It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. Given the length of time it took to write the first top eight most memorable interviews list (click here), it was due time I did another one. So for those of you unfamiliar with this series, I will outline eight interviews I’ve done within the timeframe since the last post I made. These eight, while not so different from any other interview I’ve done, have more of a story to them than has been made public. As such I would like to share the story involved with each of these eight I’ve selected. So keep in mind, this article will focus on interviews I’ve done between 2012 and 2016, so nothing super recent, and in no specific order. Enjoy!
- Sam Ku (The Voice Korea season 1, CHITWN Music artist)
My interview with this talented singer, songwriter and producer took place in late 2012, almost a full year after his debut into the Korean music world through the first season of the short-lived Korean version of The Voice. At the time we did the interview over Skype, I remember Sam telling me how much he wanted to do in terms of his career goals and how he wanted to rock the music world to its core with his style of R&B and hip-hop. He was signed with GNG Productions at the time, and now five years later he has his own company with artists he manages called CHITWN Music. He’s grown so much as an artist, and I remember thinking the first time I heard him sing that he was gonna be a big deal in a few years. If you haven’t heard this guy sing yet, go check out his debut single ‘Garosugil’ featuring Show Me The Money 2 winners Soul Dive!
- Sarah Lee (YouTuber, Superstar K 2016 Top 6 contestant)
My oh my, it seems just like yesterday when I first stumbled upon this ‘diamond in the rough’ thanks in part to YouTuber and singer Daniela Andrade. At the time, Sarah was still living in California. She was still taking her time getting into releasing videos regularly. Who would have though that she was gonna end up moving to Korea and later on taking part in the eighth season of Superstar K and making it to the top six. I got to meet up with her in Korea in June of 2015, where she revealed that she was still considering what route to take in terms of her music career. Now looking back at where’s she’s come, she’s gained a bigger fan base and has a bright future ahead of her. Even talking with her through her Superstar K journey, she expressed her intent to keep her musical freedom and character her own, regardless of what route she takes. Keep an eye out for this amazing singer and musician.
- Hazel (hip-hop producer)
What was really cool about this interview is that not only did I find out that this French producer based in Australia produced tracks for Drake and Mad Clown, but that he also has his own studio going. Considered one of the best underground hip-hop producers out there, he’s been also recently looking for new talented producers to work with and pass along tracks to his colleagues. So if you’re into music production, this would be a great opportunity for you!
- Cheska (ex-Fiestar member, Grandline Entertainment soloist)
This girl has come a long way since initially debuted in Fiestar and leaving to pursue a solo career as a artist under Korean hip-hop label Grandline Entertainment. She’s released two singles, the most recent one being ‘Faded’ featuring label mate Ja’Mezz. This girl also shows a lot of love to her fans that have been with her since day one, and during one of our chats post-interview, she said that she wanted to continue working hard to make good music that reflects her as a person. I’d say she’s well on her way to doing just that, so please show some love to her!
- Jolly V (Show Me The Money 3, Unpretty Rapstar, rapper)
She’s been super under-the-radar for a while she’s been in school these days, but I remember from both our interview and from our subsequent meet-up in Seoul back in 2015 that she’s super down-to-earth and very personable. She is also a very good cook. While she hasn’t released anything in a while, she has said that she wants to continue to pursue some form of artistic expression but will see where life takes her next. I am still all about ‘Vs Up’ these days so I support whatever she does, and I hope you guys do also!
- Hyangni (Korean indie singer)
What can I say about this girl…she’s dorky, cute and super fashionable. I only figured that out for myself when I met up with her in Seoul in 2015 over coffee, and I also got to see her and her band perform in Hongdae during that same trip (thanks again to them for hooking up it up with free tickets to the show). She’s got a very specific mindset about what inspires her sound and her aesthetic and I think that’s what makes her so unique within the Korean indie music scene. While a follow-up album has not yet been announced, I look forward to what she has in store next.
- As One (Korean R&B duo)
Out of all the artists I interview in Korea, this duo won me over from the get go. Now that I can finally tell a longer version of how I got this interview, I messaged Crystal through Facebook to set it up and so I went to meet her and Min on a Friday at the TBS eFM studio in Myeongdong and we basically chatted as if we were old friends catching up during the break times on their radio program K-Popular. The girls are so down to earth and also kinda dorky but really sweet as well. Min also bought me a hotteok (sweet pancake stuff with red bean in this case) for me to try and I thought that was really sweet of her. They recently finished an eight-year run on their radio show and stepped down to focus on family and other things, but I know this isn’t the last we’ve seen of them. Go check out their work if you haven’t already!
- Grace (Unpretty Rapstar 3, rapper/singer/songwriter, former YouTuber)
I’ve never actually gotten to tell anyone this but Grace and I used to talk on Facebook all the time before she left to Korea. I first discovered her covers on YouTube sometime in 2010 I do believe. This is also the first time I’m revealing this, but she actually went to Korea initially to audition for season one of MBC’s Birth of a Great Star program (the same program that singers like Megan Lee, David Oh, Eric Nam and Shayne Orok got noticed from) but didn’t pass the Korea auditions. She went again later and eventually signed and trained for sometime with Nega Network before leaving the label. Sometime passed after she left Nega Network and I eventually found out that she had signed with a small label and was finally going to debut. To my surprise, she got casted for Unpretty Rapstar 3 and I was really happy she got the chance to expose herself to more people all over the world through that show. She’s come a long way from her cover-singing days in New York to making her way out to Korea as a unique solo artist. If you’re reading this Grace, I am super proud of how far you’ve come.
Hope you guys enjoyed this top eight list/story time post. Stay tuned for more cool content soon! rhythm.connection on your dial, thank you!