Beatboxer Sung Lee from NY wins Kollaboration Star 2014

November 22, 2014
(Facebook photo)

(Facebook photo)

[LOS ANGELES] – Kollaboration Star 2014 celebrated 15 years of empowering Asian American entertainers at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre last Saturday, where six finalists from across the nation competed for a grand prize of $10,000 and bragging rights for their respective chapters.

Each finalist advanced to Star by outperforming thousands of other contestants in the preliminary auditions and individual city showcases. Initially, eight finalists were selected from the organization’s 14 chapters nationwide to advance. Of those eight, six were chosen to perform at Kollaboration Star through an online vote.

The show commenced with an introduction from hosts Jimmy O. Yang—seen on HBO’s Silicon Valley—and Jenny Yang from Buzzfeed and Dis-Oriented Comedy, followed by a dance number from UC Irvine’s Kaba Modern.

The first finalist to perform was Paradise, a Laotian-American singer/songwriter from Washington DC who performed a sentimental tribute to his mother. Next in line, Chicago’s Paul Kay played a smooth acoustic set with harmonization from his on-stage partner. Guest performer Alfa followed with an interactive performance featuring quirky, upbeat melodies played on her guitar, ukulele, and kazoo. Shortly after, the nine-piece collective from UCLA known as the Primaries showcased their improvisational style and gregarious personalities with an original piece inspired by the band’s soul, jazz, and pop influences. Ang & Glo from Detroit took a more humanitarian approach with their emotional song protesting the injustices of human trafficking.

Jimmy O. Yang took the stage again with Kollaboration co-founder & stand-up comedian Paul “PK” Kim, comedian Nancy Lee, and Kollaboration Global Director Christine Minji Chang in a satirical two-part skit about Asian-American stereotypes and familial roles. Following the skits and an on-stage dance battle, New York finalist Sung Lee kept the energy level high with hislooping beatbox performance, pulling from various genres like dub-step, house, hip-hop, and R&B. To end the finalist performances, Jett from Seattle sang an original piece about the polarized emotions felt in love and relationships.

Tailing the finalists, headliners & alternative-folk band Run River North entranced the crowd with dark melodies and atmospheric undertones. The two songs they played were “Beetle,” from their critically acclaimed album Monster’s Calling Home, and an untitled original that they debuted at the show.

DANakaDAN ended the night’s performances with his alternative hip-hop set, featuring artists like Travis Graham of New Heights, Sam Kang, and Paul Kim. For the grand finale, DANakaDAN invited Alex—from Run River North—and Alfa back on stage for a surprise joint performance. Afterwards, Sung Lee from New York was announced as the winner of Kollaboration Star 2014.

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