Urban Showcase highlights Asian American talent

By Christy Burd

The Student Center hosted an Urban Showcase last Tuesday in Ursa
Major of the BSC as part of April’s Asia & Pacific Islands
Heritage Month.

The showcase was set up in a concert-like fashion and comprised
primarily of an Asian American audience.

Performances consisted of singing, dancing and musical
performances by Cal Poly students as well as other musicians, bands
and dance groups that are well known in the performance
industry.

“The showcase is good to speak up, and break out of the [Asian]
stereotype,” said Yukiko Sato, a second-year hospitality management
student and member of the Touzan group.

While reaction to the event was generally positive, not everyone
in attendance was satisfied with the end result.

“I think they could have done better in getting a different
group of people here other than the Asian crowd, because the whole
point of this month is to show that Asians aren’t just the
stereotype,” said Joey Toledo, a second-year civil engineering and
biology student. “I think Asians as a whole know that, but they
need to get other groups to know that too.”

Sato’s group performed traditional Japanese drumming known
Taiko, utilized percussion drums made from oak and cowhide to fill
the venue with thunderous sounds.

The members chose the name Touzan, which means “East Mountains,”
because CalPoly is east of Los Angeles.

“Since America is diverse, it’s important to keep in touch with
cultural roots,” said Devan Masahiko Koshu, a third year
hospitality management student and member of Touzan.

“Cal Poly is good with Japanese Americans.”

The Filipino club Barkada, which is the largest Asian American
campus club, did a dance routine that could be seen on ‘America’s
Best Dance Crew.’

The club has been active for seven years and is in its third
year as a competitive collegiate dance team.

“I think [Asian Americans] just started to rise with ‘America’s
Best Dance Crew’ and being on ‘American Idol,'” said Nicole
Calinawan, a third-year graphic design student and Barkada member
of the Signal Flow dance band. “So I think we’re getting
there.”

Afterschoolspecial is a six-member hip-hop band from San
Diego.

Recently the group was nominated for best hip-hop act and best
hip-hop club at the San Diego Music Awards.

“We’re just trying to set up shows with as many colleges as we
can go to,” said Daniel Matthews, afterschoolspecial emcee. We get
a lot of love from different people in different cities. We enjoyed
ourselves tonight.”

The group’s sound is similar to Linkin Park, without the techno
undertones.

The female lead singer brings a unique and new image to the band
because Matthews is Asian American, which is considered rare in the
music industry.

Other famous performances were by Team Millennia featuring Ed
Rhee and David Choi. The group was featured on MTV’s “America’s
Next Dance Crew”

“The famous dance crews give people an incentive,” said
Sato.

Ed Rhee is a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles and has
experienced a measurable amount of success thus far in his
career.

David Choi is also a native Los Angeles
singer/songwriter/producer whose songs and tracks have been played
on NBC, VH1, and MTV.

He has also worked on major online campaigns such as Starburst
and JC Penney.

Reach Christy Burd at: lifestyle@thepolypost.com

Urban Showcase highlights Asian American talent

Daniel Nguyen/Poly Post

Urban Showcase highlights Asian American talent

Urban Showcase highlights Asian American talent

Daniel Nguyen/Poly Post

Urban Showcase highlights Asian American talent

Urban Showcase highlights Asian American talent

Daniel Nguyen/Poly Post

Urban Showcase highlights Asian American talent

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