How did you get into commercial music production?
I don't remember exactly, I think the work first came through referrals from friends - either way I really liked not feeling so much pressure writing and submitting music.
How would you describe your own music?
My music is fat flanger on the master bus and an overall engineering nightmare.
What do you mean engineering nightmare?
I don’t really have the oversight to think about the final mix when I’m writing or programming. It’s a bad habit that makes life so much harder when I’m finally ready to mix the track. Everything usually sounds pretty muddy when I first start and it’s always challenge to clean it up.
Having lived in both cities, what’s it like operating a creative practice in Seoul vs Toronto?
Seoul gives you way more room to take creative liberties - the budgets are higher and the clients either trust you more or just don’t really care what you do once they hire you (still not really sure which one it is). That’s probably the best part.
Another good part is being situated in between China and Japan - flight’s are super cheap and quick so you can go back and forth, allowing you to work more in person and talk face to face with people you would otherwise only see behind a screen. I think that’s important.
Apart from audio engineering and production, you've also done work in art direction and graphic design. How did you get into that and does your one medium inform the other in any way?
Friends of friends - it seems like everything starts off as odd jobs for me. Yeah, design definitely influences music and vice versa - you can't spend all your time working on music only, you'll get stuck in a bubble. It's important to have some view into other people's bubbles to steal stuff you can bring into your own life.
What’s your process like for commercial work? How much of your work does that take up?
It depends on what kind of client it is and what they’re asking from me. If it’s a score I try to start with an image of the brand - what their influences are, what kind of audience they might have, what will adding music change about the meaning of their clothes? etc. I try to imagine the colour and texture of the music written in the context of the client. Right now I don’t do a lot of commercial work, but in between personal projects it usually takes up 60-70% of my time.
How do you organize your schedule on a daily basis?
My daily schedule is super temperamental to be honest - the closest things to routine are probably when I go eat (and even that is all over the place). I would probably be super productive if I had a routine haha.
How conscious are you of developing a specific sound? Are there recurring themes and motifs in your work?
I'm going for a pretty specific texture, not so much a style or a specific genre. I like so many different styles of music - from house to R&B, to garage, rock, trance etc. I think establishing an identity through texture can be a trademark that justifies bouncing between different genres to a fanbase yeah?
I like to reference Chinese culture in one way or another - whether that be through the artwork, the lyrics or the texture of the music.
How conscious are you of developing a creative practice? Do things happen more organically or are you trying to steer it in a certain way?
Im not conscious of developing a creative practice, anybody organized enough has the potential of doing that, unfortunately thats not me. Definitely organically... haha
How did get involved with the club scene in Seoul, and eventually your involvement in Cakeshop / Contra? What did it take to brand and develop it?
I came to the right place at the right time. I moved here in 2015/2016 and the Cakeshop team was planning on opening a new venue. They asked me to help design the space and after that we started working more closely. I don't wan't to speak on that as I'd like to keep a line of privacy between the public and our business. I think branding can help a brand, but at the end of the day it comes down to taste and curation in music that keeps the name alive.
What music have you been listening to recently?
I've been listening to Thom Yorke's new soundtrack for the Suspiria remake, and the score for the opera Damon Albarn did a some years ago.