[NEWS ALERT! UPCOMING SHOWS IN 2012!] Kollaboration Atlanta and BEYOND
— Cloud cover by: Terri, Managing Editor :-}
Part of Cloud USA’s mission is to promote Korean and Asian American culture in the metro Atlanta area. To further that mission, we have created this page in honor of Kollaboration Atlanta, an organization that is doing their part to further the cause.
We will be updating this page from time to time with information about upcoming Kollaboration events not just in Atlanta, but all over the nation. So, please check back often!
PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR UPCOMING KOLLABORATION SHOWS
COMING IN 2012!
Up next is Kollaboration Los Angeles, on November 5, 2011, at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. The show will feature performances by G.NA, Ensemble Memo, Clara C and PK!
Visit Kollaboration.org for information about the upcoming shows in your locale!
CLARA C INVITES YOU TO KOLLABORATION SF 2
Kollaboration San Francisco 2 will take place on September 10, 2011, at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley! Get your Kollaboration SF tickets here! The winner of Kollaboration SF 2 will open for Clara at her next concert stop! Check out Kollaboration San Francisco’s website for more information on SF2 and for future announcements!
WE WANT ALL OF YOU TONIGHT: KOLLABORATION DC 2
Date: Saturday, September 17, 2011
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC
Ticket Prices: COMING SOON
Check out Kollaboration DC’s website for more information on DC2 and for future announcements!
They’ve Got Moves Like Jagger: KOLLABORATION New York 6
Moves Like Jagger Cover : Mitchell Grey, Wanted Ashiqz, Rooftop Pursuit, Triangle Offense
Watch them perform at: KOLLABORATION NEW YORK 2011
When: Thursday, September 29, 7:00 PM
Where: IRVING PLAZA
Tickets on sale NOW: http://kollaborationnewyork.org/tickets
Other Kollaboration NY6 Guest Performers:
Check out Kollaboration New York’s website for more information on NY6 and for future announcements!
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
[Exclusive] Kollaboration: Atlanta Style
KOLLABORATION ATLANTA 4: THE EVENT: March 26, 2011
Collaboration. It’s an inviting word. One that implies cooperation, coordination, a coming together of like minds in an effort to create something great. But when you spell it Kollaboration, the word becomes something more than great. It becomes empowering.
On Saturday, March 26, 2011, the Cloud USA staff was lucky enough to be invited to Kollaboration Atlanta 4, a talent competition hosted by Kollaboration, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage the diverse talents of Asian Pacific Islander (API) youth and empower them by:
- providing at-risk youth with a creative outlet and leadership training that serves as an alternative to gang activity and delinquency;
- offering API families a platform for communication that bridges the gap between first generation parents and latter generation youth; and
- raising awareness in the API community-at-large for other critical community issues and non-governmental organizations.
Kollaboration, the movement, was founded in 2000, in Los Angeles, by Executive Director Paul “PK” Kim. Under the watchful eye of Executive Producer Roy Choi, in 2006, Kollaboration finally became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Since then, each year, 10 cities across the United States (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Tulsa, and Washington DC) host competitive Kollaboration showcases of their own to spotlight an array of local talent ranging from musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, and more. The winners of each of the competitions receive cash and other prizes, to assist them with furthering their chosen careers.
All we can say is Kollaboration’s mantra, “Empowerment through Entertainment,” was in full force at this year’s Atlanta event, which was held at Center Stage, in Midtown. In spite of our being 15 minutes late (due to the horrific weather), Kollaboration Atlanta’s PR Head, Mary Gui, graciously met us at the stage door and escorted us backstage to meet some of the performers [the us being Cloud USA staff Managing Editors Stephe and Terri (also Hellokpop.com's Chief Editor), and Jim, Cloud USA's photographer/videographer)]. After a few introductions, we headed upstairs and stationed ourselves in the press area of the lobby, where we hoped to chat with and take photos of as many of this year’s participants as we could before the show began.
While we were waiting for the first group to appear and the speed interviews to start, we were lucky enough to meet one of the judges, Antwain Hart. Antwain is one of eight members of Jungle Boogie Crew, a dance crew from Stone Mountain, Georgia, that nabbed 4th place in season 5 of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.
Although he was busy, Antwain was kind enough to say hello and to let us snap his photo. Two other members, Raqi Carter and BeeJay Harris, were also there to help judge the contestants, but we didn’t get to talk to them.
A few days later we were able to catch up with the crew and they sent me the following message:
“It was great to see so much Atlanta talent in one place at one time, but it also made the judging even harder to do!” ~Jungle Boogie Crew
Jungle Boogie Crew, a dance crew with its own star rising, is trained in over 10 dance styles, but is best known for “cranking,” a Southern dance technique. In 2010, the crew appeared in the 2010 feature film Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming, and more recently they placed 3rd in the 2011 Urban Street Jam competition in Los Angeles, California.
Jungle Boogie Crew’s next major appearance here in Atlanta will be at Atlanta’s first Urban Street Jam, on June 25, 2011, at Georgia State University’s Rialto Center.
We also want to give a nod to Kellindo Parker, who also served as a judge for the event. We didn’t get to speak to him at the event, but when we tweeted to him later, asking him for a quote about the experience, he kindly responded, saying:
Kellindo Parker is the lead guitarist, composer and arranger for three-time Grammy-nominated singer Janelle Monae.
The other esteemed judges for the event were: Andrew Alexander, from Creative Loafing, Jennifer Brett, from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carlton Lynn, Mix Engineer from Milk Money, and Producer, Engineer and Drummer (again, for Janelle Monae), Mikey Phillips.
After we interviewed eight of the show’s contestants, we packed up our gear and headed into the theater to find a good seat. We managed to finagle a spot pretty close to the stage and right next to our DJ team for the night, The Space Kids.
The Space Kids consists of Mark Guinto (Martian) and Will Reyes (Strongwill) who began their DJ careers in the San Diego college circuit. It wasn’t long before they found themselves moving on to clubs and events throughout Southern California and beyond. We can see why.
Some pre-show freestyle by audience members warmed up the crowd and then the event began. Roy Choi, Executive Producer and President of Kollaboration’s national network was a wonderful host and introduced each act with flair. Performer after performer enthralled the audience and moved with grace from nerdcore rapping and melodic mash-ups to Christian inspiration and hip hop swagger.
The show even included an intermission that began with a performance from Kollaboration Atlanta 2010′s Grand Champion, Lost in the Gym, and ended with a freestyle dance competition, where the winner won $250.00, thanks to the competition’s generous sponsor, Red Mango).
After the show, we were invited to the after-party. I tell you, there’s nothing more intimidating than being at an after-party crowded with professional dancers. Nothing. I don’t think Jim and Stephe were as overwhelmed as I was though, because while I was absorbed in conversation with one of Kollaboration’s sponsors, Eric Lu of StateFarm Insurance, Jim and Stephe vanished in the direction of the dance floor.
They said they were going to scout a good quote or two from one of the winners, but I suspect what they were really doing out there on that dance floor was krumpin’. :-} Ah, well. I guess I’ll never know, because before I could go check them out, they were back. We had to leave the party far too early, so we could get back to work here at Cloud USA and hellokpop.com. Still, do I need to even say that we had a terrific time? No, I didn’t think so. :-}
In the United States, where mainstream media and entertainment careers for Asians and Pacific Islanders are few and far between, Kollaboration’s work is admirable. The organization’s history is even more impressive when you think about how far they’ve come in the past 11 years–from that one stage at the University of Southern California to 10 stages, each year, across the nation.
Also impressive is the talent that is quietly being discovered on their stages:
- In 2001, Dave Elsewhere Bernal performed for Kollaboration audiences. The video of him performing his unique dance moves became “one of the most viral videos in Internet history” and landed Dave “numerous job offers in film and, television and commercials.”
(Video Credit: gilbertotube)
- In 2003, a little known group from Los Angeles, called Far East Movement, took to the stage and wowed the crowd with their hot, electro-pop act.
- In 2006, a crew of dancers from Los Angeles captivated Kollaboration’s audience with their athleticism and innovation. Their name was Quest Crew, and in 2009, they went on to conquer the national stage as America’s Best Dance Crew.
Cloud USA salutes Kollaboration for its valiant efforts and hopes its successful stages will continue for many years to come.
Below you will find some of the interviews we were able to conduct before the show, as well as a few other interesting tidbits we collected at Kollaboration Atlanta 4. We hope you will enjoy reading about these extremely talented young people as much as we enjoyed meeting them. They were a pleasure to work with and even more fun to watch onstage. Cloud USA wishes all of them every success on their individual roads to super-stardom.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
KOLLABORATION ATLANTA 4: THE INTERVIEWS
Kollaboration Atlanta 4′s Grand Prize Winner: Adam WarRock
One of our first conversations of the night was with Kollaboration Atlanta 4′s Grand Prize Winner Adam WarRock. Even as we swooped down on him with our voice recorder and video camera, Adam, otherwise know as Eugene Ahn, greeted us warmly and grinned effusively, eager to talk about his work as a Nerdcore Rapper.
Terri: So, we read a little bit about you online, and I have to tell you, what I read was fascinating. Fascinating.
Adam: Yeah. I imagine—that’s one word to call it.
Terri: So. Nerdcore Rapper?
Stephe: How long did it take you to come up with that description? I mean, that’s really something else.
Adam: (Laughs) Well, it was the kind of music it was, mostly. I did a lot of stuff in college, and back then, there was a lot of Indie and Underground Rap? When you’re in college, you make it [your music] about all this stuff you think is meaningful. And then I took some time off, and I came back to start making music again. And I didn’t have all that emotional angst.
Terri: That youthful rage?
Adam: Yeah. That feeling that there was so much depth in every word I wrote. And so I just decided to write about stuff I liked. And that stuff turned out to be about movies and comic books and my friends’ web comics and my friends’ websites. It just all started out as a joke. From there, we just kind of started making more music, and it kind of caught on in a couple of ways.
Terri: Right. You know, I actually listened to your album: War for Infinity, the the other day. I was researching you and I just ended up listening to all of the songs—the whole thing. It was that interesting.
Adam: Thank you very much.
Terri: I was fascinated by the concept. I’m not a comic book fan, but I know Stephe is.
Stephe: Yes, I am. Thank you.
Terri So, I’m sure she was fascinated. But let’s talk a little bit about your history. You were an attorney at one point?
Adam: I was. I practiced law. I went to law school, which is why I stopped making music. I actually had the chance to actually go and make albums, and so I said, you know? That’s for younger people, and I’m going to go and do this serious thing, and I went to law school. That’s why I stopped for a while. I was working and I was really miserable all the time, and suddenly I realized that it was because I hadn’t been creating anything.
So, I started making it [music] up for fun, on the side. Like I said, I just needed a place to kind of put songs to show people, and so I started a website. I never intended it to be more than just a thing that my friends would listen to, but then a couple of songs kind of caught on and blew up and gave me the chance to quit my job on one very impulsive day of bad boss interaction and work—things like that.
Adam: Yes. I practiced law for about 3 years.
Terri: But this—your music—it’s a full-time job for you now?
Adam: It is. It is.
Adam: [Laughs] I’ve been traveling. I don’t think I’ve had a consecutive weekend at home, because I go and do shows everywhere, and I record music. So.
Terri: Very good. So, what are you going to be doing for us tonight, here at Kollaboration Atlanta?
Adam: It was hard! Because I didn’t really know what to do, since it’s like a cross-genre show? A lot of people that listen to the stuff I make are not rap fans. So, I’m very hesitant to do an aggressive rap song for a crowd that’s not all into it. So, I’m doing a song that I actually made for my friend, Phil and his site, called angryasianman.com.
Terri: Yeah, we know that one. [Stephe affirms, with a grin and a nod.]
Adam: Yeah! So, I’m friends with Phil, and I made a song for his 10th anniversary called, Angry Asian Man. The song is about my experiences growing up as an Asian American here in the South. I grew up in the South. There is a lot of racism you have to deal with here.
Adam: You know, you’re angry at first, and then you kind of grow older? The song’s about kind of letting go of that anger, but being thankful that other people still focus on it, like Phil’s site. Because, you know, not all of us can keep that energy up through all of the other things that we do. So, it’s kind of like a personal song and it’s appropriate for the theme of the Asian American performers here. Hopefully, people will like it.
Terri: I’m sure they will. So, what are you doing next?
Adam: Next, I’m going to California for 2 and a half weeks or so. I will be on a panel with Racebending.com, actually at WonderCon 2011, in San Francisco. Then, I have a couple of shows in Los Angeles. I’m doing a show on April 11, at Meltdown Comics, through Nerdist.com, which Chris Hardwick runs. After that, it will be on to the next thing—whatever that is—whatever my calendar says. I don’t really remember what. I just know it’s the next thing. You know? That’s pretty much about all I can keep tabs on.
Terri: Great! Is there anything you want the world of K-Pop to know? Anything that you might want to tell our readers? Or is there anything you might want to tell young musicians out there—any advice you might want to give them?
Adam: I would say two things. First, if you don’t think you like rap or hip-hop, there’s probably someone out there that makes rap or hip-hop that you might like. ‘Cause you can say a lot in it. There are a lot of people who don’t do rap that is about really vulgar, offensive stuff. There is always a place to find that. Second, if you want to make art about something completely stupid? That you think is stupid? Well, there may be a lot of people who will want to hear it. That’s what I’ve discovered. I make songs about Ira Glass and comic books and people actually like it, and I’ve been thankful for that.
Stephe: Right. One thing we found fascinating was your reason for getting into rap in the first place–the fact that you thought you could say a lot more with rap than you could in a regular song.
Adam: Yeah! That’s nice. I came from a writing background. I’ve played instruments and done other stuff, but I’ve always been drawn to writing poetry or performing the spoken word. And somehow I just graduated into doing rap music.
Stephe: And you do it well. Have a great show tonight.
Terri: Please do. We’re excited.
Adam: I’m excited too. Thank you very much.
[Author's Note: After the performance, we found Adam at his merch table and congratulated him on his win. We asked him how he felt and he said, "Shocked." He said that when the winner was being announced, he was actually behind the group of performers, backstage, checking out text messages on his cell phone, not really believing he had a chance. So, he was truly shocked when they called his name. We, however, were not shocked in the least. :-}]
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
Kollaboration Atlanta 4′s 2nd Place Winner: Purple Elephant Society
Terri: Tell me a little bit about yourselves–who you are and how you got started and we’ll go from there.
Ajaye: Well, we are the Purple Elephant Society. My name is Allan “Ajaye” Skeene, Jr. [former Swagger Crew member, ABDC 5] This is Daishaundra Loving, Vony Woods and Jason “Caba” Cabacungan [also former Swagger Crew member, ABDC 5], our artistic director.
Ajaye (cont’d): And we’re the group. We started out actually about a month and a half, two months ago. We had our first auditions for the company. So, we’re a brand new company. We do all styles of hip hop—popping, locking, breaking, krumping. We’re going to start branching into more contemporary styles—jazz, funk—and just try to get the wellroundedness together . I said that in the other interview too. [other members laugh] So.
Terri: Sounds good. What are you going to do for us tonight?
Vony: It’s a fun show. We’re going to be doing our best to be entertaining. We just want to put on a good show for you guys.
Terri: I’m sure we will enjoy it. So, what’s the plan for Purple Elephant Society as a crew? As a group? In the future?
Ajaye: Our plan is to branch out into the Atlanta dance community, in whatever way possible, to go out there and do a lot of community service, get the community involved in dance, the actual industry of dance. And learning the technique of not just hip hop, but of all styles of dance. Then, to incorporate all of that into every show that we do. We also want to give other dancers an opportunity to perform that might not necessarily be able to get the professional training that they could get in another city.
Terri: Where are you guys all from? Are you all Atlanta-based?
Ajaye: Actually, the majority of us are from other places, but we are all based here now. I’m from Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as Vony. She’s also from Springfield. Daishaundra is from Pascal, Washington.
Daishaundra: Washington State.
Ajaye: Yeah. And Jason is—actually you’re from here!
Jason: Yeah, I’m homegrown. I’m from here.
Ajaye: He comes back and forth from Florida. Florida/Atlanta? I don’t know.
Terri: Thank you for taking a little time with us. I know you’re busy—and we’ve run out of time. They’re about to start the show.
Stephe: I just wanted to say this. You all were talking in Kollaboration’s promo video about how through dance, you could show your personalities without talking? Without singing? Well, I think you have really good shot. You’re gonna to do fine, because the four of you were great in that [Kollaboration] video. Your personalities came straight out. It was great. So have a great show. We’re going to enjoy watching you.
PES Crew: Thank you.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
Kollaboration Atlanta 4′s People’s Choice Award Winner: Persuasian
One of our final chats of the night was with Emory University’s all-female dance crew, Persuasian, the recipient of Kollaboration Atlanta 4′s People’s Choice Award. The crew earned this coveted prize by landing the top spot on Kollaboration Atlanta’s People’s Choice online poll a month earlier.
The popular dance crew, which includes members Christy Lee, Kristen Bang, Lisa Tocco, Esha Parikh, Beka Kim, Kara Demonbreun, Kira Lou, Ji Eun Kim, and Janny Lim, performs at annual events on campus, such as Korean Culture Night and the Lunar Banquet, and incorporates a variety of dance styles into their performances. We were delighted to be able to speak with four of the group’s members (Lisa Tocco, Kristen Bang, Kara Demonbreun, and Ji Eun Kim) before the show began.
Terri: So, now what I’m going to do now is find out a little bit about Persuasian. Tell me a little about the history of your dance crew.
Lisa: Well, Persuasian started three and a half years ago. It started in 2008 and is based at Emory University. We started out with a very sassy style, but we’ve changed up a bit. Now we’re still very sassy, but also hard hip-hop. We incorporate a lot of moves, a lot of different styles, into our dances. We’ve actually competed here at Kollaboration Atlanta for 3 years now. And we’re hoping we can win this year. Because if we don’t win, we’ll be here forever.
Terri: What kind of dance are you performing tonight? Are you doing anything special? Is there anything different we should look for while we’re watching your performance?
Kara: Well, we’ve incorporated a hat dance. We do some cool tricks with our hats. I don’t know. You’ll just have to wait and see. LOL.
Terri: So. You said that Persuasian is an organization at Emory University, right?
Persuasian members: Yes.
Terri: Does the group change as people graduate, as they come in and out of the school?
Terri: How many members do you have?
Lisa: Right now we have nine. Actually, each semester we have auditions, and sometimes the team changes up, even then. But we have a pretty solid group of girls this year.
Terri: I believe we met one of your founders once. At another event, doing another interview. Her name was…what, Stephe?
Stephe: Hye Lim?
Lisa: Yes, Hye Lim! [the other members nod] She was our first captain. She actually started the group.
Terri: I thought so. Well, please tell her Terri and Stephe said hello…
Lisa: We will.
Terri: We are really looking forward to the show tonight, but we’re curious about the future of Persuasian too. What’s next? Will you be appearing at any other events here or elsewhere soon?
Lisa: Right now, most of our events are Emory-based. So, unless you want to come out there, I think that’s pretty much it. We are looking to do some other performances at Georgia Tech or Georgia State. If we land something there, we’ll let you know.
Terri: Please do.
Lisa: So, be on the lookout for our name! Thank you very much!
And now, for a special treat, here’s a clip of Persuasian’s performance at Kollaboration Atlanta 4.
[Video credit: Jim Thornton @ Cloud USA]