Geum Yi

Kollaboration Star to feature APIA artists, competitors

November 14, 2014


DANakaDAN performs at KTOWN Night Market. (Courtesy of Dan Matthews)

DANakaDAN performs at KTOWN Night Market. (Courtesy of Dan Matthews)

By Tae Hong

Dan Matthews — you may know him as DANakaDAN — began volunteering with Kollaboration as a San Diego State undergrad, making the drive up to Los Angeles once a month.

It was the early stages of his career as a musician, and he wanted to make it onto the organization’s showcase stage as a performer. Three tries later, he succeeded.

Now, as a rapper who made headlines last year as an adoptee who journeyed to Korea to meet his biological family for the first time, Matthews will be one of a handful of artists who are making their way back onto the Kollaboration Star stage as guests on Nov. 15 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

Six finalists from Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C., will compete for a $10,000 grand prize at the talent showcase: Paul Kay, Ang & Glo, The Primaries, Sung Lee, Jett and Paradise.

This year’s show will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the non-profit organization that helped launch the careers of a handful of Asian American stars, among them Far East Movement, “Walking Dead” star Steven Yeun, Kina Grannis and Randall Park.

Headlining the event, hosted by Jenny Yang and Jimmy O. Yang, will be Run River North, Alfa, Kaba Modern, Nancy Lee and Matthews, Kollaboration said.

AJ Rafael, Marie Digby, Ally Maki and Samantha Futerman will judge this year’s show, Kollaboration said.

Matthews, who is also an executive producer at ISATV, another platform for Asian American entertainment, is planning to perform a song in collaboration with the other performers. He said he believes in Kollaboration’s “commitment to bringing up Asian American stars.”

“Kollaboration has ignited and nurtured something invaluable not only in the artists, but in everyone involved,” Kollaboration Global Director Minji Chang said in a press release. “We’ve given generations of Asian Americans the confidence to believe that we can navigate our own lives versus accepting the status quo.”

Wilshire Ebell Theatre is located at 4401 W 8th Street. For more information, visit