Peter Chung Wins Kollaboration Los Angeles 2015!

It was an electric night last Saturday at the Los Angeles Theatre Center as six finalists played their hearts out in front of their community. In the end, it was Peter Chung who would follow up his 2012 win at Kollaboration SF with another victory in his new home, Los Angeles, securing a spot in this year’s Kollaboration Star finale. Special thanks to all of our finalists, Rosy Donovan, Lisa Sonoda, Track IX, Perry & Danielle, and The Will Park for being part of such a special night. Everyone is looking forwards to seeing what everyone does next!

A full recap of the night is coming soon including coverage of the incredible Lip Sync Battle!

In the meantime, make sure to follow all of our talented finalists:

Lisa Sonoda

Peter Chung

Perry & Danielle

Rosy Donovan

Track IX

Will Park



Asian Americans Respond to the Tragedy in Charleston

The tragic events in Charleston, SC last week sent shockwaves across the country and has been a stark reminder that racism and hate is still very much alive in the United States. Experts and the public alike have been trying to make sense of why this tragedy occurred and what, or who, could have filled the killer, Dylann Roof, with so much hate that he had to commit this act of mass murder. The Asian American community has been very vocal with condemning the actions of Roof, his racial motivations echoing the Detroit killing of Vincent Chin 33 years ago this day. Here are some of their reactions:

AsAm News responds to Roof’s manifesto, which perversely identifies East Asians as potential allys.
“Don’t waste your time, Dylann Roof. Asian Americans are not your allies. We don’t want anything to do with you. Your nonsensical perverted thinking does not resonate in the Asian American community. We reject you and all you stand for.”

Activist blog Reappropriate calls for an appropriate response from the public and media in labeling this an act of terrorism
“As an Asian American and a woman of colour, I don’t understand how anyone can stand idly by and watch this happen. How can any moral person not be enraged by the relentless assault and murder of Black citizens, who are guilty of nothing more than going about their daily lives while wearing the colour of their skin? Do we really think we are not also stakeholders in this necessary fight for racial justice?”

Rafu Shimpo reports on the responses of APA political and community leaders to the mass shooting
“The Asian American and Pacific Islander community shares the pain of the black community in Charleston, as we have also experienced killings motivated by hate, including the murder of Vincent Chin almost 33 years ago today by Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz,” said Michael W. Kwan, national president of OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates. “He, like the victims of this murderous rampage, had done nothing wrong except to be of a certain color and therefore a target in the mind of a racist killer. Make no mistake, this slaughter of innocents is an act of domestic terrorism designed to instill fear in communities of color and advance a white supremacist political agenda.”

How has the tragedy in Charleston affected your perspective on race, hate, and their institutionalized presence in our culture?


Sources: AsAm NewsReappropriateRafu Shimpo

Photo: Dallas Morning News

Kollaboration Update – 6/8/2015

On Saturday, June 27, Kollaboration Los Angeles triumphantly returns to Downtown Los Angeles for our 2015 showcase. Join us at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in DTLA for a celebration of Asian American talent and passion! Get your tickets now!

Watch our Global Executive Director Christine Minji Chang chat with Halo Halo​’s host, Kat Iniba on KSCI LA-18!

​Introducing Kollaboration Artists

Arguably one of the largest collections of Asian American talent online. Hundreds of artists have graced our stages over 16 years in 16 cities. We’re working on compiling them all here as an incredible resource for‪ Kollaboration‬ and community. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we’re enjoying creating it!

Get involved with Kollaboration!

Kollaboration has open staff positions for our ​Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, SF and Toronto teams! If you’re interested in contributing to the movement, meeting new friends, & working with amazing artists, apply here: OPEN POSITIONS

Kollaboration Blog – CALLING ALL WRITERS!

If you’re interested in writing about music, film, literature, tech, culture, society & more for the Kollaboration blog, please send an email to:!

Check out the latest from the KollabCast

Episode 18 featuring Aaron Yeung – Aloha Hot Aaron

Episode 17 featuring Jenny Yang – Tell Us A Story

Episode 16 featuring Travis Atreo – Caveman Selfies


Come check out and participate in one of our local Kollaboration events, now held across the country! Here are some upcoming events:

New York – Kollaboration New York and TAP-NY are teaming up for a laid back karaoke happy hour at Karaoke Boho West4 on Tuesday, June 9th!​
Houston – Kollaboration Houston is proud to be promoting tons of talent and the hottest food trucks in the city at the upcoming Food Truck Park event on June 19th!​
Dallas – Kollaboration Dallas Showcase Auditions are now ongoing! Applications close June 16, CLICK HERE for​ more information.
D.C. – Kollaboration DC is hosting an Open Mic Night this June 27th at The Board and Brew, featuring local artists from the DMV community!


“Mellow Yellow” – Dumbfoundead

Listen to Dumbfoundead’s “Mellow Yellow” produced by Josh Pan. »

“adios, ozone” – Plaitwrights

Watch the official music video for Plaitwrights’ “adios, ozone”. »

“Lean On (feat. MØ)” – Major Lazer & DJ Snake Choreography by KINJAZ

Watch this Kinjaz Collab piece by Mike Fal & Anthony Lee. »


Help keep the Kollaboration movement alive & kicking in 2015! Every little bit helps & we are grateful for your support!


Kollaboration Boston IV | Friday April 17 @ Royale

Kollaboration Boston is excited to begin Kollaboration’s 2015 season with our fourth annual showcase!

Kollaboration Boston IV will be held Friday, April 17 at Royale Nightclub in downtown Boston, which features young AAPI artists from around the Greater Boston Area.

Doors open at 6:30PM!

Elise Go
Esther Chung
Harrison Kim
J. Dep

These six artists are competing for a chance to perform at Kollaboration Star 2015 in Los Angeles later this year and win $10,000!

Derek Hsu
Unofficial Project

Adlai Grayson

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

GA + AFTER PARTY (21+, featuring Cedric Gervais): $25
For groups of 10+, please contact us at:

Tickets can be bought at:

Stay up to date with Kollaboration Boston, the show, and our finalists on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Get excited and we’ll see you there!


Kollaboration Update – 4/1/2015

Kollaboration has had an amazing start this year with some phenomenal open mic nights, festivals, and our first round of auditions for several Kollaboration cities. Creating a global community that stays grassroots is no easy feat, but it really is a testament to the passion and hard work of our network from volunteer staff, artists, and community partners. I’m constantly amazed at the support and the determination to empower through entertainment. As I said, 2015 has been incredible so far but there is much more to come! Please come out and enjoy one of our local Kollaboration events across North America, and check out our new online content featuring strong & diverse API voices!

Kollaboration Global Executive Director Christine Minji Chang


Kollaboration Boston 2015

The 2015 Kollaboration Season is upon us! Kollaboration Boston kicks off 2015 with their upcoming show at the Royale on April 17th!
Tickets & information.

Check out KollabCast

Our very own Kollaboration Podcast! Episodes 1-8 are currently available for streaming and download, RSS feed & you can also find us oniTunes & Stitcher! Send any questions or comments to!

Kollaboration 2015 Auditions Now Open!

Are you ready to share your talent with the world? Kollaboration city auditions are now open and we can’t wait to see what you can bring!

Have you been keeping up with the Kollaboration Blog?

Check out for our latest posts! If you’re interested in contributing to our blog, email to get involved!



Come check out and participate in one of our local Kollaboration events, now held across the country! Here are some upcoming events:

Los Angeles Dance Workshop at the legendary Movement Lifestyles Dance Studio with The KINJAZ – Mike Song, Ben Chung & Anthony LeeSAVE THE DATE 5/9


Kollaboration is proud to support Visual Communications’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival! We will be co-presenting two great films this year: Wong Fu Production’s very first feature film “Everything Before Us” and the SXSW-featured “Ktown Cowboys” starring KollaborationLA alum Danny Cho!Kollaboration will also be supporting the Top 8 Short Film Program in conjunction with WeOwnThe8th and The Great Company as an official community partner.More information on the festival and the dates and times of the events can be found

Music Beautiful LP (2015)- Gowe

Gowe follows up his debut “We Are Hypergiants” album with his Sophomore release “Music Beautiful”. Listen and purchase »

“Pinot Noir” – Mike B

Check out Mike B’s new music video for “Pinot Noir,” on ISAtv’s Spring Music Video Week! »

“Til'” – DANakaDAN ft. Paul Dateh

Watch the official music video for “Til'”, from DANakaDAN’s 2014 album “Stuntman”. »

“Thinking Out Loud” cover – Clara C & JROD Twins

Clara C and the JROD Twins make a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”. »

Help keep the Kollaboration movement alive & kicking in 2015! Every little bit helps & we are grateful for your support!

Kollaboration Auditions Now Open!

Kollaboration auditions are now open in select cities! For more info, including rules and regulations, check out our auditions page!

Auditions are currently open for the following cities:

Washington, DC:  Application deadline Friday March 13 – Apply Now
Houston, TX: Live Auditions Saturday March 21 – Email for details
Chicago, IL: Live auditions Saturday March 28 – Apply Now
Los Angeles, CA: Application deadline Friday April 3 – Apply Now

A New Chapter and a New Sound for Dia Frampton: Archis

Whether you started following Dia Frampton during her Warped Tour days as the lead singer of alternative rock band Meg & Dia, or from her deep run on the inaugural season of NBC’s The Voice, chances are you’ve been eager to hear more from the talented singer-songwriter. Luckily, your wait is almost over as her new band Archis (pronounced like “arches”) will release their debut EP on Monday, February 23.

A collaboration between Dia and composer/producer Joseph Trapanese (who famously worked with Daft Punk on the score for Disney’s Tron: Legacy and M83 on Oblivion), The Archis EP was recorded in early 2014 and was originally set to be released independently during the 2014 Lindsey Stirling Tour that Dia was a part of. This was when Nettwerk Records, who had just signed Dia, took notice and convinced her that if she wanted to release this record the right way, she should do it with more financial backing.

Kollaboration caught up with Dia to talk about Archis, the value of performing live, and her other side projects.


What is Archis? How did it come to be and what is unique about it?

The roots of Archis started quite a few years ago when I first worked with my friend Joe [Trapanese]. He’s such a creative person, I just felt like I connected with him right away. We worked together on a few songs just for fun that I would listen to for my own creative intake. It was difficult because the things we worked on wasn’t really resonating with the label I was with at the time.

We didn’t really plan to make a new band, it started as an excuse to get together and have fun. Working with Joe was always effortless and it never felt like I was going into the studio to produce a perfect three and a half minute pop song—it was just a fun and creative release. Organically, the music started sounding so different from my past stuff and Joe was such a big part of it as well, so it made sense to call it something new.

I think for me it’s also a transitional project. The first single, Blood, is mostly about feeling chewed up and spit out by record labels and trying to find my ground again. When you get caught up in Hollywood and you’re on a TV show and this major record wants this and that from you, I feel like I got pulled around a little bit and lost focus on why I enjoyed doing music. I think I’m still recovering from a period where I lost a lot of self-confidence. Thinking back to why I loved music in the first place, I remember going to shows of my favorite band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and how they inspired and changed me. I hope that in the same way, Archis can inspire our listeners in some way to overcome their fears and start their own adventure.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

It’s definitely a different world for media and I think that technology has helped a lot in making it easier to get your stuff out there. I have a lot of friends who are aspiring actors who just write their own short films and just upload them to show the world what they got and it’s so amazing that you can share your work that way.

I think the one downside about performing through technology like YouTube is that it doesn’t really prepare you for the pressures of a live show. It’s really easy for people to get behind their screens, play a song on guitar, and upload it to their many subscribers, but when they have to go out and play a live show, it’s definitely not the same thing and I think that can catch people off guard. It’s such a difference environment to play for real human bodies sitting right in front of you.

I think it’s really important to perform often and to remember that no show is too small. People think that I’m playing these huge shows, but I can book a show right now in Kansas and there’ll only be like 5 or so people there. I’m still growing myself and my advice to anyone who wants to be a performer is to just play as much as possible

Besides music, what other things are you into right now?

Right now I’m really into cooking and baking. I’ve also been getting into Pilates classes because I’m getting older and it’s like, oh my gosh, everything’s going away! But one thing that I’ve been really getting into lately that most people don’t know about is acting. I’ve been taking acting classes for about 2 years now and have been going to a lot of auditions.

My first acting audition was for the Les Misérables movie with Hugh Jackman, even though I didn’t get the part I really enjoyed preparing for it (Les Mis is one of my favorite books in the world, if I was to get a tattoo it would be 24601, which is Jen Valjean’s serial number). It’s been a fun new pursuit for me, but it’s also been really hard to get so many rejections. I feel like I’ve auditioned for probably 100 parts now and I’ve gotten just as many no’s. Nothing is ever easy in this industry, but things that are hard to get are usually worth it in the end and in the end, performing and taking acting classes has been a lot of fun for me.

You can pre-order Archis now on iTunes and don’t forget to listen to a few of the singles BloodBittersweet, and Let Me Love!

Photo courtesy of Myriam Santos

“Fresh Off the Boat” premieres Feb. 4: A new Asian American family takes the spotlight

“I need white people lunch,” exclaims young Eddie Huang midway through the pilot episode of ABC’s upcoming family sitcom, “Fresh Off the Boat.” “That gets you a seat at the table, and then you get to change the rules.”

Having just moved to the suburbs of Orlando from the cultural enclave of DC’s Chinatown in the mid 1990’s, he was quickly ostracized in his new, mostly Caucasian school for his ethnic-looking lunch and felt like a true minority for the first time.

“I never realized how rough it was back then [to be a minority],” Hudson Yang, the young actor who portrays Eddie, tells us. “Eddie had to do weird and crazy things to deal with it.” The 1990’s were a much simpler time than today, and without the internet or social media to escape his bubble, Eddie desperately wanted to not only fit in, but also be seen as a force to be reckoned with.

This attitude runs parallel to the expectations the Asian American community has for the freshman sitcom, set to debut as a mid-season replacement with a two-episode premiere on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, and the third episode airing in its regular timeslot on Tuesday, February 10, 2015. Two Asian American-led shows were recently cancelled: fellow first year ABC sitcom “Selfie,” and TBS’ “Sullivan and Sons,” which lasted three seasons. While there are still a few shows out there with strong Asian American characters, “Fresh Off the Boat” represents the first time in 20 years that an all-Asian family has taken center stage in a network sitcom (the last being Margaret Cho’s “All-American Girl” in 1995). From the announcement of its pickup by ABC to the release of the first trailer, Asian Americans wondered if this was finally their chance to get a seat at the table.


“Fresh Off the Boat” has generated positive buzz leading up to its premiere from both critics and community members. Advance screenings of the pilot were met with praise, and even cynics left the screenings with wary optimism, including its own executive producer and subject matter, Eddie Huang, who recently published a strongly worded op-ed about the production process (though he did conclude with his own reluctant stamp of approval).

A lot of the praise goes to the cast, led by Randall Park, a long underrated comedic force recently thrust into the limelight for his role as infamous North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un in “The Interview” (and himself a Kollaboration alum), and Constance Wu, a relative unknown who may be the series’ secret comedic weapon. The show is also supported by a strong writers room, led by executive producer Nahnatchka Khan, whose last project was the critically acclaimed “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23,” and includes Kourtney Kang, who was a writer-producer on CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother,” Sanjay Shah, former writer-producer on “Cougar Town,” and Ali Wong, writer-actress-comedian (and past Kollaboration host).

“I’m not kidding when I say that we might have the most diverse writers’ room in television,” claimed Randall during a press junket. Taking a few moments in between takes to chat, Randall admitted that he does feel the pressure to do right by Asian Americans, especially as a Korean American playing a Taiwanese immigrant, but in the end, his goal is to tell a great story. In his defense, he’s been working hard to make sure that he does the part of Louis Huang justice. In fact, Randall has been taking Mandarin lessons to work on his scenes with Grandma Huang, the show’s other comedic secret weapon, as well as his own Chinese accent.


Accents obviously feature prominently in “Fresh Off the Boat.” Mr. and Mrs. Huang are both first generation immigrants in America, and while Randall and Constance are perfectly able to speak perfect English, for their characters, English was an adopted language. It’s to the show’s credit then that the accents are used as character traits and never as the joke, as many commenters feared after watching the trailer. Authenticity was a huge focus in portraying the Huangs, and showrunners Melvin Mar and Nahnatchka Kahn went to great lengths to keep an honest and relatable perspective while avoiding the trappings of stereotypes.

In the end, it’s the characters and the smart writing that really make this show shine. If the first two episodes are any indication, the show finds its footing right out of the gate and never lets off the accelerator, attacking touchy issues like the racial slur “chink” while also letting loose a few inside jokes (“Who knew Asians were into karaoke?”). Randall Park is in great form as Louis, the boundlessly optimistic patriarch of the Huang family, whose belief in the American dream has brought his family to the exotic suburbs of Orlando. Constance Wu, who many believe will become the series’ breakout star, is amazing as Jessica, the Stephen King-loving matriarch just trying to make the most of her family’s new situation. Hudson Yang brings his New York swag to the hip-hop loving Eddie Huang, and Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen absolutely kill it in their scenes as the younger Huang siblings.

The real, grown up Eddie Huang may have some misgivings about selling his family’s story to network TV, but the truth is he may have given Asian Americans the most precious gift of all, a seat at the table.


Fresh Off the Boat premieres Wednesday, February 4 with two episodes at 8:30/7:30c and 9:30/8:30c, and begins its regular time slot of Tuesdays at 8/7c on February 10.


Join the Movement – Kollaboration 2015 Global Staff Recruitment

What does it take to put on a Kollaboration? It takes a team of special individuals who come together to create something truly amazing. From producing exciting live events, to creating dazzling pieces of digital media, Kollaboration Staff members are constantly working on something impressive, and ultimately important.

After all, Kollaboration teams are on the ground supporting Asian American communities all across the continent, highlighting the diverse talents of our community while empowering our youth to pursue their passions! Now in our 16th year, Kollaboration is poised to grow again in 2015, and we’re looking for new team members to grow with us!

If you currently live in one of our recruiting cities, now is your chance to become an official part of Kollaboration! We’re looking for students and professionals experienced in (or interested in) production, marketing, public relations, graphic design, video, and even web development to help bring Kollaboration into the next level.


Here’s what current Staff have to say about their experiences:

“The profound and humbling feeling of fulfillment knowing you made a meaningful impact in the community, whether it’s through artist empowerment or staff mentorship. That is the Kollaboration experience to me.”
Eunice Jang, Kollaboration Chicago

“Kollaboration truly opened my eyes to Asian American culture and allowed me to explore my identity as an Asian American… I’m amazed by the powerful network Kollaboration represents, including successful and famous entertainers who are at the forefront of this electrifying movement. I truly feel a part of the Kollaboration family.”
Ted Yu, Kollaboration Dallas

“Prior to joining Kollaboration I was taking a year off from school and working a job in order to find out what I wanted to do. After joining Kollaboration I was surrounded by business professionals and college students that wanted to make a difference. Because of Kollaboration’s network I was able to gain an internship at one of the best media companies. My experience as a Programming Associate has really put me [on] the front line when running events and promoting. I am happy to be with this family for my 3rd year.”
Jonathan Saquisili, Kollaboration New York


Ready to join the Movement? Find your city below and fill out a staff application!
Kollaboration Atlanta
Kollaboration Chicago –
Kollaboration Detroit
Kollaboration D.C.
Kollaboration Honolulu
Kollaboration Houston –
Kollaboration Los Angeles
Kollaboration New York –
Kollaboration San Francisco
Kollaboration Toronto

There will be an official announcement later, but we are currently seeking founding members for a new team in Austin, Texas
Kollaboration Austin

The following cities are not actively recruiting, but you can inquire about volunteer opportunities
Kollaboration Boston –
Kollaboration Dallas –

Don’t have a local Kollaboration team in your city but still want to get involved with the Movement? Email us at!

Photos Courtesy of Kollaboration New York, Kollaboration DC, Kollaboration Boston, and Kollabortion STAR

Top Chef Cheftestants We’re Keeping an Eye On

Fall means many things to many people: the return of football, basketball, cooler weather (any day now, LA), and of course, Top Chef! Yes, this week, the premier showcase of culinary skill and food porn brought to you by inexplicable product placement will be returning for its 12th season in Boston!

Continue reading “Top Chef Cheftestants We’re Keeping an Eye On”