Show Recap: Kollaboration DC Competition Showcase 2015

Alicia Rae with Kollaboration DC 2015 Finalist ContestantsKollaboration DC Finalists:
Alicia Rae, Santa Jaca, Nan, Abby Rose, 2 Parkz, and Audrey Huwae
Photo by Ethan & Tasha

I am proud to say that I was one of the six finalists chosen from hundreds of auditions for the Kollaboration DC 2015 competition! On August 8th, we competed for the title of Kollaboration DC’s Champion, advancing to the Kollaboration STAR competition in California!

We met up with the staff in the early afternoon, at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, to prepare for the evening. We were all debriefed, interviewed by local press, and then we did soundcheck. I was, per usual, Snapchatting the entire day. Here’s a picture of me taking a picture for my Snapstory. Snapception/Pic-ception!

Alicia Rae with Audrey Huwae and Abby Rose at Kollaboration DC 2015

Photo by Alex Ting

I started the day on such a high, and with so much excitement! I was so happy to meet everyone behind the operation, and all of the talented artists!

There were some technical difficulties during soundcheck and I ended up having to mic my guitar, instead of hooking it up. For those of you who don’t know anything about guitars… basically, what happened was, I have an electric/acoustic guitar, and the electric part of my guitar wasn’t working.  So, we hooked up a microphone in front of my guitar so that the audience would be able to hear it while I was on stage.

This isn’t a big deal, but it kind of threw me off balance. I don’t really like having my guitar mic’d because I have a tendency to move/sway when I’m on stage.  I’m always nervous that I am going to smack my guitar into the mic (which I’ve done before…) causing a loud BOOM noise and scaring the crap out of everyone! lol.

But, aside from the guitar mishap… I had a ton of fun hanging out with all of the contestants in the green room. This was the coolest green room I’ve ever been in.  It was nice and big, with couches and a piano.  And, it had the big mirrors, lined with lights, like you see in movie dressing rooms.

Alicia Rae at Kollaboration DC 2015 F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre Dressing RoomSnapchat: j0siegurl (that’s a zero, not an “o”)

There was a television backstage, so we were able to watch the entire show and everyone’s performances.

Our MC was Adriel Luis. He had an awesome hairdo, some shiny space shoes and a very fun personality!

ADriel Kollaboration DC 2015 MC Adriel Luis
Photo by Alex Ting

Nan at Kollaboration DC 2015First Finalists: Nan
Photo by Alex Ting

Nan is an amazing pianist! His piece consisted of a mix between classical and modern music including video game songs and top 40 tunes. We had a nice long talk about classical music when we were hanging out backstage. Oh! And, we were wearing matching blue outfits :)

Alicia Rae with Nan at Kollaboration DC 2015

Alicia and Nan backstage at Kollaboration DC 2015
Snapchat: j0siegurl (that’s a zero, not an “o”)

Abby Rose at Kollaboration DC 2015

 Second Finalist: Abby Rose
Photo by Ethan & Tasha

Abby is super sweet, cute & awesome.  She has a beautiful voice! And, she can play the guitar, uke, and piano!
Check out her YouTube.

SantaJaca at Kollaboration DC 2015

Third Finalist: Santa Jaca
Photo by Ethan & Tasha

Santa Jaca is made up of Chris Santa Ana and Tim Jaca.  If Chris looks familiar, it’s because he opened for me at my Sweet Melody EP release show. Chris has a beautiful soulful voice, and he is great at covers! Check out his YouTube.

Audrey Huwae at Kollaboration DC 2015

Fourth Finalist: Audrey Huwae
Photo by Ethan & Tasha

Audrey was accompanied by two of her friends. She sang a Beyonce cover and did awesome! In addition to a great voice, she has a lot of confidence and attitude that shines through in her performance.

Alicia Rae singing Sweet Melody at Kollaboration DC 2015

Fifth Finalist: Alicia Rae, aka ME :)
Photo by Ethan & Tasha

My biggest fan that night (and every night) was my mom. She was clapping along to Sweet Melody, as loudly as possible!… and a bit off beat. It was cute and we had a good laugh afterwards.

2 Parkz at Kollaboration DC 2015

Sixth Finalist: 2 Parkz
Photo by Ethan & Tasha

These girls had the sweetest voices, and some killer harmonies!

After each finalist performed their piece, we had intermission. All finalists were able to watch the rest of the show with their family and friends. So, I ran out and grabbed a couple (super-yummy) egg rolls and then sat down to finish the show.

Dance Competition Kollaboration DC 2015

Dance Battle Contestants
Photo by Alex Ting

Some time during intermission, there was a quick dance competition with audience members. When the show resumed, there was an EPIC dance battle with the finalists, including the little cutey in pink. She won.

She was so cute. She came out on stage and seemed so shy, with her head down and hand rubbing her eye. As SOON as the music started, she busted out some awesome dance moves and the whole crowd went wild!

Kollaboration DC 2015 Judges

Kollaboration DC 2015 Judges Panel:
Tim Ma, Joe Kim, and Tanner Chung
Photo by Ethan & Tasha

As the judges deliberated, we enjoyed some performances by our MC, Adriel Luis, Sam Ock, and Kollaboration DC 2014 winner, Paradise.

Sam Ock Kollaboration DC 2015

Sam Ock Kollaboration DC Performance
Photo by Ethan & Tasha

Paradise at Kollaboration DC 2015


Kollaboration DC 2014 Winner: Paradise
Photo by Ethan & Tasha

And the winner is of Kollaboration DC 2015 is……..

Kollaboration 2015 DC Winner

Kollaboration DC 2015 Winner: Audrey Huwae
Photo by Alex Ting

Congrats Audrey! You rock! & totally deserve this win!

I am honored to have shared the stage with such talented people!  This was an amazing experience! I am so proud to have been chosen as a finalist out of hundreds of auditions.  Moments like these remind me of how quickly I have grown in just a few years, and how much more growing I have yet to accomplish!

Alicia Rae with Kollaboration DC Finalists Santa Jaca, 2 Parkz, Abby Rose, Nan, Audrey Huwae and Kollaboration Global Director Christine Minji Chang

Kollaboration DC Finalists with Kollaboration Global Director, Christine Minji Chang
Instagram: @AliciaRaeMusic

After the winner was announced, I was able to talk with each of the judges, and get some SOLID FEEDBACK.  It was nice to hear encouraging words, as well as specific critiques on areas to improve.  One consistent thing I heard from the judges was that they were impressed with my songwriting!

I’d like to thank the Kollaboration DC staff, AGAIN, for being SO.FREAKIN.AWESOME!  You all work your butts off for an entire year, all for this one night of music.  Because of you, Asian Pacific American talent is highlighted, and showcased within our community.  One day we’ll be able to see more Asian talent on television and in pop culture, and through your efforts, we are one step closer.  So, thank you!

Kollaboration DC Staff 2015

Photo: Kollaboration DC Facebook

Kollaboration Recap Posts:

Alicia Rae Kollaboration DC 2015

Photo by Kollaboration DC

Kollaboration DC REEL: A mini series of fun, behind-the-scene shorts featuring our finalists and staff. Visit BIT.LY/KDC6TIX for tickets to the Kollaboration DC 2015 Showcase ft. Sam Ock. —Alicia Rae is one of our six finalists for our Showcase Competition this year. You can learn more about Alicia in her “Finalist Peek” video interview on our YouTube Channel @ KollaborationDC.The Kollaboration DC 6 Showcase is ONLY TWO DAYS away – THIS SATURDAY on August 8th! Last Summer, Kollaboration DC 5 completely sold out, so don’t miss out this year and get your tickets to the show and afterparty NOW while you still can!

Posted by Kollaboration DC on Thursday, August 6, 2015

Alicia Rae is a talented singer/songwriter/guitarist from Maryland, and one of six finalists competing in our annual Kollaboration DC showcase. Learn more about her in this video short!To catch Alicia Rae and others perform at the Kollaboration DC Showcase on August 8th, check out our event page:

Posted by Kollaboration DC on Friday, July 10, 2015

Show Recap: Sweet Melody EP Release Show!

Alicia Rae Sweet Melody EP Release Show: The Fading Youth, Chris Santa Ana, Emma Rowley

Photo: Alicia Rae, The Fading Youth, Chris Santa Ana, and Emma Rowley

I had so much fun at my EP release show! Before the show started, I had dinner with my family at Woo Lae Oak where we pigged out on some Korean BBQ.  Woo Lae Oak is a chain restaurant.  I remember, as a kid, I was always so excited when my parents said they were taking us to eat there.  I hadn’t been to this particular one yet, but it was just as good.

Woo Live! is the venue located within the restaurant, where I held my show.  After dinner, I walked around and talked with all of my friends who came out to support me.  I am always blown away by the unfailing support system that I am lucky to have.

Alicia Rae Sweet Melody EP Release Show: The Fading Youth

The show started with my friend, Nate Rice, aka The Fading Youth.

Nate and I grew up together; a few houses apart. He had a piano in his living room, but I don’t remember seeing anyone play it.  A couple of years ago, I reconnected with Nate on Facebook and learned that he was doing music! He was writing and recording songs, and we even met up to do an open mic together.

Nate’s music tends to be on the sadder side, which he mentioned before starting his set.  In the photo above, you can see a box of free tissues that he set out on a stool in case anyone was moved to tears.  It was pretty funny.

Alicia Rae Sweet Melody EP Release Show: Emma Rowley

Next up: Emma Rowley!

I met Emma at Tree House Lounge in DC a few months ago.  She’s so sweet!  I fell in love with her music and voice instantly. Her voice is soft and smooth, and her lyrics are captivating. She has an acoustic sound with a hint of country. I loved her original song, Chevrolet, which she also played at Woo Live!, and her cover of Coldplay’s, Magic.  Emma also has an EP on Spotify. Check it out here.

Alicia Rae Sweet Melody EP Release Show: Chris Santa Ana

Chris Santa Ana!

Chris and I met last year at KORUS Fest. He was one of the artists who performed during the music showcase. Chris has a soulful voice and vibe, and definitely holds the audience’s attention while on stage. My favorite song from his set was his cover of Musiq Soulchild’s, Just Friends.

I was excited that he agreed to join in on this show, and even more excited when I found out that we’ll be sharing the stage again on August 8th.  We both made the finalist round of Kollaboration’s DC Showcase!  We’ll be competing alongside 4 other asian artists.  You can learn more about the competition and grab your tickets here.

Alicia Rae Sweet Melody EP

I had such a great time at the show! I played each of the songs on the EP, and a few of my older songs.

One of the songs I played was Little Warrior, a song I wrote for the bravest little girl I know, Maddie Grace.  I got a little choked up telling her story, and even during the song.  I wanted to share it with my friends and family that night, because a lot of the people that were there know Maddie.

You can read more about Maddie Grace in this blog post I wrote on May 2, 2014.

I am so thankful for everyone who has ever supported me and my music. I try my best to show my appreciation and give back in any way that I can, especially to the people who spend their hard earned money to come to my shows. So, I told the crowd that I was selling my CDs for any price they named. $1, $5, $10…. whatever they wanted to contribute.

Right after I said that, my friend jokingly yelled out from the crowd, “Well, I already gave you my $10!”  To which my mom responded, “NO REFUNDS!” The whole room erupted in laughter. That was my favorite part of the whole night.

I want to thank everyone again for coming out! I had such a great time.

If you wanted to grab a copy of Sweet Melody, you can find it on iTunes!

<3 Alicia Rae

Fiesta Asia & Asian Fest 2015

Alicia Rae with WonMor at Asia Heritage Fiesta Asia 2015

Alicia Rae with WonMor at Fiesta Asia Street Fair 2015

Phew! What a long, but awesome day.

I started the day with a four hour drive to Virginia Beach Sportsplex where I performed at Asian Fest 2015. I got a little stir crazy on the drive down, but it was a beautiful drive with the windows down and radio up!

It was a beautiful, sunny day. Not too hot, not too cold. But, very windy.

As soon as I arrived, I went to the stage to get situated. Shortly after, the tent behind the stage started blowing away! So, I, along with a group of other people, helped take down the one tent, and move all of the sound equipment into a sturdier tent.

My favorite part of my set was seeing a group of kids dancing to my songs. One little boy even tried to come up and dance on stage a few times. He was sooooo cute!

Afterwards, I enjoyed a performance by a Chinese Dance School. They performed a contemporary fan dance. There was also a martial arts group who showed off their wood and brick breaking skills.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get much time to hang out, but I did stop by every vendor tent, said hello, grabbed some goodies, and met a bunch of people.

Then, I was back on the road headed to Fiesta Asia’s Street Fair in Washington, DC!

I hit some traffic on the way up, and arrived just in time to get settled in before my performance.

The festival was in full swing, and there was a big crowd located in front of the stage watching SNRG‘s performance. Cool group. Check ’em out!

The stage was located on 6th & Pennsylvania Ave NW, next to the Newseum.

Right before I was to go on stage, the sky darkened, and it started drizzling. We were told the festival would get shut down if the rain came down too hard, or at the first sign of lightening. I love rain, but I was hoping it would hold off at least another hour.

There was one more act after me, WonMor (pictured above), and I wanted to make sure they were able to perform. So, my set was cut short. But, I had a GREAT time performing!

The crowd was so lovely! Dancing, clapping along and shouting for more songs :)

Before I played my last song, I gave everyone the option of a song about fire, or a song about rain. They chose rain. So, I played my song, Hide Away.

It was an awesome sight to be on stage, facing the Capitol, and singing the line, “The rain is falling down on the busy city street,” because in that moment, it started to rain.

I was watching my lyrics come to life right before my eyes. That was definitely one of my favorite moments on stage!

After I was done with my set, I hung out side stage during WonMor’s performance, and met some people from the audience. We were all starting to get soaked, but I really didn’t mind. It was refreshing after a long day in the sun. Plus, as I mentioned, I LOVE the rain!

WonMor’s set was cut short, due to lightening, and the festival was officially closing for the day.

Alicia Rae at Fiesta Asia

City police closing the festival due to lightening.

After hanging out for a little bit longer, and talking with everyone, I finally headed home. On the walk to my car, I realized that I had barely taken any pictures throughout the day. I was too busy having fun, and putting videos up on my Snap Chat story. But, I did take one picture on the walk back to my car.

The sidewalk out front of the Newseum

I love this picture. It makes me feel good… I finished a two-show day, over 200 miles apart. I met a ton of amazing people, experienced Asian heritage, and finished off the day with a nice walk in the rain.

To quote Incubus, “And, in this moment I am happy.”

Until next time,
Alicia Rae

P.S. I acquired a sun burn on my left arm… from having it out the window while driving. Just my left arm. So, I’m lopsided…

Show Recap: Alicia Rae with Steve Moakler at Jammin Java


Alicia Rae with Steve Moakler at Jammin Java on May 7th, 2015.

I want to start off by thanking Jammin Java, and Steve Moakler for having me! Jammin Java is my favorite venue, and I’m a huge fan of Steve’s.

When I arrived to the venue I was greeted by the JJ staff, Steve, and his team. Everyone was super cool! We hung out in the green room and talked about songwriting, living in Nashville, touring and Korean food!

I opened the show with my set, playing songs from my forthcoming EP, as well as my single, Autumn. I love telling the story of how I learned the words of Autumn, backwards, in order to shoot the music video. It’s a bunch of fun watching everyone’s faces light up, and even more touching to see a couple cuddle up when I sing the chorus.


Photo by Danielle Kaloz

Next up to perform was Neal Carpenter. What a voice! I already knew I was going to love his set when I heard him practicing in the green room. Here’s a photo of us after the show.

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Steve Moakler was the headliner. As I have mentioned, I’m a huge fan of Steve’s. I first discovered him last year, and fell in love with his music after playing his song Truth on repeat for weeks. I was bummed it wasn’t part of his set on Thursday, but he played all of my other favorites!

After one of the coolest encore chant’s I’ve ever heard, Steve finished off the night by playing an acoustic song out in the crowd. I love when artists do that!

Here’s a picture Steve took of the crowd from the stage. Great group of peeps!

Alicia Rae with Steve Moakler at Jammin Java

After the show, I hung out with some friends, and made a bunch of new friends.  Here are a few more pictures from the night.

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Here are everyone’s links. Check them out!

Steve Moakler’s Website

Neal Carpenter’s Website

Jammin Java’s Website


Until next time :)

Alicia Rae

Current Obsession: NF

NP EP Cover Current Obsession

Though it may come as a surprise to some of you, because my music is pop driven, I am a lover of all genres. From rap to pop to classical to post-hardcore and alternative rock. All that matters is if it moves me and speaks to my soul.

My current obsession is the 24 year old, Christian rapper, NF. I randomly found his 2014 EP on Spotify and was instantly hooked. He has since released a full length album titled Mansions.

I love the message he delivers in his music, especially in his song All I Have.

All I Have gives me all the feels <3

Now that the weather has been a little warmer, I’ve been driving with my windows down, blasting his music… and attempting to rap along. A very interesting sight for anyone who happens to catch it, I’m sure.

Check him out! Links below.





Current Obsession: Sunlight

Imaginary Future SunlightSo, anyone who has ever been trapped in a car with me for more than an hour, knows that I can play the CRAP out of a song/album… over, and over and over and over again until you die, and then I bring you back to life and play it again.

I call these songs, or albums, my current obsessions. I pretty much play my current obsession on repeat until I find another current obsession.

And, I’m not kidding when I say on repeat. I played one album on repeat for about 4 months straight. I only played other songs when I was forced to by a friend of mine who told me he was going to jump out of my car if he heard the song one more time. And, I love my friends so…

Anyway, I’ve decided to start sharing some of my current obsessions. So, here we go!

Kina Grannis is my favorite musician, as many of you probably know. Her (now) husband, Jesse, has been opening for her shows since almost forever.

Jesse, AKA Imaginary Future, just released Sunlight, his 11 track love letter to Kina. It’s so great and I can’t get enough!

Check out Sunlight on Spotify here.

Show Recap: Alicia Rae with Kawehi at U Street Music Hall 01/15/2015

Alicia Rae with Kawehi at U Street Music Hall Nicholas Karlin Photography

Photo credit: Nicholas Karlin Photography

I want to start off by saying how much I love playing at U Street Music Hall! I just love the cozy, personal atmosphere of the venue. The staff is always SO welcoming, and the crowds are.just.the.BEST!

Photo credit: Kawehi

This past Thursday I had the pleasure of opening for Kawehi (Kuh-veh-hee), a super-awesome musician with a knack for looping.

One thing you may or may not know about me is that I’m a sucker for artists who do live looping. And, Kawehi is VERY skilled at it! She even walked us through one of her songs, explaining each element as she built the track. My favorite part of her set was her cover of Mad World… one of my favorite songs.

Alicia Rae at U Street Music Hall

In addition to being a great performer, she is warm and friendly with a great sense of humor and a potty mouth. hah!

I had a blast on stage, and loved meeting everyone after the show. There’s something so special about  connecting with people through my music.

Also, I’d like to give a big thanks to Nicholas Karlin Photography for these pictures of me on stage.

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Show Recap: Alicia Rae with Lewis Watson at U Street Music Hall 11/14/14

 Alicia Rae at U Street Music HallBest. Crowd. Ever!

A few months ago, I opened for Lewis Watson at U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC. I know I’m so late… but, I’m finally getting around to writing a blog post about the night.

When I arrived to the venue there was already a line outside of the building. Two hours before the show. Wowza! I don’t blame them – Lewis is an amazing singer/songwriter, and the ladies in line wanted to ensure their spots at the front of the stage. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Lewis before being asked to play the show, and what a shame. I’ve been missing out on his music for years now. After listening to just a couple of his songs, he became one of my favorite singer/songwriters. So, playing this show was extra special to me.

Lewis and his keyboardist/backup singer, Rokhsan, were doing sound check when I walked in. They both greeted me with a warm welcome, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them speak (I love their accents!).

Alicia Rae and Lewis Watson at U Street Music Hall

The U Street Music Hall staff was so kind, and made sure I had everything I needed before the start of the show. I really loved the feel of the place too. A nice open wooden floor, lined with paper lantern lights on the ceiling, and a brightly lit stage. It was a nice cozy atmosphere.

When the show started I was cheered on stage by the crowd, most of whom hadn’t heard of me prior to the show. So, that was awesome. Everyone was very attentive during each song, taking in the lyrics and the atmosphere, and when I finished they all cheered. It was really great.

Not all of my shows are that way. I think every musician can relate. Some shows have people in the front who are really digging your set, but there are also people in the back, at the bar, having their own conversation and the music is just background to them. And, that’s perfectly fine. I’m just saying that it’s a great feeling to play for an audience so quiet you can hear the sound of a camera lens from the stage.

I ended my set with Sweet Melody. By the end of the song, the entire crowd was singing along.

Just… Whoa. What an amazing feeling.

After an awkward mini-fight with my guitar cable (lol), I exited backstage to discover Lewis singing the song, too!

Lewis and Rokhsan put on an AMAZING SHOW! So much talent. He opened with Sink or Swim, which is one of my favorites, and ended with an encore in the crowd. Lewis asked everyone to use the lights on their cell phones to set the atmosphere for the encore. It was a great way to end the show.

Lewis Watson at U Street Music Hall

Afterwards, I met, and talked with so many lovely people. A number of people who told me that they dream of being on stage one day. I told them how I used to be very shy and how open mics and just getting out there has helped me get to where I’m at today. If any of you are reading this — go out and do it!

My favorite part of the entire night was definitely meeting everyone! I loved getting to know everyone, in the little time we had. And, I LOVED taking all of the goofy pictures! Here are a couple that I was tagged in on Instagram and Facebook.

Alicia Rae at U Stree Music Hall

Alicia Rae at U Street Music Hall

Alicia Rae at U Street Music Hall

If you haven’t heard of Lewis Watson, I promise you’re missing out! Here are his links:


Also, Rokhsan has an EP that was recently released on iTunes. Here are her links:


Show Recap: Alicia Rae at Jammin Java 08/03/14

Alicia Rae at Jammin Java 08-03-14 04

(Photo by Julie Socher)

I had such a lovely time opening up for Mikaela Davis at Jammin Java on Sunday, August 3, 2014!

Jammin Java is my favorite venue, and performing there has been a dream of mine for a while now. It was everything (and more) that I could have imagined. The staff was so warm and welcoming, and the audience was amazing!

A bunch of my closest friends and family came out to support me that night! I am so lucky, and thankful to have such amazing people supporting me and my dream.

While on stage, I debuted a brand new song called Cupid, which everyone told me they loved! Great feeling!

Mikaela was so sweet and she and her band put on an amazing show! If you haven’t heard her music, you are truly missing out.


Alicia Rae and Mikaela Davis

Alicia Rae and Mikaela Davis at Jammin Java 08/03/14

Oh, and I got to hang out backstage in the green room.. a first! And, I even tagged the wall with an Alicia Rae sticker before leaving the venue… I made sure to ask before I did it though… Even though there were already stickers from other bands all over the walls hah!

The night went by too quickly. I wish I had more time to catch up with everyone after the show.

I want to say thank you to everyone who spent their hard earned money on a ticket, and to everyone that was unable to make it to the show, but was there in spirit! I look forward to more shows like this in the future!!

Also, I want to give a big thanks to Julie Socher for snapping these pictures of me on stage! I love them!


Alicia Rae at Jammin Java 08-03-14 07

Alicia Rae at Jammin Java 08-03-14 03


Alicia Rae Opening for Mikaela Davis at Jammin Java on 08/03/14

Alicia Rae Opening Up For Mikaela Davis at Jammin Java Live Music Venue in Vienna Virginia

I’m sooo happy to announce that I will be opening up for Mikaela Davis at Jammin Java on August 3rd!

Mikaela Davis is a harpist/singer-songwriter from Rochester, New York. She classifies her music as Harp Sounds and Atmospheric Pop. Mikaela has a really sweet voice, and I’m looking forward to seeing her perform live.

On top of that, I’m especially excited to perform at Jammin Java, my favorite venue! I just love everything about Jammin Java. I love the cozy atmosphere, friendly staff, and that some of my favorite artists play there all the time. Jammin Java’s also one of the best venues for live picture and concert photography.

I am REALLY looking forward to playing this show! Playing at Jammin Java is something I’ve been dreaming about and working towards for a long time now.

Jammin Java’s doors open at 6:30. The show will start at 7:30. I hope to see you there!


Alicia Rae


Some additional links to check out:

Mikaela Davis official website

Jammin Java official website

Event Page