O.K. - to be honest, not knowing the semi-famous, or maybe rather semi-internet famous musician/producer isn’t something you may feel completely terrible about in regard to knowing culturally relevent information - at least in some circles - but you really should know about him.
Usher, LeAnn Rimes, Monica, Michelle Branch, and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am can’t all be wrong
If you have to peg the first moment that David Choi hit the spotlight it would be in 2004 when he won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for Teens which was judged by musicians and songwriters like Usher and LeAnn Rimes. Out of roughly 9000 student entries his was chosen as the winning song with comments like these from Usher:
“I was struck by how broad the song is and how I could relate to it. I felt like he’s actually speaking for race, he’s speaking for life, he’s speaking for sports, he’s speaking for youth, he’s speaking for adults […] In the future, David may become one of our prolific writers. He has a natural talent […]”
Read an article about the contest in USA Weekend.
And then came Bowie
2004 was a good year for Choi as later on he also won the David Bowie Mashup contest where fans competed to take one track from Bowie’s album Reality and another track from his other albums to create a new mashup single. Combining the tracks “She’ll Drive The Big Car” and “Shake It”, David Choi’s win netted him a new 2004 Audi TT Coupe.
Not bad for someone who just graduated from High School that year.
Being a YouTube sensation
After a workshop with ASCAP, Choi landed at Warner Chappell Publishing as a staff songwriter/producer where he’s been since the Spring of ‘06 working his daytime job and building his credentials - but it’s on social networking sites like YouTube where he seems to be making even more of a name for himself and building a loyal fanbase of listeners and fellow singer/songwriters. At the time of this post he has 23,000+ subscribers to his channel which has been viewed over 1,000,000 times and he is the #10 most subscribed musician of all time on YouTube.
But the numbers, while impressive, are only just part of the story.
Do a search at YouTube for David Choi and you’ll find covers of his original songs that he’s put there - as well as his MySpace pages (which are more polished studio versions of the acoustic versions on YouTube).
Think about that for a second.
These people aren’t covering songs that are commericial hits played on satelite, digital cable, or your old fashioned radio stations - but rather someone’s YouTube songs - David Choi’s songs - because they love them - and him - that much. One of his songs, and probably his most famous That Girl was even partially translated to Korean.
But even better than that - check out the faces - the Asian faces - the younger than him Asian faces that are covering his songs, playing their music, and recording it for the world to see in a mini revolution taking over the Internet’s fiber-optics one bath and bedroom at a time.
Pretty cool don’t you think?
Even if you don’t, at least now you’ve heard of David Choi.