tv Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa NBC August 25, 2019 5:30am-6:00am PDT
robert handa: hello, and welcome to "asian pacific america." i'm robert handa, your host for our show here on nbc bay area and cozi tv. we dive right in with two world-class swimming sisters. mitali and anaya khanzode do some mind-boggling events in the ocean. in fact, the big alcatraz swim here in the bay area, no problem. then we feature two more outstanding young people making their mark, the winners of the crystal bowl award given to people who do an outstanding job volunteering for the community, but these two winners are teenagers. and we wrap up with the return by one of our favorite artists. bay area singer/songwriter rosendale will talk about his career as a performer and champion for asian american talent as well as lgbtq plus rights,
and he will perform live in our studio all on our show today. well, swimming offers a lot of unique challenges, and some swimmers take it even further such as being part of the youngest team ever to swim across the bonifacio channel, a 15-kilometer stretch of the mediterranean from france to italy. oh, did i mention the rough waters and jellyfish? here are the swimming sisters. mitali khanzode was not only part of that bay area team, but she's also the youngest person to swim the strait of messina in italy at 15 years old, and her sister, anaya khanzode, started young as well, swimming competitively at 6 years old. she was the youngest member of that bay area team and was also the youngest person to ever make the alcatraz crossing. she did that at 8 years old. both are preparing for the upcoming golden gate bridge swim on september 22nd. welcome to the show. and i made such a big deal about the alcatraz swim and you guys have both swam it like 50 times, right? both: yeah. robert: you know, i was saying that at one time that was supposed to be like a big deal. they made like documentary films about people doing that.
what is it that made it like--so that you're able to do it so much? have you mastered like the conditions or what? mitali khanzode: well, we practice swimming in the bay every weekend. so for us, it's become easier since we know the water really well. but what really keeps me going and what really keeps me swimming, alcatraz specifically, is that every time it's a different race. so the currents change every time, the wind changes every time, and the weather changes every time. so for me, it's not like i'm swimming 50 alcatrazes, it's like i'm swimming a different race every single time. robert: how about you, anaya? anaya khanzode: for me, it's the family that water world swim provides. all of our coaches are really encouraging, the people--the swimmers themselves are always so supportive of each other. and even if there's bad conditions that day, no one feels like they've lost. it's always a winning race. robert: yeah, yeah. and of course i would imagine the conditions are the challenge, right? you're younger. did she have an influence on you or did you both start swimming
at the same time even though you were younger? anaya: she had a big influence on me. we started swimming about a week apart, and she did it first and i was a little scared to do it. and then after about a week, i toughened up a little and i saw her do it and it was really inspiring. and even now, i look up to her as, like, a role model because she does all these amazing things and i hope i can do that someday. robert: you know, sisters always talk so nicely publicly about the other, huh? [all laughing] robert: how about for you? when you first started swimming, what was it about it that--first of all, did you feel as though you had a special gift or was it just a love of swimming and then you found that out? mitali: so i actually swam competitively in the pool for a while, and then one of our teammates invited us to do an alcatraz and watch hers first. and so i watched hers and i immediately fell in love with the way she was doing things and i thought she's-- "like, she's my teammate. i can do this, too."
and so i started swimming and i immediately fell in love with the water. it wasn't necessarily like i felt like i had a gift. it was more than i just felt this immense, immense love for the water, and that has stayed with me for 7 plus years. robert: did you have that same kind of feeling or? anaya: so she was in a week before me. so i didn't--i wasn't really too hooked on the idea when i saw our teammate do it. but i think after she did it and she raved about it after we came home, i did fall in love that first practice. robert: are you able to compete in like traditional kind of swimming events too or do those seem too bland or boring now? anaya: in the pool, we're not trained to be pool swimmers. so we do more endurance swims. so about more than a mile is where we really shine. so i don't think that we'd be as good in the pool as we are in open water, but we've done a lot of races in the bay. robert: yeah. do you feel sort of like as role models in a way?
i mean, i think a lot of people look at you and think, "oh." you know, they may not have thought about being able to do that or doing it. do you feel that kind of sense of becoming role models becoming so successful as you are? mitali: of course, i want to be a role model. i think open water swimming and just everyone who does open water is so inspiring, but one of the things i take to heart is that i can learn from everyone instead of, you know, really focusing on being an inspiration myself. i try to see that inspiration in other people, whether it be my coaches, whether it be my friends. my own sister is one of my biggest, biggest inspirations because she is super brave and she loves taking risks way more than me. and so i can always learn from that, and she's so outgoing and fun. so i really try to bring that to the sport as well. robert: well, thank you very much for bringing your enthusiasm here, and we're really proud of your accomplishments. that's great. that's really unique. thank you for being here. anaya: thank you. robert: well, coming up, two asian american teens from the south bay who are truly making a difference in the lives of other bay area youngsters. we'll show you how next.
robert: well, i've served on the board for what is now known as the volunteer center of silicon valley, and i can tell you volunteering is one of the hardest things to get people to do, especially with a busy life. many people would rather write a check than volunteer time. so our next two guests are very inspiring. these two have been friends since they were about three years old. alexander torres and justin fajardo are now seniors in high school in gilroy, and were just awarded the crystal bowl award at the junior league of san jose's volunteer recognition luncheon. among many other things, they're both steam instructors for the steam for students program at las animas elementary school where they both attended. welcome to the show. give us people an idea who don't know. explain a little bit about what the steam program is 'cause i think it's kind of essential to what you guys do. alexander torres: well, the steam program that we run is an after-school program once a week, and it goes through the five pillars of steam,
which are science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. every week, we have a lab prepared that's one of those pillars. one year we might have--like one week we might have a lab that's science, like banana dna, or something that's arts, like making art out of recycled materials. robert: oh, and you helped develop or create that program or? justin fajardo: yeah. so it was started by two high schoolers before us and then--so now we're both instructors for the program. and so we've continued to add our elementary school. robert: what made you decide to kind of do this? i mean, a lot of youngsters, especially teenagers, they're too busy doing other stuff to volunteer and actually try to help other young people. what made you want to do that? justin: well, for me, i was recruited by my former elementary school principal. she came to me and said, "hey, you know, i have this new program. would you be interested in coming back and teaching it?" and for me, i have a big passion for teaching and like leadership and mentorship and so i was like, "of course, i'd love to come back." and i just really love seeing, you know, the spark in students' eyes.
robert: is it kind of cool being back at the old school? justin: it's awesome. you know, they have like ipads and like all this technology. and so i tell the students like, you know, "when i was here, this computer lab, it was dusty. we didn't have all the ipads and robots. so like when you're complaining your ipad doesn't work, i'm sorry." robert: well, you can create a program for young people, but you being so young yourselves, do you feel as though that's a big advantage in terms of getting these youngsters to kind of connect? alexander: it definitely is 'cause according to them we're like more hip than some of their teachers, and a lot of steam--and something that i think helps make the program so special is the help to make a program that we would have wanted to have when we were in elementary school because when we were going there of course, the steam program didn't exist. and we want to make an experience that if we were there, we would have loved it, gone home to our parents and talked about how much we loved it. robert: so what do you do then to try to get--connect at that level? alexander: to help connect at that level, we go, with the labs, with the mixture of the technical aspect of it, but with the more fun hands-on things that the kids love.
for example, one of the most popular labs we've ever done was making paper airplanes. and in the beginning we talked about some of the technical side of, like, how a plane flies, but we didn't linger on that for long. we went straight into, "hey, here's some instructions. make a paper airplane. yes, you can make a paper airplane at school and throw it and you won't get in trouble." robert: nothing like learning without knowing you're learning, right? [laughing] when did you become so interested in kind of doing this as well as maybe how much technology and, you know, new technology do you try to kind of work in now? justin: yeah. so for me, probably just as a kid. like i was--i got my first laptop when i was, i don't know, six years old or something and i've always been interested in technology. he's more into tech than i am of course, and we've always been kind of competitive about that. but for sure, we've always loved building things. me and him both love making legos and working with our hands. and so now try to incorporate that into our labs, like we did robotics kids. we use a thing called ozobots and different kinds of kits
now with the current technology. i try to be kind of--we trend with the students and what they are familiar with. robert: i can kind of see why students who are sort of like you, you know, and having maybe that knack for it would really like this. but how do you get to the kids who maybe don't feel like they have that skill, that talent that, you know--or have that kind of comprehension? how do you reach them, or what do you do for them? alexander: in steam, that's why it's so spread out. it's not just science. it's not just technology. it's something there for everyone. most folks have probably heard something called a stem program. steam is--four of the pillars are the same, but art is added in there. since there are a lot of people in there who just aren't technically-minded. it's not their specialty. but when it comes to artistic expression, they excel at it. and so sometimes they even mix pillars together because someone who thinks they're artistically-minded, perhaps we mix something with technology and the arts and they realize they're good at both. and one of the biggest goals of steam too is to help kids find something that ignites a passion in them, something that could help encourage them to pursue
a higher education and to pursue a career. robert: yeah, what about the future for you? what are your plans? justin: i'm really not sure. i just know that i'm applying to college. i'm really excited to go to college and just explore my interests and just figure out what my passion is. robert: how about you? alexander: same thing here. prepare for college, apply for college, and that's when we're going to go in and just explore. i know i'm going into some sort of engineering field, but exactly which, i'm not certain. but in the college environment, it's a good time just to go out and explore all the different majors that are offered. robert: i definitely agree. i think you guys are really blazing a nice trail for those youngsters. so good luck with your own futures. both: thank you. robert: all right, thanks for being here. well, stay with us. we have an interview and a live performance coming up from rosendale. so don't miss it.
lgbt community. we welcome back brian wang known as rosendale, a familiar name and face on spotify, youtube, and indie labels, including ncs, revealed, and the taz network. good to see you again. brian wang: thank you for having me. robert: i was saying before, the numbers we used to see for you were pretty good then, but they're way up there now, including almost a million online, right? brian: i'm about to hit 100,000 subscribers on youtube. so blessed. [both laughing] robert: so how is life in new york city? brian: good, good. it's kind of a change from living here in the bay area, but i am slowly finding some new people to collaborate with. so it's been good. robert: how about the impact on you sort of like as a person/artist? you know, how does it affect you that way? brian: yeah, i would say because i live in queens, i'm not so much in manhattan. so i don't really--i haven't met a lot of people from that area. a lot of what i do is from my bedroom, from my apartment. i do all of my lyrics, my vocals, songwriting
from my apartment. so sometimes i'm kind of stuck in there, but a lot of the times i am reaching out to people online to make music together. so i would say i probably have been impacted by people i've met through the web more so than new york. robert: we were talking before about this, about how the music industry, how different it is nowadays and the way people connect and the way people put their work out there and everything. it's so different than it used to be. is it difficult for an artist now or is it better? brian: i would say it's probably better. i think the internet has really found a way to bring artists more closely together. it's so easy just to send an email to somebody and ask, "would you like to work on a song together?" so yeah, it's a lot easier i would say. robert: you know, you were involved in so many different kind of community causes here and connected to a lot of the bay area things. are you still able to do that now or can--do you have to do it more either long distance or sporadically? brian: yeah, i travel back and forth from new york to san francisco. i would say i've done a lot more performances here in
san francisco related to being part of the lgbtq community, being an asian-american person. in new york, i recently just performed for the dragon boat festival that they have annually there. yeah, which was really fun. it was really great to be able to perform and represent asian american talent. robert: and later on in the show, you're going to be playing "tell me how to let go?" brian: yes. yeah. robert: and you also now directed your own video of it? brian: yeah, so, "tell me how to let go" is my new song that i released earlier this year, and it's about abuse and how abusive behaviors can transmit from person to person and generation to generation. people who are abused are more likely to become abusers themselves unfortunately. so i wanted to write a song that would get people to think more about this and be more mindful of their actions and know that their actions have consequences on others. robert: yeah, it's something that we talked about before, that feeling that you have always seems to kind of feel
its way into the song and then the music. people feel it through you. brian: i hope so. robert: how about making the video? is that still the way to kind of put it out there or? brian: yeah, i would say youtube is such a big platform. it's really a great way to get discovered, especially as an independent artist. so for the music video for "tell me how to let go," i really wanted to take the reins on directing and filming because i wanted to see what i could do with my own knowledge and expertise of filmmaking. so it was a ton of research, a ton of learning, but i'm really happy with how the music video turned out. robert: what was the thing that you wanted to kind of come across video wise that captures like the essence of your song? brian: i would say i am really big into using film techniques to express certain things. so there's a portion of this video that i really enjoyed where it shows a girl after she's been unfortunately abused and it shows her kind of in this--in between two mirrors and
the mirrors basically keep on reflecting her image, and it shows that she's gone through this multiple times before. so i really enjoyed that. robert: you're very creative. brian: thank you. robert: all right, but you'll be performing live here for us in a little bit, right? brian: yes. robert: okay, well, get ready for the artistic cultural performances for our show. here is rosendale and his song "tell me how to let go." so come on back. ♪ so that early retirement we planned. it's going ok? great. now i'm spending more time with the kids. i'm introducing them to crab. crab!? they love it. so, you mentioned that that money we set aside. yeah. the kids and i want to build our own crab shack. ♪ ♪ ahhh, you're finally building that outdoor kitchen. yup - with room for the whole gang. ♪ ♪ see how investing with a j.p. morgan advisor can help you. visit your local chase branch.
♪ spirit-broken, crying makeup. ♪ ♪ chest to knees, she sits in silence. ♪ ♪ can't go back. now won't go back now. ♪ ♪ he's just passing through the walkway. ♪ ♪ just another lonely friday 'til he sees ♪ ♪ her lost and hopeless. ♪ got to save her. won't betray her. ♪ ♪ "do you have a place to stay?" ♪ ♪ he says with a smiling face. ♪ ♪ "if you don't, just come with me instead." ♪ ♪ fighting back all of her tears, she lets out all ♪ ♪ of her fears like a wave of pure emotion. ♪ ♪ she says, "every day my boyfriend hurts me. ♪ ♪ beats me down. ♪ his words could kill me. ♪ can you tell me something i don't know? ♪
♪ tell me how to let go." ♪ ♪ tell me how to let go. ♪ ♪ tell me how to let go. ♪ ♪ in his arms she finds her comfort. ♪ ♪ weeks go by and now they're lovers. ♪ ♪ nothing of the past is spoken. ♪ ♪ moving on now. ♪ pain is gone now 'til the night they ♪ ♪ leave the nightclub. ♪ there's the boyfriend from her breakup sitting ♪ ♪ on the dirty sidewalk. ♪ got to face him to erase him. ♪ ♪ they can recognize his face, blurry ♪ ♪ eyes all full of rage.
♪ he looks up at them and shakes his head. ♪ ♪ fighting back all of his tears, he lets out all ♪ ♪ of his fears like a wave of pure emotion. ♪ ♪ he says, "every day my father hurts me. ♪ ♪ beats me down till i just can't breathe. ♪ ♪ can you tell me something i don't know? ♪ ♪ tell me how to let go." ♪ ♪ oh, oh, tell me how to let go. ♪ ♪ ♪ tell me how to let go. ♪ oh, oh, tell me how to let go. ♪ ♪ tell me how to let go.
♪ tell me, love, can you tell me, love, ♪ ♪ tell me how to let go. ♪ tell me love, can you tell me, love, ♪ ♪ tell me how to let go. [audience applauding] robert: very nice. very nice. brian: thank you. thanks. robert: all right, well, you can find out more about rosendale and his music as well as of all of our guests by going to our website, nbcbayarea.com. we are also on social media, facebook and twitter, and you can follow me on @rhandanbc. and that's it for today's show. we want to thank all of our guests for being here. "asian pacific america" will be back next sunday. so we will see you then. thank you so much for watching. we go out more from rosendale.
what are you going to play? brian: i'm going to play my song, "still can't sleep." robert: all right. thanks for being here. brian: thank you. robert: all right, and thanks for watching. ♪ ♪ ♪ baby, i can't find the words to say. ♪ ♪ i really hope this time that you'll stay for the night. ♪ ♪ slowly killing me whenever you go, ♪ ♪ leaving me with just my pillow every time. ♪
♪ i keep the curtains closed so no one else ♪ ♪ will ever know 'cause ♪ this is what i say when i'm alone. ♪ ♪ wise guy always with the sad eyes, ♪ ♪ don't forget the good life, forget ♪ ♪ the things that make you cry. ♪ ♪ but i'm only human. ♪ can't get you out of my mind. ♪ ♪ baby, i still can't sleep. ♪ are you thinking, thinking about me? ♪ ♪ wise guy always with the sad eyes, ♪ ♪ don't forget the good life--♪
i am the chosen one. >> what is said at amazon doesn't say at amazon. >> you might have lost your job, but i lost a son >> the truth will come out >> good morning and welcome to sunday today on this august 25th i'm willie geist president trump is gathering with the leaders of american allied countries at the g20 summit in france where he appeared to express a moment of regret about his trade policy toward china but quickly clarified that he has no regrets. th