By Christi Kim
YouTube addicts, close your internet browsers: On Wednesday, March 28, you’ll have the chance to see YouTube phenom David Choi, a guy you’re probably very familiar with, live at the student-run Red Room at Berklee’s Cafe 939 when he comes to town with a full band to promote his newest album, Forever and Ever. The show will be the California native’s second at the venue.
“He has been invited to play again because the venue is a great fit for his brand,” said Jackie Indrisano, Café 939’s manager. “He's helping us build a brighter musical future, and we are happy to oblige.”
The 18th most-subscribed musician on YouTube and the 71st most-subscribed user overall, Choi’s rise to fame without help from a record label is a perfect example of what can happen when you follow your dreams. Even without label support, the 25 year old has had his tracks played on Fox, MTV, and Disney and has worked with Starbucks, Google, and Samsung, among others.
“He has fun, he's witty, and he's thankful,” Indrisano said. “I believe that he is a wonderful singer-songwriter with raw talent and a sincere connection to his fans.”
Although Choi doesn’t have a label backing his career, his background includes a stint as a staff songwriter at Warner/Chappell Music. But when he decided to write and perform “YouTube (A Love Song)” just for fun, he set his career as a performer in motion. The song was featured on the video-sharing site’s homepage, triggering a wave of thousands (now millions) of views. Choi's channel now has nearly one million subscribers and over 105 million total views.
Choi’s music is charming: There’s no profanity for profanity’s sake. There’s no mess. It’s just simple, clean, acoustic tunes, inspired by oldies, retro, and country styles and with lyrics ranging from deep and meaningful to simple and sweet -- “poppy with a hint of jazz and folk,” he said. Gems from the newest album include “Missing Piece,” a song about searching for a sense of belonging and the loneliness all of us feel at some point; the unconventional “Roller Coaster,” which is full of unusual harmonies; and “You Were My Friend,” a tell-it-like-it-is tale of lost friendship.
Not only are Choi’s lyrics relatable and remarkable, but his tunes are a refreshing change from the generic pop noise that fills radio stations today. “David's positive and introspective. That's a quality that eludes many pop artists, but not him,” Indrisano said. “He could easily turn a reflective good time into a crazy party anthem, but he chooses to stay the course -- his course -- and his fans appreciate it.”
"[I hope] to connect with people and to have the music connect with them,” Choi said.
Choi hasn’t let his fame go to his head, either. He’s down-to-earth, genuine, and open-minded about his fans. “I’m still awaiting the most epic fan story,” he said, “but I’ve signed a butt-cheek before!”
Tickets for David Choi’s show at Red Room at Café 939 are $15. There will be a meet and greet after the show. The venue has a maximum capacity of 200 people; based on past performances, it will likely be jam-packed.
Which YouTube star would you like to see perform in Boston?
Photo courtesy of David Choi
About Christi -- I'm a student and copy editor in Boston. I have an interest in pretty much everything. I like to spend my free time as part photographer, writer, graphic designer, foodie, artist, and musician. I enjoy reading in a quiet sunlit room and watching movies with friends.
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