With the popularity of K-Pop, K-hip hop too is receiving a lot of attention not only in its original country but also internationally. A lot of hip hop musicians collaborate or produce songs for idol groups which makes their names are being recognized among K-pop lovers. This time, RekON has chance to interview one of the hip hop seniors musician, Jerry.K, through an electronic media.
At the 27 July 2013, Jerry.K just had a joint concert with Daze Alive Music, the label he established himself at the beginning of 2012. Previously, he established a legendary label Soul Company with several other musicians, but the label is already disbanded since 2011.
We talked about his activities this year to his opinion about K-hip hop nowadays. We also talked about his latest single. Let’s check out our interview with Jerry K, shall we?
Hello Jerry.K! We have readers from various genres and maybe some of them don’tknow you yet. Could you please describe yourself? Who is Jerry K?
안녕하세요. 저는 한국에서 태어나서 한국어로 랩을 하는 힙합뮤지션 Jerry.k 입니다. 소울컴퍼니를 거쳐, 최근 daze alive music을 설립하였고, 작년 정규 2집 ‘TRUE SELF’로 한국대중음악상 힙합앨범 부문에 노미네이트 된 바 있습니다.
Hello, I’m Jerry K., a hip hop musician who was born in Korea and raps in Korean. After leaving ‘Soul Company’, I recently established a new label ‘Daze Alive Music’. Last year I released my second full album ‘TRUE SELF’ which was nominated in 2013 Korean Music Award for ‘Best Rap and Hip Hop Album’ category.
We’ve read your previous interviews and we noticed that you prefer to introduce yourself as an MC instead of a rapper. In your perception, what is the difference between MCs and rappers?
MC라는 말의 의미는 여러가지가 있을 수 있겠지만, Rakim이 정의했던 ‘Move the Crowd’라는 뜻에 따라, 자신만의 시각과 사상을 담은 음악으로 청중을 움직일 수 있느냐가 가장 중요하다고 생각합니다. 저는 청중과 평단에 의해 증명된, 저만의 색깔을 가득 담은 음악을 해오고 있다고 자부합니다.
MC is a word that has various meanings. Rakim* defined it differently, saying that it stands for ‘MOVE THE CROWD’**. I think, the most important thing is moving the audiences by speaking out beliefs and ideas through music. I’m proud of doing my own music that is recognized by audiences and critics.
* Rakim is a legendary American hip hop musician
** “MOVE THE CROWD’ is one of Rakim’s songs
Not long ago, you just release a single. Could you please tell us about this new song featuring Psycoban?
‘더 땀 흘려’라는 제목의 이번 새 싱글은, 최근 힙합의 가장 중요한 테마 중 하나인 ‘hustle’을 주제로, 더운 여름이지만더 많은 땀을 흘려 노력함으로써 내 시즌을 만들겠다는 의지를 담은 곡입니다. 제가 직접 프로듀스 했고, Future의 스타일을 빌려온 Psycoban의 감각적인 보컬이 인상적인 트랙이지요.
The title of this single is ‘더 땀 흘려‘ which means ‘sweat more’. Recently, the most popular theme in hip hop scene is ‘Hustle’***. And this song contains the will that I’m gonna shed more sweats to make this hot summer into my own season. I directly produced the song and Psycoban’s sensual vocals is impressive because he borrowed Future’s style.
*** Hustle in slang terms means as “to do things to get closer to your personal aim”.
What was the reason you chose Psycoban for your new single?
곡을 만들어 놓고 보니, Future의 느낌을 가진 보컬이 필요했는데, 한국에선 찾기가 힘들었습니다. 그러던 중Psycoban이 곡을 들어 보더니, 자기가 해보겠다고 하더군요. 그가 가진 독특한 감각과, 그의 이름에 들어있는’psycho’적인 느낌을 알고 있었기 때문에 믿고 맡기게 되었고, 최고의 결과물을 얻을 수 있었습니다.
After I made this track, I need a vocal that has Future’s vibe but it’s hard to find it in Korea. Just then, Psycoban heard my song, and he said ‘I wanna try’. He has a unique sense, and because I knew I would get a ‘psycho’ feel in his name, I got to trust him so I would get the best result.
Jerry.k – 더 땀 흘려 (feat. Psycoban) (Official Video)
You’ve done a lot of featuring with so many artists, what makes you think “Ah, I want to do a collaboration with this person.”?
2 criteria. First, ‘does he/she fit to this song that I designed?’. Second, ‘is he/she the one I’ve respected?’
Which musician you hasn’t but really want to do collaboration with?
E-sens.한국 최고의 MC 중 하나이지만, 최근 몇년간 여러가지 사정으로 인해 많은 작업물을 보여주지 못했던 E-sens는 늘 가장 collabo 하고 싶은 아티스트 목록 가장 위에 있습니다.
E-sens. He’s one of the best MCs in Korea, although due to the various reasons, he hasn’t been able to show his works. Doing a collaboration with E-sens is something that I always want to do.
You are quite well established as musician. And now you are the CEO of your own label. What are your reasons in making Daze Alive Music? What do you want to achieve in making your own label?
2011년 11월 제가 소속되어 있던 소울컴퍼니가 해체한 이후, 저는 많은 수의 멤버들이 속한 레이블에 대한 거부감을느꼈습니다. 그래서 모든 걸 혼자 해보겠다는 마음으로 2012년 2월 1인 레이블 체제의 daze alive music을 처음 시작했지요. 이후 1년 6개월 정도, 한국 언더그라운드 힙합 시장에서 혼자 해볼 수 있는 것들은 다 해봤습니다. 그러고 나니,제가 가진 경험으로 가능성 있는 신인들을 지원해주고 싶다는 마음을 갖게 되었습니다.
daze alive music의 목표는, 거짓말하지 않는, 삶에 기반한 좋은 음악들을 꾸준히 들려주는 것 뿐입니다.
After the disbandment of Soul Company where I belonged to in November 2011, I didn’t wanna be in a record label which has many members. So, I started my own label “Daze Alive Music” alone, wanting to do all by myself, on February 1, 2012. For one and a half year, I tried to do everything that I could in Underground Hip Hop Market by myself. Afterward, I wanted to give the chance to new talents who have potential with experience I got.
The core values of Daze Alive Music are being honest and constantly providing only good music based on life.
Who is your role model as a musician and a CEO?
뮤지션으로서는, Lupe Fiasco입니다. 정치적, 문화적으로 가장 날카로운 메시지를 음악에 담으면서도 상업적으로 성공하는 몇 안되는 아티스트이기 때문입니다.
현재로서는 좋은 음악을 들려주는 것만이 목표이기 때문에, CEO로서의 롤모델은 없습니다.
As a musician, it’s Lupe Fiasco. He is one of only few artists who has sharp messages about politics and culture in songs, and succeed commercially. In present time, my target is to make only good music.
As a CEO, I don’t have any role model yet.
You just had your ‘DAZE A Live 1’ last July, how was the reaction from the audience?
작은 클럽을 가득 채울 정도의 관객들이 모여들었고, 아주 뜨거웠습니다. 2004년부터 2013년까지 제가 발표한 트랙들을 연대기처럼 불렀는데, 그 때문인지 과거에 힙합공연을 자주 찾다가 한동안 뜸했던 팬들까지 많이 와주었어요. daze alive music의 시작을 알렸던 순간이 공연의 하일라이트라고 할 수 있겠네요.
The small club was packed with audience and it was very hot. I sang tracks that I released from 2004 until 2013 in a chronological order, because of that, fans who used to be seeking for a hip hop performance in the past, came to the concert. The moment we knew that Daze Alive Music was going to take off, was the concert’s highlight.
One of the reasons you did the concert is to introduce Sleeq and Rico as your new artists.Why did the company decide to scout new artists now when the company is already more than a year old?
위의 질문 에서 ‘You are quite well established … own label?’이미 답한 내용인것 같습니다
Seems I already answered this in ‘You are quite well established … own label?’ question above.
*This is the exact answer he means already mention in other question “For one and a half year, I tried to do everything that I could in Underground Hip Hop Market by myself. Afterwards, I give the chance to new talents who have potential to get more experience, and I got what I always desired.”
Daze Alive Music. left-right: Rico, Jerry. K and Sleeq
Why did the company decide to choose Sleeq and Rico as your new musicians?
Sleeq은, 한국의 전형적인 여성 MC들에게선 볼 수 없는 스타일을 가진, 유니크한 MC이자 뛰어난 lyricist입니다. 과거제 공연을 자주 찾던 fan이기도 했지요. 삶을 음악에 반영하는, daze alive의 사상에 딱 들어맞는 뮤지션이지요.
Rico는 아주 sexy한 음악을 하는 R&B 보컬리스트입니다. 매 공연마다 보여주는 퍼포먼스에서 그의 무한한 잠재력을확인할 수 있었고, daze alive music을 통해 그 가능성을 맘껏 펼쳐보이게 해 주고 싶다는 생각을 갖게 해준 아티스트이기도 합니다. 이미 여러 차례의 collabo를 통해 저와 chemistry가 아주 잘 맞는다는 것도 증명했구요.
Sleeq has the style that you have never seen among Korean Female MCs, and she is an outstanding lyricist. In the past, she was a fan who often attended my shows. “Music that reflecbts life”, she’s a musician that really fits in with this spirit of Daze Alive.
Rico is a R&B vocalist with very sexy music. In every show, he is able to make sure that he shows his full potential in his performance, and to bring the idea to present what he has to the fullest as an artist is possible through Daze Alive. It’s already proven that he and I are very well matched though many times of collaboration.
In your opinion, what kind of musicians Sleeq and Rico are going to be in the future?
Sleeq은 가장 real한 여성 lyricst로, Rico는 여성들의 fantasy 속의 보컬리스트로 성장할 것입니다. 둘 다 한국 언더그라운드 scene에서는 보기 힘들었던 캐릭터이지요
Sleeq will be one of the most real female lyricists and Rico will be the vocal that women often fantasize about. Both of them have strong characters that are hard to be found in Korean underground scene.
Theme song of Daze Alive Music by Jerry.K, Sleeq, and Rico
Lately, there are a lot of hip hop companies in South Korea. What are the differences between musicians from your company and musicians from other hip hop companies?
그것은 아직 말하기 힘들 것 같습니다. 설명하기 어려운 부분이기도 하구요. 앞으로 발표할 결과물들을 통해 show and prove 하겠습니다.
It’s still hard to explain for now. There are still many difficulties to explain. Next, we will just ‘show and prove’ and give the best results in the future.
What kind of activities that you and company are planning to do next in 2013? What do you expect and achieve from those activities?
일단 올해에는 저 Jerry.k와 Rico의 비정규 앨범이 각각 예정되어 있고, 앨범 발매 시기에 맞추어 멋진 공연을 열 계획입니다. 2013년보다 앞으로가 더 중요한, 이제 시작하는 label이기 때문에, 올해는 그 기반을 다지는 시기로 삼고 싶습니다.
First, Rico and I each are planning to release non-full-length albums this year, and when the album is on sale, we are planning to set cool concerts. The future is more important than 2013. Because the label has just started, I want to concentrate on establishing the label’s foundation this year.
Rico new single “Shawty” in live accoustic version
And as the last question, what do you think about the hip hop scene in South Korea right now?
한국 힙합은 Amoeba Culture, Brand New Music, Illionaire Records, Hilite Records 등 메이저와 언더그라운드를 가리지 않고 대단히 큰 인기를 끌고 있고, 이는 유래 없이 많은 페스티벌과 대형 공연의 성황으로 입증됩니다. 동시에, ‘우리에게 힙합은 무슨 의미인가’를 되짚어보게 만드는 트랙과 상황들도 많이 생기고 있지요. 그저, 묵묵히 내 갈길을 가야겠다는 다짐을 하게 됩니다.
Korean Hip Hop is greatly popular now, like Amoeba Culture, Brand New Music, iIlionaire Records, Hilite Records, regardless of the scene, major or underground. A lot of unprecedentedly successful festivals and big scale concerts prove this. At the same time, there are tracks and situations that make us thought ‘What is Hip Hop to us?’. Still, I silently keep walking on this path as I promised before.
Hiphop’s popularity in Korea is also starting to be felt by its musicians. It makes hip hop’s musicians keep making music enthusiastically. We hope Jerry.K, Rico, Sleeq and others Daze Alive Music musicians are able to realize their dreams and satisfy our ears with great music and touch our heart with honest lyrics.
To know them closer, you can connect them through:
Daze Alive Music