We had the good fortune of connecting with Blythe Abigail Su-Ren Schulte and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Blythe Abigail Su-Ren, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
My absolute favorite novel is A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I read it for the first time when I was fifteen or sixteen and the bombastic, hilarious tone was revolutionary to me. I appreciate the richness and ridiculousness of the characters. There is a sense of reality, however, that provides interesting contrast. The way that the characters relate to one another is so real that it’s almost shocking because of how it’s presented. I had the opportunity to see the original musical adapted from the novel when I was living in Boston and attending Berklee College of Music while gigging. No matter what stage of life I’m in, this book provides hilarious commentary on how the smartest folks can also be the most idiotic. Or vice versa. Plus, Myrna, my favorite character, is a style icon.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What I love to hear, and do hear, is: “Blythe, what don’t you do?” My answer is always: “I don’t play an instrument…yet.” Working on it. I’m a tactical consultant, product influencer, and multi-genre composer. My tactical planning involves the creation of customized strategies for businesses/individuals to retain and expand their target market(s) based on analytics and projections, re-brand or brand, and promote, mostly in the entertainment and creative industries. I started off doing voiceover work for dolls/toy products and touring around the U.S., Asia, and the U.K. as a multi-genre, multi-lingual performance artist. I’ve sung in about 13+ genres and 13+ languages, and counting. It wasn’t really the performance aspect that attracted me to this, it was the opportunity to learn about cultures that are not the same as mine and meet different people to collaborate with. It really shaped my perspective, especially starting young. I also appeared in short films and as a baby model, believe it or not. I’m multi-ethnic myself: grew up between Los Angeles and NYC and I’m Chinese, French, German, British, Scandinavian, Irish, and Korean in ancestry. I think this is why I’ve always been interested in expanding my horizons and discovering things I wouldn’t have context for otherwise. After a while, I started to branch off and try new things. I was blessed to have been given opportunities to do this, and also made some for myself. I conducted the Pacific Symphony Orchestra when I was nine, I’ve produced and directed 90+ live shows from civic events to private parties to community shows, interned for The Kurland Agency, placed an original toy product with Mattel, graduated from the Berklee College of Music in the top 5% of the college, done strategic marketing for IPs such as Dragonball Z and Rick & Morty, composed music for an NYU student film, participated in a VR collab with Harvard and MIT, and released my album (Synesthetic) that debuted at #7 on Amazon’s Broadway and Vocalists Charts upon release. My top three most memorable experiences are: singing an original gospel song on the float on fire (not on purpose) at the 2019 Pasadena Rose Parade for a live broadcast audience of 90 million+, appearing as a finalist on ABC’s “The Toy Box” season 2, and premiering my original tunes for the first time in my third year at Berklee. I believe in constantly doing better, and learning anything that makes sense to know. Over quarantine in addition to my tactical planning work, I’ve been gaining experience with property management as an executive assistant, becoming a novice expert with baking yeast and healthy treats, mentoring gifted high school students, learning how to code HTML, running and hiking, and reconnecting with some wonderful folks. I recently became involved with ASMAC (if you’re a musician check ’em out!) and am preparing for the soft launch of a new lifestyle brand project called XLB. Myself along with my best friend/business partner, Aizhou Liu, and two of our renowned mentors have created a new genre called Boba Pop. It’s a way of life! Feel free to check us out on Instagram: @xlb.duo. In addition, I’ve also been putting together some new music releases. My greatest influences are Peter Gabriel, Leslie Odom Jr, and Hozier, but I’m not partial to any specific genre. My latest is Spider Bites: https://open.spotify.com/album/1pnoPpP59BuzNSkmwnJYxP?si=ZZEfzdsaRcSpoYMpEemTIQ As far as I’m concerned, there’s no real reason to make specific plans because something better than I could have anticipated or imagined is always waiting to be ready, even though it’s difficult to believe at times. I have had my fair share of struggle, as we all have, and can only be thankful for the forgiveness and patience I now have and will continue to learn. That being said, I am also constantly excited at all the wonderful things that have come my way and I hope will continue to! I am always working on new stuff, whether it’s a tactical plan, a loaf of simit, a new tune release, or something else! For updates, you can find me at: @blythe.bunnee on Instagram, Blythe Schulte on Facebook. And if you like kombucha, here’s something special for you: https://soundcloud.com/blytheschulte/kombucha-blythe-schulte-feat-blythe-schulte Thank you and God bless.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is pretty funny, because I grew up mostly in LA. But… I honestly know Boston better at this point! I returned to LA right as quarantine started and am not too sure of what’s still there… or not. That being said, I still have some ideas. Assuming an unlimited tank of gas for this whole week, we’d do as much as possible. In Koreatown, Beverly Soon Tofu and walking around those cute coffee houses that smell like all kinds of fantastic. In Chinatown, Family Pastry is the thing to do. Their pandan cake is to die for, and I love walking in and ordering in Cantonese to impress friends! If we made our way to DTLA, The Last Bookstore, macaron at Bottega Louie, Alfred Tea, and Amoeba Records are musts. Amoeba has had my heart since my first visit to collect records, I don’t even remember how old I was. And also G&B Coffee. Center Theatre Group has some excellent entertainment, and also some cool places to grab photos for promotion (most of my friends are fellow creatives.) Of all the areas in LA, Pasadena is where I’d opt for the most time. Its charm and walkability completely wins me over (except while waiting for trains) and there’s all the coffee and boba options beyond your imagination. Lastly, Porto’s in Burbank and vintage shopping. Maybe Ten Ren and Beardpapa’s in Monterey Park, or the Arcadia Mall to grab some snacks for the next destination after LA!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shoutout to my grandparents, especially my Po-Po (that’s Chinese for “Grandmother.”) My great-grandfather preached democracy and Christianity in Mao’s China and was blacklisted. His entire family (my Po-Po, her seven other siblings, and my great-grandmother) by a miracle were given a chance to come to America and escape persecution. And they did. The plight of an immigrant is truly inspiring, and this story reminds me throughout my life that anything good is possible. It’s freedom.
Other: SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/blytheschulte/unacceptably-sure Synesthetic Album: https://www.amazon.com/Synesthetic-Blythe-Schulte/dp/B077HTTZTH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=synesthetic+blythe+schulte&qid=1611278311&sr=8-1 Spider Bites: https://music.apple.com/us/album/spider-bites-single/1537075891