Project Description

Q & A with Amanda and Roland

When did you start?

Amanda: I didn’t discover my passion for music until I was 16. Taking piano lessons triggered my love for music, after which I taught myself to play guitar, sing and write songs.

Roland: I started taking piano lessons at age nine and went on to teach myself the guitar, bass, and drums. Inevitably, I became fascinated with production and got into recording during my freshman year of high school after having purchased my first keyboard-workstation.

What do you hope to achieve through the Kollaboration experience?

Amanda: I’m always looking for every opportunity to get that big break, just like the rest of us pipeline dreamers. So my ultimate goal is to make it big in music, go all the way to Los Angeles and score that record deal. But beyond that, Kollaboration serves a greater purpose. One of the things I am most passionate about is bringing people together. Music is one of the strongest universal bonds that can make a room full of strangers suddenly connected. Its part of our humanity to be moved by music, to experience emotions strongly (even emotions on each others’ behalf). Music is the way that we access those emotions to connect with one another.

Roland: As a producer often confined to the controlled studio environment, I hope to strengthen my abilities as a performing artist through the Kollaboration experience, as well as meet new talented musicians to work with.

On a day off, you can find me…

Amanda: Eating at a good restaurant, running or riding my long board, going to a live concert, or doing something totally wacky (I just crashed a wedding last weekend).

Roland: in my home studio mixing and recording music! Check out pictures of my home studio space on my website:

People would be surprised to learn that…

Amanda: I’m 100% Vietnamese. In college, people on campus thought I was Filipino or Hawaiian (for all four years). Most people also thought I was from California because I rode a long board and walked around barefoot a lot.

Roland: People would be surprised to learn that Amanda Ly, my co-star for the 2015 Kollaboration Showcase, and I used to be in a relationship. Although we are no longer romantically involved, music keeps us together and I feel blessed to still be friends and to be able to continue playing and writing music with her.

My biggest inspirations are…

Amanda: My parents, who immigrated to America during the Vietnam war to give me a better life and greater opportunities than they ever had. Musically, Taylor Swift was the person who inspired me to pick a guitar when I was 16 and start writing songs. Even though she’s different from the country girl who inspired me so many years back, I’m still a huge fan!

Roland: Pink Floyd, John Mayer, Chris Lord-Alge, and Manny Marroquin.

If I could perform with anybody in the world, it would be…

Amanda: Ed Sheeran or Ingrid Michaelson. They’re both incredibly talented songwriters and musicians, but they also strike me as quirky and approachable, girl/guy-next-door type personalities – people I’d be comfortable having fun with while playing music!

Roland: I would be honored to share a stage with my friends and fellow musicians who inspire me to continue playing music to this day including Tyler Nimon, John Toczek, Gordon Utendahl, and Amanda Ly to name a few!

Get Your Showcase Tickets!

Amanda & Roland's Video Promo
Watch Amanda & Roland’s Video Promo


Amanda: Grand Rapids, Michigan (“where the rapids are grand”!)

Roland: Olympia Fields, IL


Amanda: Vietnamese

Roland: Chinese/Filipino


Amanda: Singer/Musician

Roland: I consider myself to be an origami, yo-yo, and longboard enthusiast.

Find me on

Facebook –
Reverbnation (find my original songs here) –
Twitter –
YouTube –

Roland: My website

See Amanda and Roland and the other talented finalists and special guests at the 10th Anniversary Showcase.

Get Your Showcase Tickets!