In this episode of Artist Spotlight, guest writer Amy shares her passion for the HIGHGRND collective offonoff.
The Discovery: offonoff
offonoff are a collective of the sub-label HIGHGRND. The duo consists of vocalist/lyricist Colde, and producer/DJ 0channel. The artists are also members of Club Eskimo, an underground hip-hop crew formed by DEAN in 2015.
I don’t quite remember exactly when I stumbled across offonoff, but I’m certain it was through the ritual of clicking of related videos on YouTube. I came across a song that immediately caught my attention ‘Photograph.’ I must have replayed this song more than twenty times just in that afternoon. ‘Photograph’ is where it all started for me.
Fast forward a few weeks, I attended a hip-hop festival featuring a number of different Korean artists. While listening to some opening acts, I noticed a familiar voice: it was offonoff’s ‘Photograph.’ The unique live vocals of Colde caught me off guard — it was really something else. After that hip-hop festival, I went home and began researching offonoff, only to discover very little information online (at least not in English). I found their YouTube and SoundCloud links easily enough, but I wanted to know more about the duo behind the music.
A Google search will state that offonoff falls under the genre “kpop” but it seems like this a frequent tribulation when English writers are putting up information about Korean artists. The term “kpop” seems to be an umbrella term which doesn’t really define the distinct styles that each artist actually falls under. Personally, I think offonoff’s style gives more of an alternative indie/R&B/electro fusion feel.
Colde (Kim Hee-Su) and 0channel (Seo Ji-Ho) were both born in 1994 and were discovered by DEAN through SoundCloud, and subsequently invited the duo to join Club Eskimo. They released their first album Mood in 2015, and subsequently their singles “Photograph” and “Moon, 12:04am” in 2016.
Their second album Boy (July 2017) is one of my most played albums of all time. This album was so beautifully articulated! This album features a number of artists, including Club Eskimo members DEAN, Punchnello, Rad Museum, Miso (another underrated artist), as well as Tablo of EPIK HIGH. I feel that this album absolutely requires a listen (from start to finish) to appreciate the full effect of offonoff. Each track flows seamlessly into each other and the album as a whole is a nice listen from the first track to last.
My 5 ultimate offonoff song picks:
- Photograph – a song about sharing a moment with someone “as if the world has stopped” like a photograph
- Overthinking – as the title suggests, offonoff describe beautifully how we feel during a long night when we are overthinking in search for an answer
- Dance – a cute and more upbeat song about a romantic interest who shows the singer new things — and in return, the singer wants to share everything with that person
- Good2Me – another fairly upbeat song about a love so good it makes the singer “feel like Kanye”
- Mind – a short song about missing someone even after a lot of time has passed since parting ways
If you are looking for an artist to soothe your soul and tell those emotions which you can’t quite express yourself, I highly recommend listening to offonoff. There’s no going back though!