"That's where the name, Declare INDIE, came from," Dawen said. Dawen and Spark*shop launched their first show, along with two other artists, in July 2008.
The show was originally branded "Declare INDIEpendence," since shortened to Declare INDIE. But the show's success, Dawen said, has only grown.
Fueled by good turnout during its first year, Declare INDIE ran for a second year, and now a third.
This year's Declare INDIE 3 will be held tonight at 9:30pm at The Abbey in Chicago.
Dawen said that although the event will not be held in July as it has in the past, the spirit will remain the same. "Indie has so many connotations: the fourth of July, Indie music, and on another level, providing a platform for Asian Americans who might not otherwise have a platform to perform on," Dawen said.
"It's really exciting to see everybody come out for Chicago Asian American music," Dawen added.
"It's like an Asian American iPod on shuffle," Dawen said. "You've got your alternate rock, some R&B, singer-songwriter... we're really trying to draw from the diverse community that we have in Chicago."
Dawen said that he hopes to bring INDIE to other cities in the future, but for now, he's focusing on tonight's show.
"Come out and enjoy," he added.