Hello hello! We’ve got a new interview for you today…a bit overdue from our ‘Producer Month’ special, but nonetheless, one that was duly looked forward to. Allow us to present our interview with one of the OGs of Korea’s hip-hop and dance scenes, Mr. Lee Hyun Do of DEUX!
Lee Hyun Do (born September 5, 1972) is Korean rapper, dancer and producer. Prominently known as one half of legendary 1990s dance hip-hop duo DEUX, Hyun Do went on to become one of the most established producers for hip-hop and KPOP artists. Having worked with the likes of Mighty Mouth, Kim Bum Soo, Jinusean, Nine Muses, MYNAME and more, Hyun Do also received attention for his participation as a judge in WIN: Who Is Next, Show Me The Money 2, and the upcoming season of Superstar K. While in the midst of working on a new album, Hyun Do took some time to answer our questions and reveal a bit of his future plans.
Hi! My name is Hyun Do Lee aka D.O, member of DEUX from the early 90s Kpop scene, currently working as a producer.
How long have you been doing music for?
I’ve been bboying and dancing since the early 80s and transitioned into the music scene when I was 19 years old, starting off as a professional composer and producer.
What kind of artist/producer do you consider yourself?
The foundation of my music was hip-hop and rap but now with the hip hop DNA, I produce all kinds of music with the usage of electronic elements.
As far as music is concerned, who gives you your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Teddy Riley and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Fans know you for being part of legendary Korean duo DEUX. You have now cemented your place as one of the top producers in Korea. What are some of the most notable things that have changed in Korea’s music industry from when you debuted until now?
The Kpop industry has evolved into a international-based music via the Internet and various social networking services. The fact that fans are connecting globally through Kpop…it seems like the industry is changing everyday. Moreover, Kpop music has changed into a more technical and digitalized industry.
What was the inspiration behind the DEUX 20th Anniversary Tribute Album, in terms of the artists you chose to work with on these reinterpretations of DEUX’s past hits?
First off, the artists who were inspired and followed DEUX as young and upcoming artists were actively involved, as well as those who were part of the “brotherhood” who wanted to be part of the special project; artists like Psy, producers like 이단옆차기 and fellow producers/CEOs also contributed to the album.
I heard that you studied in California. Can you tell us more about your time there?
I lived in California for about 14 years, and one day I realized I needed to learn how to teach music. So, I entered college to study in that area but instead I got involved in the school soccer team which took its toll on my academics. It doesn’t matter because I was an awesome soccer player haha.
There’s no varial, I am open to working with everyone. However if I had to choose, I would love to work with G-Dragon, who’s currently on the top of my list.
You’ve appeared on several audition programs in Korea in the last year, the most notable being Show Me The Money 2. What is your opinion on the existence and impact of a show like that, that focuses on rappers rather than KPOP singers? And will you be returning for the upcoming third season?
One of the top CJ E&M execs whom I have a great relationship with contacted me and offered me a chance to join the 2nd season of “Show me the money”. So without any thought I just did it. It looked fun. Just recently I was the judge for Superstar K6 for the global auditions with Ailee, as well as the Seoul auditions for the show.
Can fans expect more original material from you as an artist soon?
Truthfully, I don’t want to dance anymore but still I want my fans to bounce to my music. I’m planning to release a self produced album within this year.
What are your five most played songs currently? Who are some of your favourite artists/producers?
These days I listen to Nas, Edward Norton, Kendrick Lamar, Michael Jackson and Daft Punk. I’m currently listening to some 90s European EDM.
I use Cubase, Mach 5, as well as other software. As for hardware, I always use Korg 01W, Yamaha Motif and Moog Voyager.
When you have spare time, what do you do to relax?
As much as I love music, I try to do a lot of activities away from music such as playing soccer and watching movies. I also love girls haha.
Name one thing that fans may not already know about you.
I’m a cannon shooter 🙂 (soccer)
Any advice for aspiring producers/songwriters?
Like Nike, just do it. You just gotta keep pushing, every downfall becomes a life lesson; the experiences you gain in your life becomes your ultimate resume.
Any final words for the readers?
Keep it real.
Special thanks to Hyun Do for taking the time to do this, as well as a special shout out to Hoone Lee for helping out with post-interview stuff. Until next time, this has been a rhythm.connection exclusive!