Think YouTube artists are just kids who croon popular covers from their bedrooms? Think again. Singer/songwriter/video producer David Choi is a pioneer in the YouTube music scene, and he’s helped pave the way for independent artists to be seen, heard and compensated.
by ADA TSENG
David Choi is jet-lagged. He’s just flown back to Los Angeles from Korea, after being invited to attend the YouTube Music Awards in Seoul, and he has the KoreAm Journal cover shoot the next day, which leaves only 24 hours for a juice cleanse that will hopefully undo some of the bodily damage that a trip to Korea can bring—late nights, mouthwatering gluttony and all. A master of social media, Choi Instagrams his Chomp Eatery bottle of leafy green liquid for his fans. Over 3,000 people “like” this photo, but according to the comments, they seem more interested in his watery eyes, his hint of a smile, his unkempt brows and his spiky hair, rather than his diet.
The boyish Choi is 27, but could arguably still pass for a teenager, especially sitting cross-legged on the floor of his Los Angeles home with a cozy blanket wrapped around his shoulders, waxing poetic about the importance of not letting the practical rules of songwriting (or the world in general) stunt your creativity and apologizing when he rambles wistfully off topic.
For any skeptics who might still assume YouTubers are naïve college kids who record themselves in their dorm rooms for fun (or for vanity), David Choi may just prove you wrong.
Music runs in his blood. If he hadn’t found fame on YouTube—Choi’s videos have more than 117 million views, and his two channels have more than a million subscribers combined—he would have found a way to work in the music industry some other way.