Ameriie is back: New Albums, New Novels, New YouTube Channel 

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Audrey Magazine:

Listening to Ameriie talk a mile a minute, it sounds like she’s working on a million creative projects at once. The singer and musician is most known in mainstream America for her 2005 hit single “1 Thing,” back when her name only had one “i.” (The second “i,” which doesn’t affect the pronunciation, was added in 2010 for a different “vibration.”) Since then, she’s released two albums — 2007’s Because I Love It, which was only released abroad, and 2009’s In Love & War, her first release under her own label, Feeniix Rising, which she created with her husband and collaborator Lenny Nicholson. And she has two more in the works (BILI, a nod to the initials of the earlier album Because I Love It, and Cymatika Vol. 1, the first of a trilogy in mind) that are scheduled for a 2015 release.

Ameriie is constantly planning, constantly thinking and constantly putting together vocals, chords, beats and drum riffs in her head, even if she encounters writer’s block and needs to go on a run to tempt inspiration to come. She doesn’t like to write down her ideas, because she feels like it loses some of the magic. (“If the idea is good,” she insists, “I’ll remember.”) And she’ll throw herself into each project. “I always record in the dark, and then I pace,” she says. “I go into a corner and face the wall, so it probably looks creepy.” But after she’s done, she’s on to the next thing. And when she’s not writing, recording or performing music, she’s working on her novels. Yes, novels, plural — one a young adult story and another that has a fantasy theme. She makes it a point to write almost every day, and her drafts and outlines are impressively organized on Scrivener, her choice of writing software she can’t stop raving about.

She’s been like this since she was a kid. Before she pursued music, she wrote stories and even worked on an epic saga that took her from third grade to eighth grade to finish. “I could have sworn it was hundreds of pages, but recently, I found it and it was only like 200 pages,” she remembers, laughing. “It was about a lone 9-year-old who arrives at the stables and asks if they need a stable cleaner. The family hires her, she befriends the youngest daughter, and the two of them are terrorized by her older twins.”

The creativity gene comes from Ameriie’s Korean mother, who, in addition to being a voracious reader, is also a painter, a pianist and a poet. Her mother introduced her to traditional Korean music, classical music and singers like Barbra Streisand, while her African American father introduced her to Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. On top of that, she moved around a lot as a kid, living in Germany for three years where she discovered German pop and ’80s new wave, and she later went through a phase where she only listened to heavy metal for a year. As a result, even though many of her fans know her for her R&B/soul/hip-hop sounds, for which she earned two Grammy nominations, her musical influences are equally diversified.

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Sometimes I’m like, ‘Sensory overload! Sensory overload!’” she says, “and I can feel overwhelmed. But I do love to create.”

That was the theme for Because I Love It, a celebration of making art for the pure love of it. While the upcoming BILI will retain a couple of songs from the 2007 album, it’s mostly filled with new music that is sonically similar — a blend of hip-hop, soul, new wave and electronica. The album’s first single, “What I Want,” produced by her husband, and its lyric video have been released.

In contrast, Cymatika Vol. 1’s sound is bolder and more cinematic. “Cymatics is the study of visual sound,” explains Ameriie. “They’ll take sand on a plate and put vibrations through it, and you can watch the sand making shapes when you go from one frequency to the next. The patterns aren’t random; sound affects the matter in a certain geometric pattern, so that made me think about what sound does to us, how we’re affected by music and our own words.

A lover of sci-fi and fantasy, Ameriie always likes to think big, which sometimes results in disappointment. “Things I want to do always cost too much money,” she laments. “I always have a big production in my brain. And then it’s like, ‘That’s great that you want it to snow in the middle of the forest, but that’s not really going to work within our budget.’”

But that’s what she loves about writing music: Even if she can’t squeeze in a whole apocalyptic storyline into one of her music videos, she can add as many vocals and instruments as she wants to her songs and make it as grand as she likes. She imagines Cymatika Vol. 1 as a score for a movie like the epic fantasy war film 300, based on the comic book series by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley.

Looking forward, she wants her art to go weirder, and she wants to take more risks. But mostly, she wants to release music faster. “Putting out projects traditionally is hard for me,” she says of working with her former label, Columbia Records. “Sometimes it was two to three years in between projects!” If she had it her way, she’d be able to release music whenever she felt like it.

But until then, Ameriie keeps herself busy. Two albums, a potential EP she’s thinking of giving out free to her fans, two novels, a new YouTube channel called Books Beauty Ameriie, and a long-standing goal to improve her Korean language skills. Though she’s conversationally fluent — she’s done music collaborations with K-pop artists 4Minute, Se7en and Tiger JK — she wishes she had more confidence when she spoke. So creating her own Rosetta Stone language class — just another thing to add onto Ameriie’s to-do list.

To keep up with Ameriie, follow her on Tumblr, Instagram and official website.

 

Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal’s 2014 Unforgettable awards gala: Celebs share their holiday plans

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Audrey Magazine: 

 

On December 5, the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles nightlife was alive and well on the chilly winter night. On the outskirts of Koreatown stands the Legendary Park Plaza Hotel, the venue of Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal’s 13th annual Unforgettable awards gala.

When entering the hotel, guests were greeted with a giant, brightly-lit Christmas tree which was not only the perfect picturesque backdrop, but it also elicited a sense of holiday spirit. Curious as to what our guests had planned for Christmas, we asked a few to see what their responses would be:


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Actress Ming-Na Wen, the recipient of the “Actress of the Year” award for her role in ABC’s hit television show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., stated, “We’re going to Hawaii, but I’m going to decorate the house. I love decorating the house.”

A performer that night, David Choi attended the event along side YouTubers Arden Cho, Anna Akana, and Philip Wang. When asked how he was going to be spending the holidays the singer/songwriter simply replied, “I’m just going to spend it with family, visit my aunt with all my cousins.

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For his main role in the romantic comedy television series, SELFIE, John Cho was awarded “Actor of the Year” as well as Royal Salute’s “Mark of Respect Award.” Having just had his second child last year, he replied, “I’ll be around; the kids are too young to travel right now.”

Canadian-British actress Karen David, Princess Isabelle in ABC’s Gavalvant, is also going overseas, “For the holiday season, me and my hubby are going to Australia this year because my friend is getting married. I promised my parents that when we get back that we’re going to do a sort of post-Christmas celebration with them because it’s all about time with the family and having good food. And quite frankly, I miss my mother’s Chinese cooking, so I’m going home.”

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Star of Disney’s newest animated film Big Hero 6, Ryan Potter answered matter-of-factly, “I have a bunch of videos to put together for my portfolio for CalArts, so that’ll be it. I’ll just be shooting and editing throughout the holidays, but I’ll still see my family. We’ll have a honey baked ham, so ya.”

Actress and YouTube personality Anna Akana’s response was a change of pace: “I’m going to Italy in ten days! I’m really excited. Me and my boyfriend are going to for seven days over there and then we’ll come back to spend Christmas with my family.”

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Known for her powerhouse vocals, The Voice winner, Tessanne Chin performed two amazing songs that fully displayed her talents. With the mention of the holidays, she sprung right into things, saying, “I’m so excited to see my family because we have been traveling so much this year. I actually get some special time with my husband, my sister, my daddy and my nephew. I can cook up some good food and just do nothing for at least a week or two. That sounds like bliss to me right now.

In addition to John Cho and Ming-Na Wen, Arden Cho and Ki Hong Lee both received an award for “Breakout Star of the Year.” And this night wasn’t just about awards. There were a number of live performances that kept us on the edge of our seat.

Urban dance group KINJAZ kicked off the night with captivating moves followed by a performance by Tessanne Chin, whose powerful vocals left the entire audience in disbelief. Choreographer/dancer Mike Song and beatbox champion KRNFX teamed up for an equally entertaining and humorous performance followed by another duet courtesy of David Choi and Arden Cho. The audience sang along with the sweet duo before G.NA dazzled them with K-pop. Following an opening act by Howard Chen, Yoon Mi Rae hit the stage and brought the audience to their feet. This was followed by an unforgettable encore performance with Tiger JK and Bizzy.

Living up to its name, this night was truly Unforgettable.

–STORY BY AMBER CHEN
All photos courtesy of White Rose Production.

– See more at: http://audreymagazine.com/unforgettable-2014-celebs-share-their-holiday-plans/#sthash.e2xEUyZa.dpuf

Link

Buzzfeed: 21 Asian American Musicians You Need To Get Behind Right Now

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Team-Yellow friend and supporter, CHOPS, a prominent producer behind the sounds of Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Talib Kweli, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to put talented Asian American musicians on the mainstream map.

Once a musician himself (as part of Mountain Brothers, the first Asian American act to be signed to a major label), Chops identifies with “artists today who go through many of the things my group did, overcoming the same obstacles, same struggles, pushing forward, and going beyond.

Here is just a small sampling of dope acts he believes you need to be paying attention to:

1. Dumbfoundead

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Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Los Angeles
CHOPS says: Battle champ, tons of stripes, and increasingly great music. Super prolific output, tremendous grind. Listen here.

2. Baiyu2

Who: Singer
Reppin’: NYC
CHOPS says: Baiyu’s talent, music, videos, and drive put a lot of major label artists to shame. Tremendous vocalist and writer. Listen here.

3. Prometheus Brown3

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Seattle
CHOPS says: Prometheus has a laidback way about him on record and in person that draws people in. His fans ride for him. Listen here.

4. Erika David4

Who: Singer
Reppin’: Bay Area
CHOPS says: Singer with dope pop R&B vibe, it’s been a while since she’s released new original music but the fans are waiting for it. Listen here.

5. Bambu5

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Los Angeles
CHOPS says: Bam speaks on important things, stuff that matters, and backs what he says with action. Listen here.

6. Ann One6

Who: Singer
Reppin’: Los Angeles
CHOPS says: She has songs from the mid-2000s that singers in Korea sing in idol competitions, the way kids sing Mariah, Whitney, or Christina songs here. Listen here.

7. Connie Lim7

Who: Singer
Reppin’: Los Angeles
CHOPS says: Connie’s voice ranges from a whisper to a stadium belt. Influences ranging from Sarah MacLachlan to Bjork to Ellie Goulding to Florence and the Machine. Listen here.

8. DJ Bonics8

Who: Hip Hop Deejay
Reppin’: Philly
CHOPS says: Bonics spins on the biggest station in Philly when he’s not on tour with Wiz Khalifa. He has a lot in the works, and he’ll be expanding even more. Watch him go in with DJ Craze.

9. DJ Neil Armstrong9

Who: Hip Hop Deejay
Reppin’: NYC
CHOPS says: Respected mixtape, club, and show DJ, Neil has toured and performed with numerous big artists including Jay-Z. Check out a day in the life.

10. Hopie10

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: San Francisco
CHOPS says: Creative and quirky flow with a mix of cool, fire, and book-smarts (she has a law degree!). Listen here.

11. Joanlee11

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Long Beach
CHOPS says: Joanlee’s been mostly under the radar, building with some heavyweights and strengthening his craft, which is gonna pay off nicely. Listen here.

12. Lil Crazed12

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Minnesota
CHOPS says: He’s the type of artist girls get a tattoo of (literally, it’s happened). But don’t let that fool you, Crazed raps his ass off too. Listen here.

13. Matt Cab13

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Tokyo
CHOPS says: Now based in Tokyo, Matt cruises the same highway as Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, and the like, but has his own lane. Listen here.

14. Nikko Dator14

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Las Vegas
CHOPS says: Youthful energy, swag rapper vibe but with actual strong rhyme ability, like a Drake or Wayne.
Listen here.

15. Paul Kim15

Who: Singer
Reppin’: Los Angeles
CHOPS says: Modern singer with roots going back to the likes of Donnie Hathaway, I picture him like a John Legend or Miguel, blending different sounds but with a solid soul foundation. Listen here.

16. Rekstizzy16

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: NYC
CHOPS says: The wild card, he’s kind of like our very own ODB mixed with a touch of Kanye. Rek is super funny, crazy, unique, and plays around with a lot of styles musically. Listen here.

17. Tasha AKA Yoon Mi Rae17

Who: Singer/Rapper
Reppin’: Korea
CHOPS says: She stays attacking the charts in Korea, rapping and singing on anything from dance joints to straight hip-hop, from club bangers to ballads. Listen here.

18. Thai18

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Portland
CHOPS says: Veteran from the 454 Life Entertainment stable, Thai has a street sensibility, harder edged flow, and engaging delivery. Listen here.

19. Tiger JK19

Who: Singer/Rapper
Reppin’: Korea
CHOPS says: JK and Tasha are kind of like the Jay and Beyonce of Korea. Huge respect, longevity, and music that somehow keeps getting even better with each release. Listen here.

20. Timothy Flu20

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Atlanta
CHOPS says: One of the least known artists on the project right now, but his Southern drawl, easy cadence, belie wordplay and lyricism will change that. Listen here.

21. VERBAL of M-Flo and Teriyaki Boyz21

Who: Rapper
Reppin’: Tokyo
CHOPS says: Verbal has a stellar career filled with super-creative output, highly respected and successful at the same time, which is so hard to achieve. You’ve heard the band before.

Check out this link:

21 Asian American Musicians You Need To Get Behind Right Now