David Choi

David Choi
Background information
Birth name David Yong Choi
Born March 22, 1986 (1986-03-22) (age 25)
Anaheim, California
United States
Origin Garden Grove, California, United States
Genres Rock, pop rock, alternative, soul
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, banjo, piano, violin, ukulele, mandolin
Years active 2000–present
Labels Warner Chappell Music (left)
Unsigned (present)
Associated acts Wong Fu Productions
Kina Grannis
Ryan Higa
Kevin Wu
Chester See
JR Aquino
Shane Dawson
Website David Choi Official Site

David Yong Choi (최데이비드용) (born March 22, 1986)[1] is an American musician and YouTube video producer living in Los Angeles.[2] He performs a mix of original songs and covers of pop hits. Choi released his debut album, Only You, in October 2008.[3] His second album, By My Side,[4] was released on May 19, 2010. His songs and tracks have been heard on NBC, FOX, VH1, MTV, A&E, E!, Travel Channel, Style, PBS, Food Network, Disney, as well as in commercials internationally. He has worked with companies including Kelloggs, Starburst, the American Cancer Society, General Electric, YesStyle, Samsung, and J. C. Penney.[5][6][7][8] On YouTube, he has over 900,000 subscribers, 97,000,000 total video views, and more than 12 million channel views.[9][10] Choi worked as a songwriter and producer at Warner/Chappell Music, which signed him on after his participation in an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) workshop.[2] On February 21, 2009, he performed at the annual Kollaboration talent show.[2]

His humorous song "YouTube, A Love Song" has received over 2.6 million views. The music videos for his singles Won't Even Start and That Girl, which are posted on both his and producers Wong Fu Productions' YouTube channels, has received a total of over 5 million views. He also posts non-music videos such as vlogs on his second channel. Choi often appears in online videos with fellow YouTube personalities, mostly playing a humorous character with a very straight face (his prominent trait). Some YouTube personalities, like Shane Dawson and Wong Fu Productions, often use Choi's music in their videos.


Early life and career

Childhood and education

David Choi was born in Anaheim, California on March 22, 1986. He is of Korean descent and comes from a musical family. His parents, Ray Choi and Jane Choi own a music store named "Grace Store" and his father plays the autoharp.[11]

At a young age, David had to play piano and violin, which he did not particularly enjoy. However, he was concertmaster of his school orchestra[11]. He never heard a pop song until he was in sixth grade, when he heard Smash Mouth's All Star. Soon he came across the song All the Small Things by Blink 182 and attempted to play it with the guitar. Choi stopped taking violin lessons in high school. In ninth grade, Choi began taking jazz piano lessons and began composing music. He entered a contest and submitted an instrumental pop song, and won his first award.

Start Of His Career (2002–2006)

He started to compose his music digitally at first, with a program called Acid Pro. He learned how to use it himself a few days after downloading it.[11] He learned a few songwriting tips from a friend named Judy.

In 2004, Choi won the grand prize in David Bowie’s Mashup contest. Appearing in USA Weekend Magazine with Usher, he received the grand prize for the magazine's John Lennon Songwriting Contest for teens.[3] This marked the start of his musical career, at first as a staff songwriter/producer, when Warner Chappell Music signed him.[11] In 2006, his humorous YouTube love song, entitled Youtube (A Love Song) was uploaded on December 30 that year, and brought him "overnight" fame. Since then he has been composing humorous songs, like "It's Rad To Pick Your Nose" and "I Think I Like You." "My Company" was also a half-humorous, half-love song. His YouTube love song, to his surprise, was posted on the homepage of the website. He stated in a blog post that he found out when a friend told him, "you're on the homepage."[11] He soon received requests for new songs, a live performance and an album. He did want to release his songs in an album, but as he was a signed songwriter/producer at that time, he had to go through a lot of legal procedures and accept a lot of contractual conditions. Thus, he left Warner, and stayed unsigned so he could carry on with his album release.[11]

Only You (2007–2008)

David Choi released his first album in 2008 and it was entitled Only You. It contained mostly love songs, notably Love, Won't Even Start, Something To Believe and Only You. In 2009, David released a Korea Special edition of the album, containing three bonus tracks. Won't Even Start became his hit single, and he released a music video on it, collaborating with Wong Fu Productions in producing his first official music video. The album also bonded him with Korean fans, releasing a special Korean edition with three bonus tracks.

By My Side & That Girl (2009–2010)

David Choi in an embrace with Julia Chang under the umbrella in his music video for That Girl.

Within a space of half a year (4th Quarter 2009 to 1st Quarter 2010), David compiled composed songs into his sophomore album, which was released in 2010 on May 18, By My Side. He released a music video on the lead single "That Girl" that same date. The music video was produced by David Choi and his friends from production company Wong Fu Productions. He collaborated with them for the second time, the first being the music video on "Won't Even Start", and Julia Chang acted as 'that girl' alongside him.[12] He also released a Korean edition, with two bonus tracks: Valentines and My Company.

Forever and Ever (2011–present)

David sings "This And That" at the Esplanade in Singapore.

During his tours in 2011, David Choi sang two songs he wrote during 2010, "You Were My Friend" and "This and That is Life". He has blurted that a third album will include these two songs.[13] On July 7, 2011, David released his third music video, for his single "By My Side", once again a collaboration with Wong Fu Productions. This music video features Jenny Ong.[14] David also started to help his father, Ray Choi, in uploading YouTube videos of Ray playing the autoharp.[15] His song "I Choose Happiness", of which the instrumental version is always used in KevJumba and Wong Fu Productions videos, was also chosen to be used in the 2011 film "Lucky". David Choi announced that he is going to release his third album, "Forever and Ever" on October 25, 2011.


Choi embarked on his first tour[16] from November 12 to November 19, 2009. He sang live in the United States West Coast cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, as well as in Vancouver, Canada.[17] In 2010 Choi embarked on his second tour singing live in the United States East Coast cities of Washington DC, New York, Boston, and Chicago as well as Toronto, Canada. The year after (2010) he visited the few cities again.

In August 2010, David Choi went to Singapore for vacation and tour. He was there for eleven days, one day being his vacation day where he went to Sentosa and Night Safari.[18] In 2011, Choi went on a short tour around North America again, entitled "Spring Tour", this time including Houston, Chicago, and Hawaii. He also frequents Korea.

In the summer vacation of 2011, David announced another tour – this time his first continental tour (as he went around Southeast Asia), his Asia-Pacific Tour. He went to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. In Australia, David was supported by Australian acts Amelia Jae and Jayesslee. In Singapore, he had Inch Chua to do an introductory three songs and sing his and Kina Grannis' "My Time With You". Again, David went to small venues, like the Esplanade Recital Studio, which holds about 245 people.[19]

David Choi at a concert.

Accompanying with tours, David also has meet-and-greet sessions, where he meets his fans.[20]


Genre and lyrics

David Choi's music genre falls mostly under the modern "ballad" genre, with his songs being slow, and mostly about love, relationships, and break-ups.[21] His songs have been described as "often to melt girls' hearts" and they really seem like oldies, in contrast with modern love songs like Dynamite, which often involve partying and rapping, or Bruno Mars songs, which don't really describe relationships. This is probably because David grew up listening to classical and jazz music.[11] His songs are like sources of motivation, for example "Valentines", which encourage singles to wait.


For quite awhile David was portrayed by netizens and fans as a sad and solemn guy with a poker face, having not smiled for two years (2006–2008). He promised he would not smile until he reached 77,777 subscribers, a goal he accomplished.[22] The tune and melody he uses in his songs are often happy melodies, for example "Something To Believe"[23] and "My Time With You".[24]


  • Only You (2008 – CD (digipak) and iTunes)
  • Only You (Korea Special Edition) (2009 – CD; only for Korea +3 bonus tracks)
  • By My Side (2010 – CD (digipak) and iTunes)
  • YouTube Covers Volume 1 (2010 – iTunes exclusive)
  • YouTube Covers Volume 2 (2010 – iTunes exclusive)
  • By My Side (Korea Special Edition) (2010 – CD; only for Korea +2 bonus tracks)
  • Forever and Ever (2011 [released on 25th October] – CD and iTunes)

In other media

Songs in other media

Year Used In (producers) Type Song
2008 J.C. Penney Web Ad: "Back-to-School Interactive Initiative" "My Time With You"(with Kina Grannis)[25]
2009 Up In Da Club (Wong Fu Productions) 4-Part Series "Something To Believe[26]
2010 Playful Kiss Korean Drama "Won't Even Start"[27]
2010 Secret Garden Korean Drama "Love"[28]
2010 Agents of Secret Stuff (HigaTV and Wong Fu) Web Film "My Time With You"(with Kina Grannis)
2011 Strangers, again (Wong Fu Productions) Short Story "So Weightless"[29]
2011 My Princess Korean Drama "By My Side"
"Won't Even Start"
2011 All My Love Korean Drama "Happily Ever After"
"해피 몽땅"
2011 Samsung Zipel Grandstyle (Samsung) Fridge Advertisement "By My Side"[30]
2011 Renault SM5 (Samsung) Car Advertisement "Only You"
2011 Lucky Movie "I Choose Happiness"

Filmography and TV appearances

Year Title Producer Role
2010 Funemployed (episodes 7,8,10 & 11) Wong Fu Productions Aaron (music teacher)[31]
2010 The Allergy Wong Fu Productions Chris' Girlfriend (after "smoke reaction")[32]
2010 BEST CREW – The Audition Nigahiga Jeffery (the new member)[33]
2010 Interview with Channel News Asia (TV Appearance) Mediacorp Himself[21]
2011 Strangers, again Wong Fu Productions Donatello (Don)[29]
2011 THE ANNIVERSARY David Choi Music Himself[34]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Nominated Work Category Result
2004 David Bowie Mash-up Contest "Big Shakin' Car" (Mashup of "Shake it" and "She'll Drive a Big Car") N/A Won[35]
John Lennon Songwriting Contest Himself Teens Won[35]
Songwriter Universe Song of the Month "Anything You Want" February Won[36]

See also


  1. ^ Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905–1995, under CHOI, DAVID YONG, on 22 March 1986 in Orange County.
  2. ^ a b c "Up And Coming Artist: David Choi". allkpop.com. 3. http://www.allkpop.com/2009/02/up_and_coming_artist_david_choi. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "David Choi". last.fm. http://www.last.fm/music/David+Choi. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ by 5artychickens (May 20, 2010). "David Choi, By My Side " 5artychickens". 5artychickens.wordpress.com. http://5artychickens.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/david-choi-by-my-side/. Retrieved May 31, 2010. 
  5. ^ Chang, Richard (May 29, 2009). "Meet O.C.'s latest Internet music sensation". The Orange County Register. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/david-choi-youtube-2433371-twitter-myspace. Retrieved June 23, 2009. 
  6. ^ Yang, Jeff (June 4, 2008). "Asian Pop". San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate.com. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/06/04/apop.DTL&hw=&sn=003&sc=942. Retrieved June 23, 2009. 
  7. ^ Santiago, Arabella; Toy, Samantha (December 26, 2007). "YouTube, Land of the Brave Asian American". AsianWeek. http://www.asianweek.com/2007/12/26/youtube-land-of-the-brave-asian-american/. Retrieved June 23, 2009. 
  8. ^ Quinton, Brian (July 21, 2008). "Starburst ‘Shares’ Candy Over the Web". PROMO magazine (Penton Media). http://promomagazine.com/interactivemarketing/news/starburst_shares_candy_over_web_0721/. Retrieved June 23, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Most Subscribed Musicians". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/channels?p=1&s=ms&gl=&t=a&g=1. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  10. ^ Choi, David. "Bio". .... David Choi Music. http://davidchoimusic.com/bio. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "My Story". David Choi Music. http://davidchoimusic.com/davidchoistory. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  12. ^ "New Music Video Released!". Wong Fu Productions. http://wongfuproductions.com/2010/05/new-music-video-released-%E2%80%9Cthat-girl%E2%80%9D/. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  13. ^ David Choi Live In Singapore! (2011 Day 1 & 2) – David announces two new songs.
  14. ^ ‪By My Side – David Choi – Official Music Video Teaser‬‏ – YouTube
  15. ^ ‪Ray Choi – The Four Maries on Autoharp‬‏ – YouTube
  16. ^ "David Choi Tour – San Diego". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zdpx9zyn9Y. Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  17. ^ "David Choi's past events". Eventful. http://eventful.com/performers/david-choi-/P0-001-000201540-3/events/past. Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  18. ^ David Choi in Singapore « David Choi | Official Site | Shows | Pictures | Videos
  19. ^ "Asia Pacific Tour". David Choi Music. http://davidchoimusic.com/tour. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  20. ^ David Choi, offline http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/entertainmentfeatures/view/1136978/1/.html
  21. ^ a b Channel News Asia | VideoPlayer
  22. ^ ‪David Choi Smiles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!‬‏ – YouTube
  23. ^ ‪David Choi – Something to Believe‬‏ – YouTube
  24. ^ ‪David Choi & Kina Grannis – My Time With You‬‏ – YouTube
  25. ^ http://www.jcpenney.net/shared/content/PDFs/ADDY.pdf
  26. ^ ‪Up In Da Club – Part 4 – Wong Fu Productions‬‏ – YouTube
  27. ^ Episode 9 – Playful Kiss – in English subtitles – Watch Korean TV – ViKi
  28. ^ Episode 4
  29. ^ a b ‪Strangers, again‬‏ – YouTube
  30. ^ ‪[CF] Samsung Zipel Grandstyle 840-Zipel_30s‬‏ – YouTube
  31. ^ ‪"Funemployed" Web Series‬‏ – YouTube
  32. ^ ‪The Allergy‬‏ – YouTube
  33. ^ ‪BEST CREW – The Audition‬‏ – YouTube
  34. ^ ‪THE ANNIVERSARY featuring David Choi, Shane Yoon and Kat Gardiner‬‏ – YouTube
  35. ^ a b "David Choi has more subscribers on YouTube than Miley Cyrus". http://www.popmatters.com/pm/article/94703-david-choi-has-more-subscribers-on-youtube-than-miley-cyrus/. 
  36. ^ "David Choi's "Anything You Want" Named February "Best Song Of The Month"". http://www.songwriteruniverse.com/contestwinner19.htm. 

External links

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