Musician and producer DANakaDAN will be among the featured performers at Kollaboration Star 2014 in Los Angeles this Saturday. The talented entertainer recently produced a web series about being adopted and his search for his birth parents in Korea. He took time to answer a few questions from AsAmNews.
Can you describe any obstacles you’ve had to overcome being an alternative Asian American hip hop artist?
I think even saying “alternative Asian American hip hop artist” is basically the gist of the obstacles I, or anyone like me, face. haha. There aren’t a lot of other artists that I can use as mentors that have a similar situation as me – so it makes it difficult to find people who have already paved that path.
What are you most proud of accomplishing as a musician?
I’m really proud of building with the community. There’s a number of amazing people that I’ve been able to meet, work, and collaborate with, that I never thought I’d ever have a chance to do. Some people I really look up to. So it’s amazing to have that opportunity.
Being able to travel for what I love to do is amazing. It’s something that I really never thought I’d do. If you would have told 10-year-old Daniel that he’d be traveling as a musician he would have told you to get outta town.
Tell us about your documentary and why was it important for you to produce it? In what way if any does your experience as a Korean adoptee play into your music.
How crazy was it for you to learn that the twin brother you didn’t know you had was a rapper?
It was a really amazing experience. I’m really happy not just because I got to produce such a cool experience, but personally – that I have this new family that I get to know. It’s so important that this happened to me in my life – and I’m not going to take it for granted. If anything it gives my music an extra shot of life.
What’s next for you and your career?
To find ways to continue to create. I have some new songs I’ve been writing recently. Hopefully I’ll be able to put out a new album in 2015. I think as long as I’m growing and getting better, then there’s no reason I should stop.
Maybe find another twin. I don’t know, haha.
(Editor Note: Kollaboration Star 2014 takes place at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. Tickets are available here.))