Kevin Lien: Almost Famous

by Kathy Nguyen, The Poly Post

Dressed in a black jacket, blue jeans and Adidas shoes, Kevin Lien looks just like any other Cal Poly Pomona student as he nonchalantly strolls through the mall.

Out of nowhere, he is stopped by a group of Asian high school girls. They ask him if he really is Kevin Lien.

Yes, he is.

"I get stopped when there is a large amount of people in my demographic on YouTube," said Lien. "When I go to a mall from 4 to 9, it could happen. Whenever I'm in Rowland Heights or Hacienda Heights, it could happen. When I'm in Irvine, it always happens."

With more than 48,000 subscribers on YouTube and 13,000 "likes" on Facebook, Lien has been steadily rising in popularity and fame.

Lien, known for producing full studio tracks from scratch by himself, covers songs such as Taeyang's "Wedding Dress" and Katy Perry's "Firework."

"Every once in a while, when I was sick of school, I would just record songs in my dorm room," said Lien, a fourth-year chemical engineering student. "That's pretty much where I am now, except I don't live in the dorms anymore."

Lien was also the winner of a heated competition last week, where he won $5,000 after his opponent pulled out last minute.

He plans to buy more equipment with his winnings.

"Not that many people know about my equipment, but I have the cheapest equipment known to man," said Lien. "I've owned the same microphone and microphone interface since 2006. I bought both of those combined for less than $300. So I can finally upgrade my equipment and make some better quality faster, for everybody."

Lien said it takes from 100 to 150 hours to create and produce a full studio track.

"All the mixing, mastering, producing, arranging: it's all me," said Lien. "That's the main reason it takes so long."

His top priority is school when it is in session, but his weekends are reserved for making music.

"I don't look at music as being a practical, steady career," said Lien. "It's something that I love to do, and I'm blessed to be making some sort of income off it, but chemical engineering is what I want to do as a career."

Lien said he started singing as soon as he could talk, but his parents forced him into playing piano when he was six years old.

He took private piano lessons until he entered high school. He plays the violin, cello and bass.

"I picked up other instruments on the way because I was sick of playing the same instruments over and over again, and my parents would force me to play these instruments," said Lien. "I kept trying more and more until I got to the point where I realized I was kind of proficient in all the instruments I actually tried to get good at. I used that to my advantage and started producing music as opposed to just listening to it."

Lien said that his mainstream influences are Michael Jackson, Brian McKnight and Ne-Yo. He describes his own voice as pop rock but said the tracks he releases on YouTube can vary.

His voice is strong but versatile, easily adapting to tracks such as Beyonce's "Halo" and a soft, acoustic version of Jason Derulo's "In My Head."

"I think his voice sounds like pop rock and blues," said Michael Dehesa, a third-year chemical engineering student.

Lien's most well known track is his English cover of the Korean song "Wedding Dress" in June 2009, which garnered more than 800,000 views on YouTube.

Due to the track's popularity, Lien admits most of his fans are Asian. Lien said 75 percent of his fans are 13 to 17-year-old Asian girls from Southern California.

Lien's friends say he has not let his newfound popularity go to his head.

"He's always busy and I don't see him as often," said Largoza. "But he's still the same guy."

Lien said his success would not have been possible without the support of his fans.

"To be honest, it's my close friends who supported me from the beginning," said Lien. "It's my family for being supportive of me and they helped me spread the word but most of all, the people [who] choose to listen to me. And they choose to spread the love to their friends. It's just the average YouTube viewer that takes the time to show love. It's 100 percent the viewers.

"I'm going to make music either way. Even if people didn't like it, I'll still be making music the way I am now."

Countdown Fail

melmyfinger: countdown! starting at 15:30!
jonchaniscool: i have like 50 movies on my hard drive all torrented
jonchaniscool: lol
xo_ginalove: gogogogogo we need to finish this movie
xo_ginalove: lmfao
jonchaniscool: ok readdyyyy
Ceelei: same!!!
melmyfinger: hahahahaah
CrystalMY: oh i catch ur drift cathy
melmyfinger: cinco!
melmyfinger: cuatro!
xo_ginalove: quatro!
xo_ginalove: oh
melmyfinger: uhhh
xo_ginalove: fial
melmyfinger: hahahahaha
jonchaniscool: tres
xo_ginalove: LMFAO
Ceelei: tres
jonchaniscool: dos
jonchaniscool: uno
jonchaniscool: FOOOOO
Ceelei: uno
xo_ginalove: go?
Ceelei: VA!
melmyfinger: vanamos?
xo_ginalove: LMFAO
jonchaniscool: ok nxt countdown
jonchaniscool: lets do it
jonchaniscool: in english

New Years Tenga Challenge!

1:13 PM SoGooey: Mel.
1:13 PM melmyfinger: yooo brandon!
1:13 PM SoGooey: Let's count how many poops we take this year.
1:13 PM melmyfinger: hahahaha
1:13 PM melmyfinger: wait brandon
1:13 PM SoGooey: You think it's possible?
1:13 PM SoGooey: Hahhahahaah
1:13 PM Ceelei: oh shit.....someones going to lose count
1:13 PM melmyfinger: how'd your little No Orgasm December thing go?
1:13 PM Ceelei: someone should do a project 365 of poop
1:14 PM melmyfinger: YUCK, CATHY
1:14 PM SoGooey: hahahaha
1:14 PM SoGooey: HAHA cathy
1:14 PM melmyfinger: bullshit, brandon!
1:14 PM SoGooey: I succeeded mel.
1:14 PM Ceelei: so did i!
1:14 PM Ceelei: we're awesome
1:14 PM SoGooey: haha
1:14 PM SoGooey: mel you're doing the365 thing too?
1:14 PM SoGooey: AND IM SERIOUS, we're going to do a poop count
1:14 PM SoGooey: till 2012
1:15 PM Ceelei: well...mark 1 for me then
1:15 PM RaelynneRosales: hahahah
1:15 PM RaelynneRosales: poop count
1:15 PM RaelynneRosales: dont take a picture of your poop
1:15 PM RaelynneRosales: please
1:15 PM RaelynneRosales: hahah
1:15 PM SoGooey: Hahahahaha
1:15 PM SoGooey: I'm at 1 as well.
1:16 PM SoGooey: You guys think i'm joking , but I'm really going to catalog how many poops I take.
1:16 PM SoGooey: I'd count how many times I jack off a year, but 595 is already a predictable number
1:17 PM Ceelei: 595???
1:17 PM melmyfinger: jesus, brandon
1:17 PM melmyfinger: hahahah
1:17 PM HalfSensed: lol
1:17 PM RaelynneRosales: hahahah
1:17 PM melmyfinger: there are some cold and lonely nights, cathy
1:17 PM melmyfinger: sometimes just gotta do whatever it takes to stay warm
1:18 PM SoGooey: Hahaha
1:18 PM SoGooey: Sometimes 1 time is good enough for the day.
1:18 PM SoGooey: But there are those times where I just drink and go home with nothing
1:18 PM SoGooey: And those are the triples and doubles.
1:18 PM SoGooey: Hahhahaha
1:21 PM RaelynneRosales: hahaha
1:21 PM RaelynneRosales: maybe i should count how many times i do it too and compare it to a guys jack off count
1:21 PM melmyfinger: HAHAH
1:21 PM melmyfinger: maybe we should place bets
1:21 PM SoGooey: HHAHA
1:21 PM RaelynneRosales: see if im doin it too much
1:21 PM RaelynneRosales: ahahah
1:22 PM SoGooey: Rae, let's compare
1:22 PM SoGooey: at the end of the year
1:22 PM RaelynneRosales: LOL
1:22 PM SoGooey: HAHA
1:22 PM RaelynneRosales: ahahhahaha
1:22 PM RaelynneRosales: im down
1:22 PM SoGooey: You seem to have an appetite to match mine.
1:22 PM melmyfinger: wait
1:22 PM RaelynneRosales: but see girs are different
1:22 PM melmyfinger: but do you have to finish?
1:22 PM RaelynneRosales: yes
1:22 PM SoGooey: Whats the point of jacking off if you dont finish
1:22 PM melmyfinger: cuz there are nights when you just pass out while doing it
1:22 PM RaelynneRosales: but girls can finish like 2 or 3 times
1:22 PM melmyfinger: cuz you're just sooo tired
1:22 PM RaelynneRosales: hahahahahah mel
1:22 PM SoGooey: HAhaha
1:23 PM RaelynneRosales: someone walks in youre all holding your dick
1:23 PM RaelynneRosales: LOL
1:23 PM Ceelei: wow...said like a true starfish mel
1:23 PM SoGooey: I can finish twice a session before I have to recharnge.
1:23 PM melmyfinger: hahahahahaha
1:23 PM RaelynneRosales: its all flaccid
1:23 PM RaelynneRosales: lol
1:23 PM SafariCat: Call Started
1:23 PM SoGooey: hahahahha
1:23 PM SoGooey: hi chase!
1:23 PM RaelynneRosales: hii chase
1:23 PM RaelynneRosales: yeah coz sometimes if im like really craving it
1:23 PM RaelynneRosales: ill finish like 4 times
1:23 PM RaelynneRosales: then knock out
1:23 PM SoGooey: I wanna say, how many sessions we do.
1:24 PM RaelynneRosales: oh okayy
1:24 PM RaelynneRosales: that makes more sense
1:24 PM RaelynneRosales: coz id so kick your ass
1:24 PM SoGooey: Hahahahha
1:24 PM RaelynneRosales: if we counted how many times we finish
1:24 PM SoGooey: I dunno rae, if I really wanted to bruise my testicle tubes.
1:24 PM melmyfinger: okay but how do we define a "session?" cuz sometimes i want to eat a burrito between orgasms
1:24 PM SoGooey: I'd give you a run for your money
1:24 PM SoGooey: ahaha
1:24 PM HalfSensed: LOl
1:24 PM RaelynneRosales: hhahahah
1:24 PM SoGooey: I've done it before and it was horrible.
1:24 PM SoGooey: ahha
1:25 PM RaelynneRosales: LOL
1:25 PM Ceelei: hahahahahaha
1:25 PM SoGooey: Amazzzing
1:25 PM SoGooey: its so hot here
1:25 PM SoGooey: I've done 8 in one session
1:25 PM SoGooey: BAWSS.
1:25 PM SoGooey: HAHAA
1:25 PM SoGooey: FIGHTING
1:25 PM RaelynneRosales: ive only done 8 while having sex
1:25 PM SoGooey: hHAHAHAHA
1:25 PM RaelynneRosales: because 8 by myself is too much work
1:25 PM RaelynneRosales: hahhaa
1:25 PM SoGooey: That was phonesex
1:25 PM SoGooey: though
1:25 PM HalfSensed: lol
1:26 PM SoGooey: And I was like 16.
1:26 PM SoGooey: So I was straight youthful
1:26 PM WonTonDJ: heh;/[][---
1:26 PM SoGooey: This message has been removed.
1:26 PM SoGooey: HAHA
1:26 PM WonTonDJ: lol;
1:26 PM SoGooey: Dajuan did you get my text
1:26 PM SoGooey: So rae, are we doing this
1:26 PM SoGooey: hahahaha
1:26 PM RaelynneRosales: hahaha im down
1:26 PM WonTonDJ: this morn?
1:26 PM SoGooey: im scared of what my number will be
1:26 PM RaelynneRosales: if i remember i will
1:26 PM RaelynneRosales: LOL me too
1:26 PM RaelynneRosales: just because for girls
1:27 PM RaelynneRosales: its like a forbidden thing to talk about
1:27 PM RaelynneRosales: and im here like
1:27 PM SoGooey: hahaha
1:27 PM SoGooey: i know right?!
1:27 PM RaelynneRosales: i did it 1095 times yr
1:27 PM RaelynneRosales: how bout you
1:27 PM SoGooey: you're awesomeee
1:27 PM RaelynneRosales: hahahah
1:27 PM SoGooey: HAHA
1:27 PM SoGooey: Jackie!!!
1:27 PM SoGooey: I dunno!!!
1:27 PM melmyfinger: i once tallied my sessions one summer
1:27 PM SoGooey: Tell jackie I cant talk on the mic
1:27 PM SoGooey: hahahahah
1:27 PM SoGooey: haha
1:27 PM melmyfinger: i never went back to count it all though
1:27 PM RaelynneRosales: hahah
1:27 PM RaelynneRosales: yeah i need to tally
1:27 PM RaelynneRosales: lol
1:28 PM SoGooey: I'm gonna totally tally.
1:28 PM melmyfinger: maybe there's an iphone app for this
1:28 PM melmyfinger: tallying our poops and fapping sessions
1:28 PM HalfSensed: well, by now mel all the pages of tally will be fused together
1:28 PM SoGooey: I just hope I'm not hanging with a girl and she finds my 'HOW MANY TIMES DID I JACK OFF THIS YEAR COUNT'
1:28 PM WonTonDJ: This message has been removed.
1:28 PM SoGooey: on my phone
1:28 PM HalfSensed: lol
1:28 PM SoGooey: and itd be sitting right next to the 'HOW MANY TIMES DID I TAKE A SHIT THIS YEAR COUNT'
1:28 PM RaelynneRosales: hahaha
1:29 PM WonTonDJ: This message has been removed.
1:29 PM HalfSensed: lol
1:29 PM SoGooey: HAHAA
1:29 PM melmyfinger: okay guys, if we do this fapping tally thing
1:29 PM SoGooey: they'd be complete opposite numbers jackie
1:29 PM melmyfinger: what does the winner get?
1:29 PM WonTonDJ: a new dick
1:29 PM RaelynneRosales: hahahaha
1:29 PM SoGooey: OMG
1:29 PM HalfSensed: lol
1:29 PM HalfSensed: a xanga
1:29 PM SoGooey: THAT
1:29 PM Ceelei: TENGA
1:29 PM WonTonDJ: tenga
1:29 PM SoGooey: IS
1:29 PM SoGooey: THE
1:29 PM Ceelei: TEN-GA
1:29 PM melmyfinger: TENGA EGGS
1:29 PM SoGooey: BEST IDEA
1:29 PM HalfSensed: lol
1:29 PM SoGooey: OMG
1:29 PM SoGooey: HAHAHA
1:29 PM melmyfinger: wait, just the eggs or that one crazy device?
1:29 PM WonTonDJ: its you vagina put into an egg jackie
1:30 PM WonTonDJ: your
1:30 PM melmyfinger: wait, and that prize doesn't do anything for rae
1:30 PM SoGooey: Wait, what constitutes winning.
1:30 PM HalfSensed: lol
1:30 PM SoGooey: See, if Rae wins, we'll get her the dildo of choice
1:30 PM SoGooey: at a comparable price
1:30 PM melmyfinger: engraved?
1:30 PM melmyfinger: with our names?
1:30 PM SoGooey: With my face on the tip.
1:30 PM Ceelei: if rae wins...she gets squall
1:30 PM SoGooey: OOMG CATHY
1:30 PM SoGooey: HAHA
1:30 PM Ceelei: TENGA
1:30 PM SoGooey: HAHAHA
1:31 PM SoGooey: Hahha
1:31 PM Ceelei: TEN-GA!
1:31 PM Ceelei: TEN-GA!
1:31 PM Ceelei: TEN-GA!
1:31 PM SoGooey: I thought your gag reflex was better than that.
1:31 PM
1:31 PM SoGooey: We're just talking about dick
1:31 PM SoGooey: HAHAHA
1:31 PM SoGooey: Jackie you're so aweosme
1:32 PM SoGooey: I'm at 89 reps. #tenga
1:32 PM melmyfinger: RT @sogooey: good morning, guys! i had so much fun last night! #tenga #tenga #tenga
1:32 PM RaelynneRosales: hahahahaa
1:32 PM SoGooey: HAHA
1:32 PM SoGooey: omg
1:32 PM SoGooey: HAHAH
1:32 PM Ceelei: i forsee #tenga as a trending topic
1:32 PM melmyfinger: HHAHAHAHAH
1:32 PM Ceelei: with just brandon tallying
1:33 PM SoGooey: HAHAHA
1:33 PM SoGooey: This is probably the best conversation I've had on a new years.
1:33 PM SoGooey: hahah
1:33 PM melmyfinger: ^
1:33 PM Ceelei: best new years convo ever! #tenga
1:33 PM SoGooey: I'm so glad its jackie reading it
1:33 PM SoGooey: hahaha
1:33 PM SoGooey: Hhahahaha
1:34 PM SoGooey: I tried it with a saran wrap.
1:34 PM RaelynneRosales: HAHAHAHA
1:34 PM SoGooey: Its not the same
1:34 PM RaelynneRosales: MY DAD WALKED IN
1:34 PM SoGooey: HAHAHAHAH
1:34 PM RaelynneRosales: right after i said i wish i had a penis
1:34 PM RaelynneRosales: LMAO
1:34 PM HalfSensed: lol
1:34 PM melmyfinger: HAHAHAHAHAAHAH
1:34 PM Ceelei: WIN.