By Mimi Chen, AsAmNews Music Writer
Calistar is obviously a stage name, but it’s the moniker for the recording artist that is aspiring singer Calista Wu. For Wu, childhood ambitions included becoming not only a singer but also a lawyer. After having achieved attorney status, she decided to focus her efforts on becoming a singer. Yet she continues to utilize her skills as a lawyer by aiding the Asian community as the General Counsel for the ‘Hate Is A Virus’ team and by sitting on the board for ‘Asian Americans Advancing Justice in LA.’ ” I do all of this to help my community, to create beauty with my art, and to hopefully inspire others to pursue their dreams.” said Wu.
Today marks the release of her new single Don’t Give Up.
The video aligns with her concerns about the hate crimes against Asians. According to Wu, she said she wrote the song when she was leaving law firm life and getting back into music. “ It was a raw and vulnerable time for me,” she states, “and I wanted to share with others authentically about my internal struggles and what it meant for me to take my leap of faith to hopefully let other people know they can pursue their dreams and that they are not alone,” she said to AsAmNews in an email interview.
The high quality of the song’s production and video marks how serious she is about pursuing her dreams as a singer. With the song produced by Enik Lin, the music video focuses on the rise in Anti-Asian violence in the United State, a theme that was initially conceived by director Ron Yuan, one of the stars of Mulan. The video also features actress Teresa Ting of Orange is the New Black fame. Ting also was the driving force behind the inception of the ‘Main Street Patrol’ service that offers protection for the elderly by escorting them home.
Others involved in the production include Celia Au, Yao King, Henry Mu, as well as Alan Pao and Kyle Pak, who became producers on the project. Wu is proud of the community involvement in making the video and notes, “We have scenes that involved a real rally and march in Flushing, Queens. We involved real community members from multiple generations from Manhattan Chinatown as well. Even the local businesses supported us by feeding us and taking care of us during production.”
Wu hopes the song offers inspiration for people who are feeling lost. Said Wu, “If someone can listen to the song during a sad moment and can feel encouraged or inspired to keep going, then the song will have done its job.”
While she currently focuses on her artistic ambitions, she is also a business woman, having founding the entertainment company called Cali Star Entertainment, LLC. And she admits she still likes to practice law in a pro bono fashion as well. Look for CaliStar to perform shows in the United States this year and perhaps internationally as well.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story, or making a financial contribution.