Yut Chia is this year’s winner of Kollaboration Dallas and is one of the six finalists at next month’s Kollaboration Star. A passionate violinist hailing from New York with the desire to entertain, he’s been building up his reputation as a musician, ever since his humble days of performing at subway stations in order to fund money for college.
I recently called up Chia to learn more about him and out of all the details from his fascinating life thus far, I found the following six to be particularly interesting:
1. Chia has been playing violin since age 12
Yes you read that right. Despite wanting to play the violin as a child, Chia was unable to afford violin lessons. He started late to the instrument taking his first lesson in the seventh grade, not that it’s made a difference in his ability as he is now a full-time violinist.
2. His musical inspiration is Nuttin’ But Strings
Chia was inspired by the former duo’s style of blending genres like R&B and pop together on an instrument that’s normally reserved for classical concertos. He even performed with former member Damien Escobar when he showed up at one of Chia’s impromptu subway performances, and the two collaborated on the spot.
3. Chia has performed for the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Robert De Niro, and Kevin Spacey
It was the president of the New York Times who walked by him while he was performing at a subway station that eventually led to him being invited out to perform for a number of events where such public figures were in attendance. Despite a number of amazing gigs under his belt so far, that hasn’t stopped Chia from wanting to perform on all the big stages.
4. Chia is the founder of Yut & The Hot Four (a modern instrumentalist group)
With the help of Craigslist, in 2013, Chia formed a modern instrumentalist group call Yut & The Hot Four. Along with Chia, it’s made up of violinist Chia Yin-Ma, celloist Lenaé A. Harris, bassist Lorenzo Kim Sandi, and drummer Rajeev Maddela. Asked what a modern instrumentalist group is, Chia defined it as an atypical string quartet, with the goal of their performances being to pumped up the energy and “keeping it on edge 24.7.” Often, they’ll also have backup dancers accompany them for their performances.
While the members of Yut & The Hot Four have gone their separate ways, Chia and Harris still perform together, and they, along with three backup dancers, will be traveling together to Los Angeles for Kollaboration Star 2015.
5. Chia is a Kollaboration veteran
While this will be Chia’s first time performing at Kollaboration Star, his history with the Kollaboration movement extends beyond him winning this year’s Kollaboration Dallas showcase. His first appearance in a Kollaboration showcase was in 2013 when he performed backup for eventual Kollaboration NY winner Izzy. A year later, he returned with The Hot Four, but lost to Sung Lee. Chia explained how he researched all the chapters in advance for this year, and settled for auditioning for the Dallas chapter this time around due to its intimate environment.
It’s because of Chia’s history with Kollaboration that has led him meeting many people through the movement, and has commended the people involved in being really chill to be around and very supportive.
6. Chia desires to inspire
In regards to his upcoming performance at Kollaboration Star, Chia hopes to not only wow the audience with his performance, but also that they see the hard work and passion he puts into his music. In the long run, he hopes his performance inspires people.
Watch Yut perform for the chance to win $10,000 at Kollaboration Star, taking place 11/14/15! Tickets are on sale now at star.kollaboration.org