Spotlight: David Choi
By: Joe Nguyen, Asian Avenue magazine
David Choi: Korean American Singer/Songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA
Check out more of David Choi at www.youtube.com/davidchoimusic
When you posted “YouTube A Love Song” online, did you expect to get the response you did?
No, actually. I put it up thinking that it was going to be seen by a few people and get a couple laughs or whatever. I didn’t expect it to blow up like it did.
With nearly 750,000 subscribers on YouTube, do you find yourself being recognized everywhere you go?
Not everywhere I go. There are times when people would come up and say hi. Or sometimes people would just look at me and stare, like when I’m eating or hanging out with a friend or something. It happens from time to time.
What instruments did you play growing up?
When you’re Korean, you’re supposed to play either violin or piano or cello – those choice instruments Korean parents put on their kids. I had violin and piano growing up.
When did you decide that you wanted to be a songwriter?
Right when I picked it up at 16, that’s when I wanted to pursue this full-time because it was a lot of fun and it was something I felt I was naturally better at than other things in life. … I worked really hard ever since. My mom told me that if I did music, I would end up really poor and always struggling and always being hungry. That was one of the things that drove me to work a little harder. I really like food, so I didn’t want to be starving as I got older.
Your last album Only You had a lot of lovelorn songs on it. What was the reason behind that?
I write all kinds of music, but I write more when I’m depressed or whatever (laughs). I think for a lot of people, you want to let things out and put it out and leave it there. I guess those are just an accumulation of songs I wrote when I was feeling sad.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on my third album. It’s scheduled to be released in October. I’m just working on that and getting my songs down.
This comes up a lot. Are you and frequent collaborator Kina Grannis dating?
No, we’re not dating. We’re just good friends.