It’s been a whirlwind of getting into the rhythm of classes, settling into our new dorms and apartments, and figuring out what to involve ourselves with. It’s all, well, a lot. But a few days back, on Thursday August 30th, we were able to wind down for a bit.

Every year, APASA puts on a Kickoff Concert, not only so that we can all vibe, but also to illuminate the array of talented Asian Pacific Islander folks here on campus and in the Los Angeles community. It’s a great way to kick back and relax with some buds, but also a neat way to learn more about the voices and stories behind the performers before us. After all, performance is an expression of self, so why not celebrate the declaration of our performers’ APA identities?

This year, we featured four amazing performers and performer groups. First up was KASA Dance Off, a cohort of some amazing Dance Off alumni from years past. They absolutely killed their performance and made time to perform at Kickoff Despite having to scramble to their own introductory workshop right after they got off the stage. If you’re a freshman, make sure to go check them out!

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After Dance Off was Angela Cross and her insanely talented band. They surely gave us a show with their soul, alt-pop/rock, and funk tunes that discussed love, empowerment, and a ton of other important subjects. We could really see the passion in their music and we loved hearing about Angela’s personal journey to become a musician.

Third, was Becky Yim! You can catch her on instagram playing some more RnB and jazz bops. Shoutout to our Recruitment Director Justin for introducing us all to her talents! (But seriously though check her music out!)

Lastly was Illionaire and wow! They were something else. And I’m not just talking about their tastefully coordinated outfits— their performance and their mission is really something to talk about. As the only k-pop dance club on campus, anyone, no matter what the experience (seriously), can check out their workshops!

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Honestly, the Twinkle Brown Sugar boba we had was really bomb. But our performers and their stories were even better. Shoutout to everyone who took a little time out of their Thursdays to join us at APASA for some good vibes under the stars— we’ll see y’all next year!