Read Gray’s interview with the Korean Herald from one year ago.
[Issue Interview] ‘Hip Saeng Hip Sa’ Gray: “hip hop is my every-day life, I just tell my stories”
Article posted on 11/06/2013 06:01 p.m.
Hip hop singer Gray has made a comeback with his new mini album ‘Call Me Gray’. Although he is not known to the general public, he’s already well-known in the underground. With the mini album, he is determined to make his name and his music clearly known.
Gray has released his album already on 25th of last month. The reactions are so good, it is difficult to find criticism from fans who have listened to the album. Just like he was determined to do, he appeared in front of the public with a good album.
“With the album, I wanted to make the singer Gray well-known. People might not recognize me because I’m not on TV but when they hear one of my songs, I want them to say ‘This is Gray’s song’. I haven’t sung only ’ 깜빡’ [Blink], I want to make people interested in the singer Gray from now on too.”
Just like he wished, the title of the album is literally Call Me Gray. Since it contains his own stories, his own opinions were reflected a lot more than ever during the making of the album. Even Jay Park was considerate to let Gray work freely on the album.
“Above all, the album shows my opinions. I could say, it flowed the way I wanted it to. If I ‘wear clothes that don’t fit me,’ the public notices that first. Since I made the album the way it is, I think the reaction of the public is better. If I don’t know how to do it, I should leave it to experts, but I think one needs to be stubborn. I’m an artist.”
“Hip Saeng Hip Sa”. It means to live with hip hop and to die with hip hop. For him, hip hop is a [way of] life and a culture.
“For me, hip hop is every-day life. That’s why the songs contain my stories. Other people’s stories aren’t important. Regarding the attitude, I just need to think it’s right and feel that it’s cool. Once, a young fan asked me if there were any swearwords in my rap. My music has a ‘soft’ feeling. I think that’s because I’m not angry about anything right now and because I’m happy. I’m not doing hip hop to appear strong.”
Maybe because of that attitude, even when he’s on a break, he looks for places with hip hop music. Clothing, accessories, people etc., there’s nothing that’s not connected to hip hop.
“When I work, I’m absorbed into it and don’t move an inch for 10-12 hours. In other words, I’m totally scruffy when I work. I don’t really wash myself and don’t sleep either. Since I have to work when it’s going well. When I think it doesn’t work, I can’t get any work done at all. At times like those, I meet friends who make music and talk with them, and rest thoroughly. That way, I sometimes get new ideas. I really like that because I gain parts I couldn’t think of. If it’s not connected to work, I think it’s meaningless. Since that is the most fun and enjoyable.”
He, who is all about hip hop, once majored in computer engineering. He had followed the wish of his parents, hoping for him to have a stable occupation. But he came back this way [to music].
“If I weren’t doing music, I’d have become a normal employee at an IT firm. After leaving university, what I wanted more than looking for a stable job was to do music. If I hadn’t been able to persuade my parents, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
Belief in oneself is needed for giving up on something in order to walk one’s own way. Gray, who said that he wanted to do music, believed in himself.
“If I had no sense of rhythm or sound at all, it would have been different. ‘I’m the best. I can do well,’ was what I thought when I started. I think only oneself can have that feeling. Still, when you see someone extremely talented, you could have a slump and blame yourself. Nevertheless, such a slump brings another kind of inspiration too. Writing a song while imagining something is really difficult. In the end it’s about experiences, so I want to experience a lot of different things.”
Gray’s greed for music has no end. He is dreaming of the day when he can produce his own songs completely, from start to finish.
“I’ve left the work I’m not good enough at to experts for now, but I want to produce something that I have completely made on my own. That’s why I’m also studying mixing and mastering, I also pay a lot of attention to the artwork. I have a tendency for self-contentment. That means, something that reflects me is the best. I don’t want to have any lingering feelings or regrets later if I haven’t tried things like these.”
Now Gray has officially started to make himself known to the public. His determination to appear in front of the public is also unique.
“From now on, I also want to work with other people and have concerts. I also want to quickly plan my next album and prepare something, while reflecting and accepting the feedback for this album. I always feel that I lack something and it’s correct that I have to grow more, I think it’s good that I still have some way to go. It’s not over with this [album], I’ve just let people know that I’ve started. I’ll make you always look forward to the next [release] and produce good music. Music is fun when listened to with others, so if you enjoy it, spread the word here and there.”
Gray is ‘properly’ working on something. We’re looking forward to with what kind of music he will entertain the fans’ ears, as a singer instead of a producer.
Reporter Jo Jeong-won of the Issue team /chojw00@
—[ SOURCE | KOREAN HERALD ]