Douglas Choi was born in Hong Kong, and moved to London when he was 15. Growing up in one of the most populous cities in the world compelled Doug to have an open mind and to be inquisitive of the unknown, while strong family ties always kept Doug rooted in his traditions and past, and he has always applied this ethos to his musicianship.
Doug started taking piano lessons when he was 4. Coming from a family where none of the members played musical instruments, Doug discovered his passion for music in the long trips in the car with his father, where he would belt along to the rock ballads of the 80’s. Doug would pick up other instruments along the way of his musical journey, such as the guitar and the violin, before eventually settling with the drums at the age of 7.
Around the age of 13, Doug was gifted a MIDI keyboard for Christmas. Initially disappointed it wasn’t a double kick pedal, this would spark the beginnings of a hole of knowledge Doug would fall into, as he plugged in the USB cable and pulled up a synthesizer for the first time on GarageBand. Doug found himself developing his musicianship through two different outlets - on the drums playing punk music with friends and jazz with orchestras, and on Logic, exploring just how far sounds could be made digitally, which led to kickstarting Doug’s interest in electronic composition.
When Doug moved to London, he decided to pursue music with full intentions. He started to study at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) London and joined his first two serious projects, From The Cave and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO). Within a year, Doug had played in the 2015 London Jazz Festival with NYJO and released a 5-track EP with From The Cave. Doug would continue to push his band even as he set his sights on entering Berklee, playing over 20 shows around the circuit in London and eventually culminating in an international tour in Denmark, and a professionally filmed music video and single release.
As Doug entered Berklee, in his first semester he joined a Brazilian drumming group called Grooversity. He would quickly become an essential member of the group and be called increasingly for shows, resulting in around 40 shows with them to date. Notable shows include performing for the mayor of Boston, playing the renowned SOB’s in NYC, and being a part of Honk Fest in both 2016 and 2017, with a show at Carnegie Hall booked in the coming May. Doug would continue to play drums in a variety of projects, called to play on numerous recording sessions and shows.
In his third semester, he started to play for LiveFlow, a big band led by Matthew Roomberg. It was through this he met the rapper Jon Garcia, AKA Dreamer, and became his drummer, playing various gigs at house shows and venues. In the same semester Doug had started his EPD classes, and started to explore all the college had to offer in that regard. This would culminate in a cafeteria show in his fourth semester, playing both compositions by Matt and Jon. This project was particularly exciting because Jon wanted live triggering of samples and backing tracks - which Doug found to be an opportunity to merge his EPD interests and his drumming. Doug’s passion and dedication to both of his outlets of music will only be enhanced as he progresses through his time at Berklee.