What do you get when you combine eleven vocalists, a rapper, two instrumentalists, one dance group, and one spoken word artist? The Kollaboration Chicago 2013 Music Video, of course! It all started in an intimate third floor recording studio and fanned out to the Chicago streets, from Gold Coast to Old Chinatown.

Left to Right: Andy Choi, Francis Perfecto, Sisa Del Carmen, Brian Choi, Peter Jang, Phillip Hwang, Vince Nantes, Ashlee Barrera, Sharon Han

Left to Right: Andy Choi, Francis Perfecto, Sisa Del Carmen, Brian Choi, Peter Jang, Phillip Hwang, Vince Nantes, Ashlee Barrera, Sharon Han

Part 1: Studio Stars

There was an air of anticipation, determination and assertiveness as the 2013 finalists and staff members gathered at The Jungle. The mission: Expression through music.

No doubt everyone became fast friends, laughing, joking, and munching on Jimmy John’s. It was the first time all the finalists were gathered in one room to exchange stories, share their backgrounds and most of all, build bridges with other talented local artists. Just Steve and Andy Choi of 2 Bored Dorks drove from out of state and Derek Suen took time off from work to be there that day. Allen Tu patiently waited his turn to record, practicing his rap over and over again. The dedication was undeniable.

Left: Francis Perfecto and Sisa Del Carmen fine tuning before recording; Right: Alan Tusic Tu laying down his rhymes

Left: Francis Perfecto and Sisa Del Carmen fine tuning before recording; Right: Allen Tusic Tu laying down his rhymes

During the recording sessions, we also faced challenges. Phil from Phonadics and other finalists gave each other feedback and worked together to balance the vocals. Even when people made mistakes, everyone was able to laugh about it and move on. Female vocalists Sisa del Carmen and Ashlee of Alan & Ashlee, stepped into a separate room to practice their parts. Mike Garmon, Studio Manager/Audio Engineer at The Jungle, helped the finalists get comfortable and be their best. It was a long day but finalists and staff members alike held on and finished strong!

Part 2: Local celebrities in the streets

Next up: filming. We were blessed with amazing weather that day. Finalists came looking their best and ready to showcase their talents in front of the camera. Some were naturals, like the 2 Bored Dorks who have been filming YouTube videos since 2007. Vince Nantes was no stranger to the camera either, moving in true artist form while filming his part. Spoken word artist, Alvin Lau only took a few takes to perfect his piece.

The videographers of Commonless filming CODA's dance scene.

The videographers of Commonless filming CODA’s dance scene.

For others, it was an exciting (and somewhat intimidating) new experience. Our stellar cinematographer Commonless guided and encouraged them throughout the entire day of filming and was committed to making their vision a reality. The finalists were just as amazed by Commonless’ work as they were by the level of talent from the finalists. Francis Perfecto enjoyed reuniting with old friends and having fun filming at the same time! Passerbys stopped to ask what was going on. Everyone who heard the Kollaboration mission of “Empowerment Through Entertainment” thought it was a great idea and an excellent cause. And…we all agreed Briana White, though part Filipino, resembled actress Emma Watson!

With the final day of filming down, which included the dancers of CODA, we cannot be more excited to share our hard work with fans, supporters and sponsors! To witness the finalists working together and supporting one another was both moving and humbling. It was great to see Alan & Ashlee tweeting, posting on Instagram, even recording clips on Vine to show the world they were part of something bigger. Now, all the finalists will diligently prepare for the upcoming show! Mark your calendars, Chicago. September 28th is the day!

Shout outs and special thanks to our sponsors Alex Cruz, Mike Garmon, Grace Victoria of Jungle and Commonless for all their help with the music video recording and filming!

commonlessFeatured Sponsor - Jungle Music Group