larger pool of experiences to draw upon when penning her compositions, more than just the “sad emotions” and the times “when I was feeling alone” she often turned to in the past. Ahn, who wed last year, says, “[Being married] is really challenging me to go even deeper.”
She’s struck a reserve of riches with her new album, When You Grow Up, as she explores multiple facets of folk music over its 12 tunes. Throughout her sophomore effort (released again on the iconic Blue Note label), Ahn’s bliss is pervasive. There’s even hope after a crushing break-up on “I Don’t Have Time To Be In Love.” (Alas, for the guys who so easily fall under the charm of Ahn’s disarming on-stage persona, the breakup that song is based on is not hers — it’s that of co-writer Charlie Wadhams.)
Ahn describes herself as a “homebody,” perfectly content to spend a Saturday night in Laurel Canyon, cooking, watching a movie, or following her blogs. “Mostly [the blogs] are about flowers, fashion, cooking and crafts. Those are the four things I’m really into; they inspire me so much,” says Ahn.
Then there’s her husband, who she’ll hang out with at a local Korean spa. And for the man who prepared Korean seaweed soup on the occasion of her birthday, she’s inspired to write lyrics like these: “You were my one and only/The only one I ever learned to love.”
— Jimmy Lee
More stories from Audrey Magazine’s Archives here.
Before Youtube and other online mediums accessible for comedians to publicly showcase their talents, there was the self-starting way of spending years developing material in clubs and building appearances in coffee shops and on school campuses. Korean American comedian Margaret Cho is one of those self-starters.
Described as the pioneer woman of Asian American comedian, Cho launched her own successful career as one of the first Asians in standup comedy.
Her latest stand-up concert film, Cho Dependent, recorded during her 2010 tour, made its debut on October 15 on the Showtime Channel. Cho Dependent shows Margaret in her usual top form, riffing on smart topics that actually matter. The DVD is set to be released on November 21, 2011 via Rocket Science, and will also feature Behind The Scenes backstage bonus footage from the tour.
As the Agent Provocateur of stand up, Cho is undoubtedly a woman of many laughs, however, she is also a woman of many hats. In addition to her comedy, Cho is a fashion designer, actress, author, and recording artist. Cho Dependent showcases songs from her Grammy nominated album interwoven into the thought provoking stories she tells.
“I’m really in love with this show as it’s the first time I got to bring my comedy and my music together. It was the hardest I have ever worked on anything, and I had such an amazing time on this tour,” said Cho. “I wanted to film in Atlanta because the city has become an adopted hometown for me and I think that could be felt in this performance. It was amazing to come back to the south and bring something I was so proud of to share with all my friends!”
From music and movies to charity events and Halloween festivities, the last week of October is packed with happenings that will soothe your ears, warm your soul, and unleash your Halloween persona.
RACHAEL YAMAGATA, 2011 CHESAPEAKE TOUR
Beautiful Japanese-Italian-German American singer-songwriter, Rachael Yamagata, just began her 2011 Tour on October 24 in Portland, Main’s Port City Music Hall. The tour is in celebration of the release of Yamagata’s third album, Chesapeake.
Chesapeake features an eclectic collection of songs projecting Yamagata’s optimism and hopefulness, showcasing her sultry and smoky voice, rich, layered harmonies, striking ballads and soulful grooves. The tour will hit major U.S. cities and will finish off on December 22nd at New York City’s City Winery.
When : October 24, 2011- Dec 27, 2011
Where: In select U.S. cities Nationwide
How: To stream Chesapeake online, visit http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/av/2011/10/album-stream-rachael-yamagata-chesapeake.html
On October 13, 2011, the White House was filled with the beautiful music of the three Korean American sisters, the Ahn Trio, as part of a Welcoming State Dinner for South Korea. Continue Reading »
The Korean hip-hop group, Yellow Boyz, stays true to their name as the headlining stars of this year’s Asian Hip Hop Summit at Princeton University for the 2nd annual IvyCon on November 12, 2011.
Shooting to fame following their appearance on Mnet’s Superstar K3, the Hip Hop group from Atlanta was chosen to headline this year’s Asian Hip Hop Summit. Now an annual concert tour, the Asian Hip Hop Summit was founded as an annual festival in Los Angeles’s in 2001, and is now North America’s oldest and most widespread Asian arts movement.
Also joining Yellow Boyz at this year’s Summit will be Lyricks from Northern Virginia, Decipher from Philadelphia, Jackie Chain from Huntsville, and Smokes from Milwaukee.
The Asian Hip Hop Summit’s 10 Year Anniversary Tour kicked off on October 1 at the R.E.A.C.H Conference (UNC, Duke, NC State) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The group also performed at the A3C Hip Hop Festival in Atlanta and will make additional stops at Rutgers University, Boston University, and many other schools.
For more info and an up-to-date Tour Schedule, check it here.