Meet the Kollaboration Star 2015 Finalists: LA’s Peter Chung

Peter Chung is Los Angeles’ representative for the upcoming Kollaboration Star showcase, taking place Saturday, November 14, 2015. Kollaboration Blogger Frankie Victoria caught up with him a few weeks ago to chat about the upcoming Kollaboration show!

When I called Peter Chung for this interview, the first thing he commented on was the area code of my phone number.

“Santa Barbara, right?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said, knowing from previous research that he went to UCSB.

“Yeah, I went to UCSB,” he said. “Did you go to college there too?”

I said that Santa Barbara was home for me and that I attended college at to USD. He then proceeded to ask me about my whole life, including where I lived now, what I was doing, and how I joined Kollaboration.

“You thought you were calling to interview me, huh?” he said jokingly.

I laughed. If this conversation taught me anything about Peter Chung, it’s that he seems to appreciate irony.

I point this out because there is something very ironic about Peter’s life story: he hated music as a kid.


Both of Peter’s parents were in the Church choir in his hometown of San Jose. He describes being forced to take piano and trumpet lessons, but enjoyed being part of the church choir with his parents. While he learned how to play the drums and guitar during this time, he didn’t do it for the music.

“I was surrounded by people who were cool,” said Peter. “When you have a crappy job, but you’re surrounded by cool people, it’s more fun.”

The “crappy job” of playing music started to turn into something else entirely when he started to learn covers of John Mayer songs on the guitar. He had learned guitar without any official lessons and mostly thrived on tips from friends before YouTube guitar lessons were a thing.

“I got into [John Mayer’s] music by asking what songs I should learn on the guitar,” said Peter. “They would say it’s really easy to and ‘oh, these chords on this song are easy.’”

Peter describes learning the popular song “No Such Thing” as a good learning experience because it taught him to incorporate lead guitar and rhythm guitar. When Peter started learning covers, he started to enjoy the music for one thing: the attention.

“I’m an attention whore,” said Peter. I can assume he’s joking, but he said it so seriously, it’s hard to tell.

Whether or not all eyes are on him now, Peter is in the music business for the long haul. Before he went professional, he had uncertainties about dedicating his whole life to being a musician.

“I was scared to put myself out there,” he said. “But I had friends who told me that I had to put [my music] out.”

By the time he was discovered by Kollaboration reps, he had already started pursuing music full-time.

“All I did was go to open mics,” said Peter. “I saw the open mic Kollaboration SF and decided to do it. They liked me, so they told me about [the showcase].”

He went on to participate in Kollaboration SF 3 and the opportunity opened up doors for him.

“I think Kollaboration is fantastic for opportunities for exposure. They’re really helping musicians and artists and they connected me with so many gigs I never expected.”

Now that Peter is pursuing the coveted national title of Kollaboration Star, he didn’t seem nervous at all. When I talked with him, he was doing some maintenance on his guitar for a string of gigs he was performing in San Francisco.

“I literally have done nothing to prepare,” he said.

That was a few weeks ago. Even if he did anything to prepare, I wouldn’t be too worried about the Kollaboration vet. Peter dreams of performing his original music around the world. Specifically, he hopes that his lyrics stick with audiences.

“For any show, I hope that there’s a connection. A fear I have is people won’t understand what I’m saying.”

“What can really touch you or have an impact is the message behind it,” Peter said. “And that’s why the lyrics can have a greater impact.”


Watch Peter perform for the chance to win $10,000 at Kollaboration Star, taking place 11/14/15! Tickets are on sale now at

In the Key of A Minor(ity): Connie’s Adventures in Music Part 1 – Getting Lucky

I absolutely love meeting well established musicians who say things like “I got really lucky to be able to work with so-and-so,” or “I lucked out when so-and-so heard my music and reached out to produce my next record,” or  “Our band is super lucky because after Spotify added our music to a playlist, we garnered over a million streams in one week.”

The reason why my heart stretches a big smile whenever I hear them attribute their successes to luck is because I understand that there is a hidden truth to this whole “luck” thing (apparently Abraham Lincoln knew this too…) :

Luck = opportunity + preparation

I’ve been a working musician for years now, and I’ve encountered lady luck quite a few times. Some of these times I was completely ready for the opportunity at hand. Other times, though, I wasn’t ready for her (even though I may have thought I was!). For example, I met some A&R representatives from major labels when I had no idea what my sound or voice was yet. I was even placed on the first season of The Voice when I was still figuring out my strengths and weaknesses as a singer. Needless to say, the meetings with A&R didn’t lead to record deals, and my time on The Voice didn’t lead to the 100K prize (that would have been nice, eh?). I wasn’t ready, and lady luck and I could not fully… consummate.  

You may think, wow, what a bummer! She got landed some great opportunities, which didn’t lead to anything! If I chose to look at it like that I might as well just hang up the towel. However, I must say that those “missed” opportunities actually did help me tremendously: they made me look straight on towards my weak spots, and motivated me to keep improving myself. The meetings with A&R execs got my mind thinking about my identity as an artist, and my intentions. My time on The Voice helped me understand the commodification of artistry, and to learn how to play the game without compromising my identity.

Key was to not judge myself, and to keep pushing forward, because the right opportunity would come when I became ripe for it. So I prepared my skills as much as I could in order to have all pistols firing if… no- when- the opportunity hit.  And indeed, lady luck has hit a few times.  

Photo of me singing at the local music festival
Photo of me singing at the local music festival

After graduating Berkeley I moved to Los Angeles and started gigging at least twice a week, to hone my performance craft. Through playing live shows on a weekly basis, I got connected with a band that eventually introduced me to a beach street fair. The street fair  would pay me a bit of money to set up my instruments, and play two and half hours straight  for tips on the street. I would have to sing covers, they said, and just make sure to entertain the crowd.  

The gig would challenge me to play two and half hours of music straight (which I didn’t yet have down), and to learn new cover songs to entertain strangers.  At that period of time I prefered playing just originals- partially because I didn’t know too many covers, and partially because I was young, and adamant that my songwriting would be the only way declare my  identity. However, the wiser side of me knew that if something scared me, it most likely would have something to teach me. So I agreed to play on the side of the street. My bandmates (bless those boys) and I lugged our gear, and proceeded to play for hours.  Yes, it definitely wasn’t playing to a sold out crowd at Coachella, but I ended up having a blast regardless. I had an email list that we passed around so I could send people a free song. I sold some CDs, and left with a full tip jar. It was hard work, and I learned a ton of new music for the gig. We packed up, and went home. All in all, a success.

Fast forward one year later, I get an email from a prominent songwriter, who heard about me through his realtor, who had walked by as I was singing on the streetside in Hermosa.  He invites me to his studio to write. Turns out he’s written a few gold records. No big deal, right? We wrote a couple songs, and I even got my first opportunity to write a song for network television. We developed a good rapport, and have kept in touch ever since!

photo of me recording with Pam Sheyne, cowriter of “Genie in a Bottle”

Fast forward two years after that, the same songwriter asks me to come into the studio to sing a song he cowrote with one of Christina Aguilera’s songwriters. I was floored that my side street gig had led to me an opportunity to work with Pam Sheyne, world renowned songwriter who I had looked up to since my early years. In fact, that the very first demo I had ever recorded in the 9th grade (may that recording never resurface lol) was one of her songs, “Genie in a Bottle.” Who knew that it would land me some songwriting opportunities with my heroes?! By this time I had 3 years of recording and touring experience under my belt.  Thank goodness I walked into Pam’s studio feeling… yes… prepared.

Point is, there is no way of being able to tell if one opportunity is going to lead to meeting world renowned songwriters. I wasn’t doing the street gig to land some dream deal. I was doing this because I wanted to work. To learn. The focus was not success, but growth. The street side gig was going to push me to be better than I was before. I was going to learn more material, and push myself to perform for 2 hours straight.  Lady luck came without me aiming for it.  

By the way if I ever meet any of you in person in the future, I hope you tell me you got lucky (musically, of course!), cause then I’ll smile, knowing  I’ve met yet another humble, hard-working hustler.


Feature Photo: Connie Lim

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



Buy your Tickets Now for Kollaboration Los Angeles 2015 – June 27 @ DTLA

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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!

Six talented finalists from all across Southern California were chosen through an intense and competitive round of auditions to compete for the chance to move on to the Kollaboration Star finale later this fall and perform for the national title and $10,000 grand prize! In addition to the talent competition, Kollaboration Los Angeles will also feature amazing performances from prominent Asian American guest artists (To be Announced!).

Your 2015 Kollaboration Los Angeles Finalists:

Lisa Sonoda, Singer/Songwriter
Perry & Danielle, Acoustic Duo
Peter Chung, Singer/Songwriter
Rosy Donovan, Singer/Songwriter
Track IX, Beatbox
Will Park, Singer/Songwriter

Hosted by Sean Miura, community organizer and producer of the long running Tuesday Night Cafe

Special Performances by hip hop artist Azure

Kollaboration Los Angeles 2015
The Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S Spring St, Los Angeles, California
Show starts 7:00PM

General Admission tickets on sale now for $20

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What’s new on the TRAKTIVIST Playlist – 5/8/2015

Our friends at shared with us a list of their favorite new releases from the last few weeks. Take a listen and check out some sweet new tunes from APA artists!

1. ‪Steve Aoki ft. Linkin Park‬ – ‪Darker Than Blood ‬

2. Sam Tsui & Casey Breves – Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper)

3. AWOLNATION – Sail (cover by Kawehi)

4. Liane V – Don’t Be That Guy feat. Honey Cocaine

5. Best Coast – Feeling Ok

6. Towkio – Reflection (Prod. Kaytranada)

7. Jonwayne – Green Light (ft. Anderson Paak)

TRAKTIVIST.COM is the premiere platform to discover, promote, and historically archive music made by Asian Americans. From new releases to undiscovered gems, music will be posted every week for your enjoyment. Check us out at

Hear more from the TRAKTIVIST on this week’s KollabCast!

Kollaboration Update – 4/30/2015

Congratulations to J.Dep, winner of our first 2015 show at Kollaboration Boston which took place on April 17th at the Royale! It was definitely a night to remember with truly incredible performances from all 6 finalists and special guests. We also wrapped up an epic few weeks in LA at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival produced by Visual Communications, one of our community partners, where we reunited and caught up with some of our favorite artist friends and family, and we got to experience some of the best in API films and shorts. It was a great lead up to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month which begins in May!

Kollaboration Los Angeles is a proud recipient of the Dream Award presented by the City of Los Angeles for Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

If you’re in Southern California, please feel free to join the ceremony on Friday, May 8th at the LA City Council Chambers.

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!

Get involved with Kollaboration!

Kollaboration has open staff positions for our Seattle, Atlanta, LA, and Global teams! If you’re interested in contributing to the movement, meeting new friends, & working with amazing artists, apply here: Seattle | Atlanta | LA | Global

Check out the latest from our official Kollaboration Podcast “KollabCast”

Episode 10 featuring Christine Chen & Linda Dong – Hey New Media, Where the Women At?

Episode 11 featuring Paul PK Kim – PK’s Adventures in Parenting

Episode 12 featuring Kollaboration Boston, Seattle, DC, & LA – Boston Double Header

“Dear No One” cover – #Fourty4B

Check out this acapella arranged cover of Tori Kelly’s “Dear No One” by Kollaboration LA 2014 competitors #Fourty4B. »

“All For You, Together Again, Escapade” cover – Jane Lui

Watch the super fun video of Jane Lui’s Janet Jackson medley cover, featuring friends Scott Okamoto, Daniel Blinkoff, Tamlyn Tomita, Phil Yu, Paul Dateh, Sean Miura, Mikey De Lara, Kari Lee, & Joe Tomasini. »

“Suddenly” – Lions Ambition

Watch the music video for Lions Ambitions 2015 original “Suddenly”. »


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


Congratulations to Kollaboration Boston IV Winner J.Dep!

On April 17th, 2015, Kollaboration Boston saw a whole new wave of talented artists pour their hearts out on stage. The atmosphere in Royale Nightclub was historic: guests were cheering for each performance and clapping for every high note, every move. During Derek Hsu’s performance, we even had a few guests jump up from their seats out of amazement. Our 4th showcase was a success. Our finalists were EastSide, Esther Chung, Harrison Kim, Juice, JDep, and Elise Go. The amount of talent we saw that night was unbelievable and we’re glad our guests were able to witness the magic on stage. Our guest performers, Unofficial Project, Derek Hsu, and danAKAdan were also important assets to the night.

All our performers made the night memorable. Some artists played original songs and others played original medleys, all the while inspiring the audience to move with their music. The Kollaboration Boston team worked hard for a year and a half to put the show together and it definitely shows. Adlai Grayson was the host this year, and as he did last year, he did an incredible job. After Harrison Kim’s “Chocolate Green” song, Adlai jumped right in and added, “Can I be your chocolate…green?” This is just a small example of how he was so witty and interactive with not just the guests, but the performers as well.

Overall, the show went smoothly and the guests were able to go back during actual club hours (10:30pm-2am) to party with Cedric Gervais as the DJ of the night. We would like to thank Amazon and Mint Nightlife as our official sponsors this year. It was a great kick off to the new Kollaboration season, and we’re excited for what’s in store next year for Kollaboration Boston!

Spotlight: JETT, Kollaboration Seattle 5’s Winner

Meet JETT, our grand prize winner of Kollaboration Seattle 5, or as she is known outside of her musical career, Bridget Hermano.

Continue reading “Spotlight: JETT, Kollaboration Seattle 5’s Winner”

Morgan Lynzi to Explore East and West Pop Culture Crossover in “East Meets Morgan”

ISAtv announced yesterday that it has picked up web series East Meets Morgan, an experiential pop culture show hosted by blogger and internet personality Morgan Lynzi exploring the bridge between East and West pop cultures through music, style, food, and beyond. Continue reading “Morgan Lynzi to Explore East and West Pop Culture Crossover in “East Meets Morgan””