Eddie Hoang, owner of Miyako Japanese Restaurant, has a message for the community during the current health crisis: “Be strong, the brighter days are ahead of us.” He decided to share his message in a music video he created with his sons, called “Go Away Corona.”
Hoang’s journey to Hollister began when he left Laos, fleeing the communist government in 1979. He worked in restaurants in Japan, becoming an “itamae-san” or sushi chef before coming to America in 1986. He opened Miyako in 1997.
Though the restaurant is still open for pick-up orders, only about a quarter of the usual customers are coming in. With the business open four hours a day, Hoang has plenty of time to pursue his second love: music.
“My family has a music background,” he said, “and I had a band before I opened the restaurant.”
He worked with his sons, 19-year old Aaron and 29-year-old Christopher, on a music video to help lighten people’s moods during the shelter-in-place.
“I wanted to make funny music. I saw on the internet all these sad songs and too-slow songs,” Hoang said. “And I wanted to do it the opposite way. I wanted to make my customers laugh and be happy.”
Aaron recalled his father coming to him and his brother one morning.
“He said ‘Hey, I wrote this song!’ It was just him on his guitar, playing the basic outline of it. He said ‘we should make this.’”
Aaron and Christopher helped Hoang flesh the song out. “Instead of writing a song that says ‘oh, it’s getting better,’ we wanted something small, catchy, and something people will enjoy,” said Aaron. “Hopefully it will make them laugh a little bit.”
Aaron said his father wanted to make the song into a video to post on Youtube, something “more engaging for people to enjoy.” His wife Lani filmed the video at their home, with the entire family joining in. That’s nothing new for the Hoang family.
“Whenever we are together and bored we say ‘why don’t we do a video?’” Aaron said. “We’re all here, so why not?”
In the music video, the virus shows up at the family’s home. Christopher opens the door and begins to sing: “Go away, Corona/Stay away, Corona/No one likes you, Corona/Leave us alone, Corona.”
With Christopher and Aaron handling the main vocals, Hoang joins in the chorus, singing in English, Chinese, and his native Laotian.
Hoang posted the music video to his YouTube channel, alongside other videos he’s made— songs about his native land.
The intent of the music video was to lift the spirits of customers and the community, Hoang said.
“At the beginning I was down. We are too sad right now. The more you are feeling down, the more you feel sick,” Hoang said. “I thought it through and said, ‘there is nothing I can do.’ So I have to find something to be happy about. I hope to make other people happy, too.”
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