Two weeks and a day ago, I released my cover of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ on my YouTube channel hoping for much, but expecting little to nothing at all. After all, how many covers of that particular song are out there on YouTube; and beyond that, how many Asian Americans, who are much more established and successful than I am, are out there?
A few days later, comments from subscribers started popping up on that video - 'Arden sent me here’. Scratching my head, I was thinking to myself, ’… Not that Arden, not possible’. Apparently, it was possible because sooner than later, lots of people started to like that particular comment. And then people started to say that Jason Chen sent them, liking that comment in the multitudes as well.
I really believe in the value of honoring those who have walked before you, so naturally, I messaged Arden and Jason, thanking them for their kindness and generosity (seriously, thank you guys). We’re talking about a working model/actress/singer and freaking YouTube stud here, so why expect any sort of response? But once again, I was proven wrong when both replied to my messages and Arden went even further in disproving my presumptions by Facebook messaging me, which ensued in a long conversation that bounced from subject to subject.
Arden and I worked on a collaboration yesterday with the very talented Ken, Chad, Melly, and Danny (thank you for the product placement, Danny!) and still, it feels so surreal that someone of her caliber would be so secure in her own skin to reach out to someone who has a mere fraction of the number of subscribers and views that she does.
TheOtherAsians.com published their feature on Arden tonight and as I read it, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for Arden. Not just because she had sent so many people to my video or because - as so many of you guys would say (pigs) - 'SHE’S SO HOT’, but because as the feature implies - she is humble; she exudes a warmth about her that draws you to her; she strives to be a light in an industry that is, quite frankly, filled with lots of people who get jaded by it all; and for someone who struggled so long with images of self-worth and beauty, she is beautiful (inside and out). If only more of us could see her, and everyone else, beyond the image we may be presented with or even choose to see.
Ask any of my closest friends who know me to the depths of my core: I cannot stand BS. While I am very aware of the code of etiquette I have to maintain in the public eye, I’m from New York and I will tell someone if they are taking way too long deciding which bagel to get while standing in front of the counter. With that said, I say this:
Arden, as thankful as I am for all that you have done for me thus far professionally and will do for me, I am more thankful for the person - the woman - that you are and the values that you stand upon. You are so much more than a pretty face and a successful figure within a network of other successful individuals. You have such a beautiful heart and goodness gracious, I’m so thankful to be able to call you 'friend’. I only hope that as I grow and mature as an artist, that, like you, I will not forget the humble beginnings from which I began and will continue honoring those who have blazed the trail before I stepped foot on this journey.
So if you haven’t checked out her YouTube channel(s), I don’t know what you’re still doing here on my blog. Go here and here. And check out the feature by TheOtherAsians on Arden. Our girl crashed the server in minutes. Get it, girl.