Singer Brian Joo Woos Los Angeles

by Y. Peter Kang

When Brian Joo hit the stage at the Highlands Hollywood nightclub last Friday, a surge ripped through the typically blasé L.A. crowd. Fans — mostly female — abandoned their just-lit cigarettes on the veranda and pushed through the doors and towards the stage.

The R&B singer, who made his name in Korea, did not disappoint when he began his brief four-song set with Neh Yujah, or My Girl, from his 2009 album Manifold.

After the song, Brian introduced himself to the crowd as Brian Joo of Fly to the Sky.

“Now I’m doing my own thing and I’m blessed to be where I am right now,” he said.

He then proceeded to bring three female fans on stage and serenaded them with his next song “It’s Over Now” from his new EP Unveiled.

But it wasn’t all swooning women, there were several enthusiastic male fans in attendance; this reporter witnessed a tall 30-something black man singing along word-for-word.

Some of those in the multicultural audience were even surprised Brian — who grew up in New Jersey — could speak English.

“We love Brian even more now because he speaks English,” said 24-year-old fan Anna Jin of Los Angeles.

Others were pleased Brian was championing the cause of Asian American musicians.

“I really like how the Asian Americans who went to Korea are now coming back to us to tie it all together, it helps Asian American visibility,” said Lailanie Gadia, 21, a Loyola Marymount student who recently moved to Los Angeles from Guam.

Gadia was among 50 fans who participated in a “meet-and-greet” session with Brian after the show.

Nearby, actors Aaron Yoo, Justin Chon and James Kyson Lee shared a VIP table.

Yoo told KoreAm that he came in support of his friend Brian. The two initially met in Busan, South Korea several years ago and quickly became close.

“I would go to the ends of the Earth for that guy,” Yoo said. “We are both New Jersey boys who met in Busan and became best friends.”

Check out the video of Brian’s hit song “My Girl” after the jump