626 Night Market on Good Day LA (FOX 11 LA KTTV)

Had a really fun time previewing our event on Good Day LA yesterday morning! This was my first time LIVE on air; it’s as fast paced and exciting as I had imagined. Make sure you check out the final 626 Night Market this weekend, Sept 12-14, at Santa Anita Park. I’ll be there! :)

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Interview on Sky Link TV

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a talk show on Chinese TV! Sky Link TV invited Jonny and I to talk about 626 Night Market. The catch? We had to speak only Mandarin! Jonny and I both struggled in our own ways with this, but the host Charlene was a sweetheart and really helped guide us through our answers. I do have to say, I am very grateful for the experience and I am glad that I had the opportunity to utilize my non-utilized Chinese language skills to share our story.

Honestly though. When Jonny asked me to do the interview for Chinese TV, I was reluctant and plain afraid. The night before the interview, I popped open Google Translate and began to type in all of the words I would use but didn’t know how to say. I looked up some YouTube videos on speaking Chinese and came across some lovely channels. I spoke Mandarin only as a child, and though I went to Chinese school for over ten years, most kids who went to Chinese school would tell you that it doesn’t stick. Language is something you have to practice daily. And so I try to keep it up but I struggle. But to be fluent in Mandarin is definitely a life goal of mine. So I’m grateful to have opportunities like this that come up and push me to practice again—like the universe is nudging me to study Chinese again and pick up where I left off.

My Interview on NBC4: OC Night Market

This is a late post, but I was on TV! NBC4 did a special feature on OC Night Market as part of their Asian American Heritage Month segment. I had the pleasure of giving them a tour at OC Night Market and interviewing with reporter Stephanie Barnes about how the night market has grown over the years and the impact that our event is making in the community. Very blessed and humbled by the opportunity to share what we’re doing. Watch the video & read the article here.

Interview & Performance on LA 18’s “Halo Halo with Kat Iniba”

Last week, I was a special guest on Channel 18, KSCI-TV’s Asian American entertainment and lifestyle show – Halo Halo with Kat Iniba.  Kat is so cheerful and great with making anyone around her feel comfortable – she and everybody else on the team were so sweet!  We talked about my birthday mixtape, my inspirations, the upcoming EP Honestly (out Nov 14), and the ‘Honestly’ album release party on Nov 15!

Beating Lights Interview

Check out this recent interview I did with music blog Beating Lights~

Beating Lights Interview: Aileen Xu

The interview covers what I’ve been doing since graduating (happy one year out of grad!), my songwriting process, my current projects, favorite artists of the moment, and more!  Very happy to have done this interview; I feel like it’s the first time I could lay out a ton of insight about my music life on one page like never before.  Thank you Shabnam from Beating Lights for asking me for an interview!  Hope you guys enjoy it :)

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Project Vietnam Feature

Last week I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Kieu, pediatrician and founder of Project Vietnam, about their new Breaths for New Borns campaign.  Through this campaign, Project Vietnam is donating resuscitators to rural villages in Vietnam and their doctor-volunteers are teaching the local doctors to use them.  Basically, when babies are born, they have to flush out the fluid in their lungs from being in their mother’s womb—there’s a crucial time window of just a couple minutes to take that first breath of air and flush out the liquid, otherwise the baby may have permanent brain damage or even die due to lack of oxygen.  In the U.S., 1/10 babies need the extra help by a resuscitator to take their first breath of air.  In Vietnam, 3/10 babies need that help to survive.

With just one resuscitator, we can save around 100 babies a year.  The device lasts at least 3 years and costs just $100—that’s 300 babies a year who can be saved with one resuscitator… and if we break it down, that’s $0.03 to save a baby.  Holy, 3 cents!

Dr. Kieu has been running Project Vietnam for 20 years, and she’s still going strong.  She still attends every medical mission twice a year, and still handles the patients herself—all while organizing a team of doctors, engineers, and volunteers to go on these trips with her.

IMG_2183 Showing me how the resuscitator works on their practice baby, Neo-Natalie lol. IMG_2192 IMG_2194
IMG_2198 Such a sweet woman!  I also must mention that she was so incredibly well-spoken, she basically led the conversation herself and answered questions before I even asked them!  She definitely made me look bad because she was so experienced haha. IMG_2196
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Learned so much from Dr. Kieu and I am so touched by how passionate she is!
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Now I want to tell a mini story—if not for anyone, then for myself.  The summer before my senior year of college, I was interning at an ad agency in account management.  I was having coffee with one of the account executives & was picking his brain about the industry, life, etc.  I asked him “What’s your most/least favorite part about working in advertising?” and when talking about his least favorite part of advertising, he responded with something along the lines of: “I hate that people get wrapped up in trivial things and argue over the shade of blue we use in this ad or [little things like that]… We’re not saving babies here.”  I remember that last line specifically, because at that moment, I thought to myself “but I do want to save babies.”  Not literally, but in the sense that I wanted to do something with meaning and a positive impact on the world (as opposed to editing copy all day about cars).  I told him that the lack of substance was what turned me off about the ad world, and we concluded that I probably shouldn’t be there and at least the internship taught me what I wouldn’t want to do haha.

Anyway, this is the story that popped into my head during my drive home from Dr. Kieu’s home, because shit, I realized that I indirectly contributed to saving babies that day.  And although it is indirect and I won’t give credit to myself for anything but listening to Dr. Kieu share her stories of saving babies, I do feel like I am a step closer to doing something with meaning and substance.  And that really matters to me.