STEPHENVILLE (November 3, 2015) — Los Angeles-based, alternative hip-hop artist, and Korean American adoptee Dan Matthews screens his documentary film,Korean Adoptee Story, on the Tarleton State University campus Tuesday, Nov. 17, in partnership between the Speaker Symposium Series and International Week. Matthews is this year’s Provost’s Diversity Speaker.
Matthews, who goes by the name DANakaDAN, screens his film at 7 p.m. in Room 176 of Tarleton’s College of Business Administration building. The event is free and open to the public. Following the film, Matthews will conduct a Q&A with the audience.
In addition to the screening, Matthews will perform a high-energy hip-hop show, sure to ignite the crowd with his invigorating music and stage presence. The performance, sponsored by Tarleton’s School-Wide Activities Team (SWAT), takes place at from 9-11 p.m. inside Barry B. Thompson Student Center Ballrooms. Admission is free and everyone is invited to attend.
The film details Matthews’ very personal journey with meeting his biological family for the first time, including an identical twin brother he never knew about. Born Park In Soo, Matthews was adopted by American parents when he was 8 months old and raised in Camarillo, Calif., about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
At age 28, Matthews began the search for his birthparents and successfully was reunited with them, and learned he also has a biological sister and an identical twin brother—who, surprisingly, shares the same passion for hip-hop music.
While a student at San Diego State University, Matthews started a rock-hip-hop fusion band, Afterschoolspecial, which kicked off his career as YouTube musician DANakaDAN. Matthews admits that the pursuit of a music career stemmed from his drive to search for his identity—as an Asian American and as an adoptee from Korea—which has allowed him to articulate issues of identity through his music and performances.
Korean Adoptee Story was produced alongside Mayrok Media+Arriang TV and has been released via ISAtv, Hulu and Drama Fever. Matthews also released a companion full-length album, Stuntman, which chronicles his experience with adoption, addiction, self and identity. It features appearances by Kero One, Clara C, David Choi, AJ Rafael, Priska, Paul Dateh, Paul Kim and Travis Graham. Matthews and the story have been featured on NPR, the BBC, Huffington Post, and many other sites. He currently works as director of productions at International Secret Agents, an Asian American media network founded by Far East Movement and Wong Fu Productions.