The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of


Calvin Tiu is an English Major at KPU, who has produced more than 20 solo rap albums. He has performed at the Yaletown Olympic venue during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for a crowd of 12,000, and at the Sapphire Gala in Surrey for the Child Development Foundation of B.C. As an advocate for innovative education techniques, Calvin has exceeded the expectations of the classroom and has broken the mold of standard English learning practices to include rap literature. 

Key Research Goals

Calvin Tiu's main goal is to incorporate passion with learning by inspiring students to break out of traditional forms of education and make a path of their own. Calvin achieved this by incorporating his passion for rap into his English studies.

While taking a third year Children's Literature class with Dr. Sue Ann Cairns, Calvin went against traditional essay writing practices and asked if he could write a rap album on all the novels he read in class. Not only was the album a success, but it was the catalyst that gave Calvin the medium to show others how education can occur outside of standard learning practices.

With the support of KPU faculty member, Dr. Sue Ann Cairns, Calvin along with fellow rapper and KPU student, Hanrick (Rick) Kumar, went on to:

  • Publish one album, based on the novels in his Creative Writing course at KPU, called The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, which highlights fantasy and common themes in children's literature. 
  • Publish a conventionally written essay.
  • Teach nine seminars in KPU's Creative Writing Classes.
  • Speak on Sonic Radio in an advertisement for KPU's Faculty of Arts.

Be featured in both the Surrey Now and The Leader.

Impact of Research

Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Calvin Tiu is impacting the normative standards surrounding education. By receiving recognition through his publication by the University of Texas' online journal, TheJUMP: The Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects, Calvin is showing through example how learning can incorporate passion, versatility, and fun.

What's Next?

Calvin Tiu's future plans include:

  • Producing a music video for the single “Hello Farewell” off of the second album Become The Teacher, which Calvin hopes to eventually get published.
  • Calvin and Rick are officially sponsored by Coca Cola and are scheduled to perform both albums at the Multicultural Heritage Festival in Richmond on June 28th, as well as WORD Vancouver in September.
  • From September 2014 to January 2015, Calvin and Rick will be showcasing their “Frontier Poetics” seminar in twenty high schools across the lower mainland.

Check out Calvin's Albums Online: