Here’s a repost of the David Choi’s interview with Juliene Merced Matabuena of Manila Bulletin. Sorry if it’s a bit delayed, since my head has been out of sorts with the upcoming 2NE1 concert and my Samsung Galaxy Tab upgrade and all. Anyway, it’s a fantastic interview and really shows how cool David is.
David Choi talks songwriting, fame
by Juliene Merced Matabuena
MANILA, Philippines – One perk of being an unsigned artist is having the creative freedom to write just about anything.
“I like writing about all kinds of music, all kinds of things. You know, being unsigned gives you power to do anything you want. I can write a song about farting, I can write a song about… chickens,” Korean-American YouTube sensation David Choi laughingly told Bulletin Entertainment in a phone interview.
Indeed, the first video he ever posted on YouTube was about, well, the video-sharing website itself. Entitled “YouTube, a love song,” Choi credits this video as the one that “jumpstarted” his YouTube fame.
“I’m signed with Warner Chappel music as a songwriter/producer for a couple of years. On the second year of my contract, I got kind of bored… and I’ve decided to just post a video up, a funny song I wrote about YouTube and it got featured in a couple of weeks,” he related.
He continued, “Within a week it had half a million views… People started asking me if I have an album out, if I could make more videos, where can they get my music and things like that.”
Citing jazz, classical music and “oldies” as his main influences, the 25-year old Los Angeles-based musician stressed, “I really enjoy writing all kinds of music based on how I feel. I try to write music from life experience and I try to make it as honest as possible.”
Choi currently has 800,976 subscribers—earning him the distinction of being “one of YouTube’s most subscribed musicians of all time,” according to his press release, apparently making the Top 10. His channel, davidchoimusic, has already reached more than 12 million views, and his uploaded videos more than 90 million hits.
“I’d like to be in control of what I do,” he said about not being associated with a label. “I like doing whatever what I want to do with my music and not have somebody telling me what to do. I enjoy being unsigned at the moment,” he added.
His two albums, “Only You” (2008) and “By My Side” (2010) were both self-produced, recorded in his very own home studio.
Given this, it’s remarkable that Choi has a huge following not only in the US but also in the Asia Pacific region and other parts of the world. Asked how he feels about his fame, the musician admitted, “I’m actually surprised I have any kind of reach.”
“It’s kind of amazing to me that YouTube has allowed such a thing where the world can watch you. I never thought about it, I don’t know… I try not to think about it too much because it’s just… it doesn’t make sense to me,” he said.
But unlike some artists, Choi remains grounded and prefers to keep things realistic.
“To be honest, I’m just kind of going with whatever happens… I’ve no goals to be big, I don’t have any goals to dominate any market… I don’t have any goals like that. I’m just living my life, doing what I love to do [which is making] music and just try to always to be able to do music no matter where you are in the world.
“I never really wanted to be famous. I never wanted any of that. I just wanted to share music with people who want to listen. That’s pretty much all I wanna do,” he said.
With his works released mainly on YouTube, it seems Choi is at a greater risk of becoming a victim of online piracy. However, the musician seems unperturbed by it.
“If people pirate me, who am I… how can I stop them, you know? Like, if people want to support me… they’ll support me, right? People, they will pirate [online content]…
“I mean, I can’t stop that [from happening]. Even if it’s [music] taken down, they’re gonna find it somehow. So I just really… I don’t think about it so much and I just try to focus on putting out music and writing quality songs that will make a difference,” he expressed.
Choi will soon kick off a tour in the Asia Pacific region to promote his music. But aside from that, he divulged that one of his songs will be featured in the Colin Hanks-topbilled film, “Lucky,” which will be released in select theaters in the US in the summer.
“That was my first movie [project] so I’m just pretty excited about that,” he quipped.
Choi gave a shoutout to all his Filipino fans, who apparently make up a huge chunk of his fan base behind the US, Canada, Singapore and Australia.
“Hey everyone in Manila! I’m really looking forward to coming over and performing for you guys, mahal kita. I can’t wait to try real food from the Philippines. I can’t wait to see what balut looks like. I’m looking forward to it.”
As part of his Asia Pacific Tour, which stars on June 17 in Hong Kong, Choi will be swinging by Manila for a two-night concert at the Music Museum on June 24 and 25. For more information, contact Ticket World at 891-9999 and the Music Museum at 721-6726.
Thanks to Manila Bulletin for the photo and article.