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Interview with 유카리 (YUKARI)

I found YUKARI through a YouTube video. While I watched electro-pop and synth performers before, they usually just show up with a laptop and play the music through the PA. With YUKARI, she created the loops as the song was playing, creating all the music live. I thought that was really cool to see a musician do live. It seems like it’s a lot of work to create all the beats on the go.

When I heard her EP, Echo, I was amazed at the music and it became my go-to album for a couple weeks. I asked YUKARI to answer questions about being a musician who creates music live and she graciously answered my questions.

yukari

Can you introduce yourself?

안녕하세요, 저는 서울에 사는 유카리라고 합니다. 혼자 노래를 만들고, 부르고,연주하고 있습니다. 2012년 12월에 self-produce한 첫번째 ep ‘Echo’를 발매했습니다.

Hello, my name is YUKARI. I make, sing, and play music by myself. I released my self-produced and first EP “Echo” in December 2012.

How long have you been playing music?

여느 한국의 다른 여자아이들처럼 아주 어렸을때 피아노학원에 다니는 것으로 음악을 접했구요(한국은 그렇습니다!), 음악에 관심이 많았던 아버지 덕에 장난감보다는 피아노, 기타, 베이스 등 여러악기를 가지고 놀며 자랄수 있었습니다. (피아노를 제외하고 정식으로 배운 악기는 없지만요.)
대학에 들어가 전자음악을 전공하면서 전자음악을 접했고, 컴퓨터로 본격적으로 음악을 만들기 시작한 건 1년~1년 반 전부터입니다.

Like a lot of girls in Korea (it’s really like that in Korea!), I started playing the piano since I was really young and that was first time I got into music. Thanks to my dad, who appreciated music, I was able to grow up surrounded by music instruments like piano, guitar, bass instead of toys (though, piano was the only instrument that I got lessons for).
In college, I majored in electric music and that is how I got to start making music with computers for 1-1.5 years.

How do you create your music?

그때그때 상황에 따라 다르지만, 주로 많이 만들어지는 경우를 말씀드리자면..
피아노나 기타앞에 앉습니다. 짧은 테마의 피아노 멜로디 혹은 노래 멜로디를 만듭니다. 컴퓨터로 피아노,마이크로 아무렇게나 녹음해놓고, 다른 악기트랙들도 아무렇게나 녹음해놓습니다.그렇게 70%이상의 노래멜로디가 만들어지면서 동시에 가사를 씁니다. 여러개의 트랙들이 만들어지면 정리하고, 정리가 되면 녹음된트랙을 다 지우고 제대로 녹음하거나, 편집합니다.그리고 mixing를 합니다.

It’s different every time, but usually I start by sitting down in front of a piano and guitar and then start making a short theme for a piano melody or song melody. And then kind of record it by computer and also for other instruments. With this process, when a melody comes together about 70%, I start writing lyrics. As the tracks start developing, I organize the tracks by re-recording or deleting, editing. And then mixing.

Where do you get your influences from?

그때그때 느끼는 나의 감정. 상상보다는 경험들.주로 상실감.외로움,열등감과 같은 감정이 노래를 만들게 합니다.

My every day, spontaneous feelings. Instead of day dreams, I tend to write songs about my experiences such as feeling of void, loneliness, or jealousy.

What do you think of Korean indie becoming more popular internationally?

아주 좋은 현상이라고 생각합니다. 한국의 비주류음악인 인디음악을, 또 그런 인디음악을 한국이 아닌 곳에서 관심을 갖는 다는 것이 대단하고 이런 관심들이 한국인디뮤지션들에게 굉장한 힘을 준다고 생각합니다.

I think it’s amazing. The fact that a subculture of Korea is appreciated somewhere else is truly amazing and this kind of interest gives Korean indie musicians great deal of cheer.

What bands are you listening to now?

‘phantogram’의 “nightlife” 앨범.
한국의 chill-wave 듀오 ‘googolplex’의 ‘blind’앨범

Phantogram‘s album, Nightlife.
Korea’s chill-wave duo called googolplex‘s album, Blind.

What is the charm in electronica?

실물의 악기소리가 아닌, 상상한 이미지의 소리들을 만들 수 있다는 점.

Making a sound that is surreal and in your head.

Are there any difficulties playing your style of music live?

컴퓨터로 먼저 만들어 놓은 음악들이라, 랩탑이 없이 공연을 하면 음원과 같은 사운드를 내기에 까다로운 점이있다.(물론 앨범트랙과 라이브트랙이 같을 필요는 없지만) 그리고, 라이브셋을 짜면 장비가 많아 너무 무겁고 옮기기 힘들다.(나는 레이블이 없고, 혼자 움직이고 있다.) 그래서 여태까지는 최소한의 장비로 라이브를 하고 있었다. 하지만 이제 앞으로는 라이브셋에 여러가지 시도를 해볼 생각이다.

Since it’s already made by computer, if I go to shows without a laptop, it’s harder to reproduce the same sound (not that the album track and live track should be exactly the same).
Also, there is a lot of devices to carry around when I do lives and that’s not too easy (I don’t have a label so I do that all by myself). Thus far, I’ve been trying to be minimal with the devices, but I am going to try different things live.

What are your goals for 2013?

가을쯤, 만족할 수 있는 정규앨범을 내는 것.

Release an album that I’m satisfied with by Fall.

Anything to say to readers?

안녕하세요 관심가져주신 korean indie 관계자 여러분과 이 글을 읽는 여러분 감사합니다.
조만간 아이튠즈에도 ‘echo’앨범이 등록될 예정이니 찾아주시면 감사하겠습니다. :) (현재 e-bay에서는 소량의 cd를 판매중입니다.:)
모두 재밌는 나날들을 보내시길! 안녕~!

Hi everyone! Thank you to Korean Indie people and their readers for reading this interview!
Soon, I will have my album “Echo” will be iTunes so please check it out :) (Currently, I am selling a small amount of CDs on e-Bay.)

Yukari on Facebook.
Yukari on Twitter.
Yukari’s site.
Yukari on soundcloud.
Yukari on bandcamp.
Yukari on iTunes.


As a self-produced musician, YUKARI makes impressive music. With her music available digitally on bandcamp and now on iTunes, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t own her EP. If I had heard of her before the end of 2012, this would have definitely gone on my best of 2012 list.

Editor-at-large and owner of KoreanIndie.com. Spends tons of time listening to music and watching live videos.

2 Comments

  1. She’s brilliant! I hope i can catch her live when im going to korea^^

    • When are you going? She is planning on only performing until March, then start working on her new album.

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