Oh Hee Jung was the vocalist of the band beautiful days who I listened to before. I never really know members of bands that well, unless I’ve met them in person. When she mentioned her EP, Everybody Here Wants You Back, was releasing, I contacted her about it and was able to listen to it.

She has a really distinct style that is sure to get people interested when they hear it. Right after I listened to her album, I asked if she would be interested in introducing herself and she was gracious enough to answer some questions.

oh hee jung

Can you introduce yourself?

이름은 “오희정”이구요 2007년부터 2012년 정규4집 앨범까지 밴드 “beautiful days” 에서 보컬로 활동하였습니다

음악을 시작한건 대학을 졸업한후, 조금 늦었다면 늦었던건데 ^^; 그전까진 음악을 좋아하는 매니아 였고 미술을 전공했었습니다

지금도 음악뿐만 아니라 미술 영화 디자인…모든 문화적인것에 관심이 아주 많아서 앨범아트웤이나 영상작업같은 것은 직접하거나 생각이 맞는 친구들을 섭외해서 같이 하는걸 좋아합니다

My name is Oh Hee Jung and I was the vocalist for a 4-album band called beautiful days that was active from 2007-2012. I started music after I graduated college which can be considered late ^^; Before that, I just was a simple music maniac and majored in Fine Art. Naturally my interests range from music, film, design, or anything cultural. So I like to work directly with my friends on the album artwork, small films.

When did you decide to release a solo EP?

밴드를 할때부터 혼자하는 음악에도 매력을 느꼈었지만 실행에 옮기지는 못하고 언젠가..언젠가는…으로 미루고 있다가

밴드 해체후 반년이상을 구체적인 계획없이 틈틈히 어쿠스틱 기타를 치며 습작정도로만 노래를 만들어 혼자 부르곤했는데

음악을 하지 않는것때문인지 너무너무 고독함에 빠지게 되엇어요

그래서 작년겨울부터 본격적으로 이겨울이 다가기전에 새로운 앨범을 만들고싶다…

라는 소박한 마음으로 곡을 새로 쓰기 시작했습니다.

I was charmed by solo music since I was in a band, but I kept saying “sometime soon.” After the band disbanded, I didn’t have a specific plan for a year, but just playing the acoustic guitar here and there, composing and singing by myself but the fact that I wasn’t actively involved in music gave me an intense void.

So since last winter, I promised myself to release a new album before this winter comes — that was the humble start of my album.

You used Tumblbug to raise money for your EP, how was your experience with the service? Would you use it again to fund another EP?

텀블벅 프로젝트를 시작하게된 이유는 혼자 작업실에만 있는것이 심심하고 외로웠기 때문이었어요 ㅋ

씨디를 제작하는 비용을 마련하는건 사실 그리 큰 이유가 아니었고 수익을 남기려던건 더더욱 아니었죠

내가 새로운 앨범을 만들고 있다는걸 알리고 싶었고 뭔가 대답을 듣고싶었던거 같아요

큰 기대없이 시작한 텀블벅이었는데 기대이상의 많은 사람들의 참여를 보고,

나를 기다려주는 팬이 있다는것이 큰 힘이 되주었어요

텀블벅때문에 앨범발매 날짜라는가 쇼케이스 같은 구체적인 약속들을 미루지 않고 지킬수 있었구요

아티스트는 독립적으로 자기 작품을 제작할수있고, 사람들은 자발적으로 후원을 통해 작품의 가치를 증명해주고

너무 좋은 시스템이라고 생각합니다

물론 다시 하고 싶기도 하지만

한편으론 제작과정이나 비용같은 것들은 비밀에 부치고

완벽하게 완성된 모습으로 짠~! 하고 신비롭게 나타나고 싶기때문에 조금 망설여지네요 ㅎㅎ

The reason that I started Tumblbug was to relieve loneliness from being alone in the studio — It was not because I wanted to get money or profit, for that matter. I just wanted to let people know that I’m working on a new album and wanted to get some kind of feedback.

However, I unexpectedly got a great response and participation, which encouraged me as I could communicate with the fans that were waiting for my new music.

Also, it was a big plus that I was able to be on a schedule for an album release and showcase dates. So I think it’s a good place for artists to be independent and having fans participate to help me prove the value of artists’ work.

I’d definitely reuse it but on the other hand, I’d like to keep the finances secret and stand in front of my audience in a more mystical way. Haha.

How would you describe your music?

저는 테크니컬하게 악기연주를 할수없고 다른 일렉트로닉 뮤지션처럼 그런 사운드를 잘 뽑아낼수도 없었어요

밴드음악에 약간씩 내가 좋아해왔던 일렉트로닉적인 요소를 첨가한다거나

재미삼아 가끔 영상에 어울리는 짧막한 인스투르멘탈 곡을 만드는 정도가 다였죠

하지만 노래는 얼마든지 만들수가 있었어요. 제 하드디스크에는 미발표된 노래들이 정말 많이 있습니다

그래서 가장 심플한 사운드에 심플한 가사와 멜로디를 담자 … 라고 생각햇습니다

스케일이 큰 밴드음악과는 다른 좀 변화된 모습을 보여주고도 싶었구요

제가 좋아하고 표현해낼수있는 소스들을 녹음하고 믹스하다보니 장르를 알수없는 저만의 사운드가 조금은 나온것 같습니다

앨범의 타이틀 “everybody here wants you back” 은

지난 겨울 노래를 하지 않으면서 불만족에 가득했던 제자신에게 하고 싶은 말이기도 했습니다

I am not that great in techniques or get the perfect sounds like electronic musicians. So I mainly worked on adding some aspects of electronica to a band sound or produce some visuals to a piece of instrumental music. But I could make songs for sure — in my hard drive, I have countless songs that weren’t released yet.

In the end, I told myself to write music with simple melody and lyrics. I wanted to also show a different and altered sound from a big band scale.

While I can’t quite pinpoint what the genre is (as I record and mix different sources that I am comfortable to express with), I like that unique part of my sound.

This album’s title is called “Everyone Here Wants you Back” and it is actually something I wanted to tell myself when I felt sad not singing last winter.

What influenced the songs on the EP?

작년에 특히 흑인음악을 많이 들었어요 더불어 재즈도요

배우기 위해서라기 보다 그냥 좋아서 들었죠 (흑인음악의 그느낌은 따라할래야 따라할수가 없어요 ㅋ)

특히Jose James-Black Magic 앨범을 좋아하는데 jazz,RnB흑인보컬에 일렉트로닉과 힙합적인 감각이 섞이면서도

심플하고 그루브하고 아름답고 너무 멋있다고 생각합니다

오래동안 음악을 하면서 가리지않고 모든 음악을 들었는데

그모든 감성이 다 영향을 주었기 때문에 뭐 하나를 꼽기가 어렵네요

사실 만들고 싶었던건 Telepopmusik 같은거였는데 ㅋㅋ

하지만 제가 할수있는건 외국의 그런 유명 아티스트의 음악이 아니라

제 목소리와 감성에 어울리는 그런 음악이더라구요

어디서 들어본듯한 사운드가 아닌 저만의 유니크한 색깔을 만들려고 노력해요

Last year, I listened to jazz a lot and so-called “African American Music” — Not particularly because I wanted to learn about jazz but I just really enjoyed it (Also it’s is really hard to “learn” that kind of music. Haha)

I really appreciated Jose JamesBlack Magic as the smooth and simple mix of jazz, r&b, hip-hop, and electronica that worked beautifully.

Since I started music, I listend to many different genres and each has contributed so it’s really hard to name one. Though, I really wanted to make music like Télépopmusik but staying true to the color of my voice really help me stay focused on my unique sound.

What bands are you listening to now?

Passion Pit, Tame Impala

What do you think of Korean indie music becoming popular outside of South Korea?

한국밴드들이 외국투어도 하고 이제 실감이 나기 시작합니다

한국음악시장자체가 작기때문에 전보다 인디음악을 듣는 유저들이 많아져도

뮤지션들이 설무대는 한정적인데 너무 다행입니다

인디신이 외면받던 시대는 지나가고 인디음악이 챠트에 오르기도 합니다

뮤지션들도 점점 과감해지고 새로워지고 있다고 생각해요

Since Korean bands have started touring internationally, I started to feel it. As Korea’s music market is fairly small (even though the audience has increased), musicians have a hard time to meet their fans so it’s great to hear that there are more opportunities.

People no longer avoid indie music as we sometimes see indie music on the chart and it has to do a lot with indie musicians braving to try new sounds.

Is there any musician who you think deserves more attention?

비틀즈? ㅋㅋ 농담이고요

일본밴드 toe 연주밴드인데 정말 파워풀하면서도 아름답습니다

한국에서 라이브도 두번봤는데 에너지가 대단하고 모던하고

세상에 하나밖에 없는 스타일이라고 생각되요

The Beatles? Haha Just kidding!

There is this Japanese instrumental band called Toe. Their sound is very powerful and yet beautiful. They performed twice in Korea and their energy is incredible. Their style is very modern and I think that their sound is very distinct.

What are your plans for 2013?

새로운 노래를 계속해서 발표하는것이고

6월에 있을 쇼케이스를 시작으로 다양한 뮤지션과 콜라보하면서

작은 클럽들을 돌면서 라이브를 많이 해보고싶습니다

Keep making new music! I will start off with a showcase in June. Also, I plan to collaborate with different musicians and would like to perform at live bars.

Anything to say to readers?

이렇게 조용히 작게 낸 앨범이 코리아인디를 통해 더 많은 분들에게 소개되어 영광입니다

오희정의 음악은 이제 시작일뿐이라고 생각해요 다시 노래를 시작할때 앞으로는 멈추지 않겠다고 생각했으니까요

지켜봐주세요 감사합니다 ^^

It is my honor to introduce my music to koreanindie audience! I will promise you that Oh Heejung’s music just began (since I promised myself that I won’t stop once I start music) so please stay tuned and thank you very much ^^

Oh Hee Jung on Twitter.
Oh Hee Jung on bandcamp.
Oh Hee Jung on iTunes.
Oh Hee Jung on YouTube.
Oh Hee Jung on Soundcloud.


Her EP is one of my favorites so far this year and it’s great to hear that she’s going to be recording more music. The only thing I wish is that she would distribute through bandcamp so that more fans would be able to listen to her music.

It sounds like she’s going to be playing live more often so if you have a chance, go see her live.

Korean Indie Editor-At-Large The person in the background watching over everything.