WYM interview| Before the rain

South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual festival that takes place in Austin Texas. Originally started has a music festival, SXSW has grown over the last 30 years since when it was originally founded. Now on its 30th  anniversary the festival brings together technology with the interactive conferences, Film and Music from all over the world to the heart of Texas.


President Barack Obama was a guest speaker at SXSW interactive keynote conversation. The discussion focuses on the use of technology and how to make government work better for us. A few days later, for the opening of the Music portion of the festival, Michelle Obama also discussed Let Girls Learn. A White House initiative dedicated to educating young girls around the world. For those on the technology side of things, this event is a unique opportunity to launch new creative content.

The presence of the Obama’s at the festival, highlights the impact SXSW has, in the fast moving pace of technology and direct connection to the people. The FILM portion of SXSW host premiere of films from established to emerging talent.

We are not going to bore you on these other aspects on the SXSW, you are here to talk about MUSIC, not just music but Korean Music at SXSW.

The Seoulsonic | Seoulistic showcase at SXSW was at the Majestic and this is where the duo from livingfash spent the evening listening to Windy City, Guten Birds, Bye Bye Badman, WYM, HEO and Neon Bunny.

Windy City

Windy City Play at the Majestic SXSW 2016

The evening started with the very cool flair of beats from Windy City, this was a excellent fusion between reggae and Korean jitterbug. It sounded so familiar and very new at the same time, the familiarity was from the reggae beats, drums and guitar and the new sound was from the melodically Korean fusion.

Playing next on the lineup was Guten Birds, the band won HelloKPop alternative Rock Song of the Year. This was the

BGM during our interview with WYM. We made our way to the back of the club for the interview through a door leading down a staircase to the alley at the back of the building. It’s March in Austin and we were lucky enough to get a break from the rain.

seoulsonic showcase, sxsw 2016, music showcase, korean music, image by akin abayomi

Tell us how WYM became to be.?

Ok, I am WYM; it’s like a one-man project. I do various styles of electronic music, synth pop, little danceable, electronic not like really EDM stuff but danceable and some kind of dream pop, inspired tracks, so I tried to incorporate a lot of different styles to electronic music, my music so.

Who was your main inspiration growing up in music?

MYM: Actually when I really got into music I was into Tupak, I was really into Gangster rap West Coast Hiphop, GFunk,Warren G and Snoop Dog and all those people. Those music led me to funk and soul music like Marvin Gaves, Prince, DeAngelo, Neo soul “Contemporary R&B”, Maxwell. Then I started to like Disco, so I went back to the 70’s and 80’s music, that was in early 2000 then I was into acid jazz uhmm, like Samuel white.

Dread: So a lot of lounge music feel.

WYM: Yeah, then that lead me to the House, then now I am here between a bunch of electronic.

Lizabeth: What is next?

WYM: Next, my first album was I tried to have a lot of stuff I it, my next album I want to put some should vibe into it because I was really into soul music, maybe like electronic fusion, a little RMB or soul. I am not sure yet, I have to see what comes out.

Dread- How is the House music, the electronic music scene in Korea?

WYM: It is getting better, its not huge, there are a lot of electronic musicians, its not that big like k-pop. KPop is like a different world.

Dread: so you don’t see like a cross over k-pop and electronic?

MYM: Actually what I see on k-pop is their form of music is really hard electronic stuff, there is a lot of the IDOLS, like dance music. It’s actually electronic music but it has it’s typical k-pop melodies or the lyrics are danceable.

Dread: Your kind of project is a lot different from what we used to see from Korea, in which you have a one man show more like Gotye like Dead Mouse kind of stuff. So how are you feeling acceptance in Seoul.

seoulsonic showcase, sxsw 2016, music showcase, korean music, image by akin abayomi

I am doing it alone, maybe I am a little selfish but I just wanted to do whatever I want to do . Basically, all the songs on the album is all me, how I felt at the moment. The show is quite different. I DJ sometimes but my album is not like the album for the dj stuff, I can not dj like Dead mouse or something like that so but I try to, I tried to do alone but it didn’t work because its fairly boring, the music is kind of like a bandage. I tried, I made it all alone, I wanted to feel like some kind of band so in live situation, right now I am performing with a drummer. Maybe I want to have 3 o 4 more people performing so it sounds more like a band, Right now, mostly a drummer playing and I playing with computer something like that, some audiences see it a little different.

What is the challenge for you in the industry?

MYM: I write in both languages, I have song in Korean lyrics and song in English lyrics but the funny thing is the regular Korean audiences don’t want to listen to music in English lyric because they don’t understand. The funny thing about this is they don’t care if the artist is not from Korean, like Pop musicians they like to listen to, but if a Korean artist or musician from Korea writes something in English lyrics they feel they don’t understand it. It’s a little challenging because I don’t want to have all my music in Korean language.

Lizabeth, because you need to expand, you need to reach other demographics.

WYM: And some songs, I feel that English sound better and some other songs sound better in Korean and I write in Korean. I don’t have a typical rule about it.

Lizabeth: So, tell us a little bit about the process of composing your music. Do you start with an idea, do you have the music in mind, the melody the song.

WYM: Depends, on tracks. I can say I have 3 ways of writing, some tracks I start with just beats, drum beats then I get the groove going on and start to stuff like the chorus then melodies with lyrics. The other way, it’s sometimes only melody comes out first, a little push of melodies like maybe it could be a hook or a little verse then if I like it I tend to take that idea into a whole song.

Then the last way, it’s when the lyrics and the melodies come out at the same time. These days I feel that when melody and lyrics come out the same time it makes a better track because it fits well.

Lizabeth :

Tells us about the music industry, what is better for you when people buy the music online or when they buy a CD?

WYM : It’s like the side two sides of the coins. For the money aspect for selling cd is better because selling music online doesn’t compensate to musicians these days. In Korea streaming service, they take too much from the customer’s revenue, for money wise selling CD is better but these days you have to accept the fact that a lot of people listen to music online not buying CD so listening to my music online it helps get my name out, to expand. Even though I don’t get money out it, I appreciate it and a lot of people around the world listen to and get to know my music though the internet or a blog or magazine.

Livingfash: So there is a good part to it and a bad part, a duality.

The song, where are we going,  what was the concept behind?

WYM : The whole concept of the album is like a Space journey. The first track was OUTRO. Where are we going, is my introspective aspect of this whole world, there is a lot of chaos going on and young people get discouraged by the reality of what they have in their hands etcetera.. etcetera.. I want to express to those people that you got to do what you want to do, just keep the desire going on and don’t get discouraged that is the mere idea of the track.

So what do you do when you are not writing music?

WYM : I don’t write music everyday I do other stuff, like a few months ago Netflix lunched in Korean, so I can’t stop watching Netflix. I’ve been watching Breaking bad from season one to season five straight none-stop. So that is what I’ve been doing

LF : AAHH.. That so funny cause we’ve been watching a lot of Korean drama on Netflix here.