When Foundation Records sent koreanindie the press release of Smells‘ EP, I didn’t think much of it. Since I didn’t know who Smells was and the fact that I had a lot of other music to listen to, I let the email sit for a little while.

Then I saw the email again and decided to listen to Up and Down. I shouldn’t have waited. The EP is one of the big surprises for 2013. Since DJ and dance music isn’t something I’m knowledgeable about, I was more drawn to the guest vocalists. With Up and Down, it’s something new and fresh.

Smells was nice enough to agree to an interview and he gave some great answers.


Can you introduce yourself?

This is Smells. I’m making beats which can make people dance to the groove especially in their bedroom. I’m living in Seoul and I’m a man.

How did you decide to remix “Ma Boy” by Sistar and “Sweet Dream” by MFBTY?

About the Sistar remix.. my label, FOUNDATION RECORDS, got offers from Sistar’s management company.
I’m really a fan of Sistar. Specially I love the voice of Hyorin, member of Sistar. So the remix work was really fun to me.

About MFBTY, I produced the track “Sweet Dream” and Tiger JK wanted me to make a stronger version of original version and that was the remix.

“Sweet Dream” was the first original track I produced for another artist and I was really happy to work with the talented and professional artists in MFBTY (Tiger JK, Yoon Mirae and Bizzy).

How would you describe your style as a producer?

I really like hip-hop and house music and all kinds of dance music that can make your head move.

When I was 16, I used to listen to hip-hop and R&B and came to love soul and disco music.

There are so many music styles in the world. I’m focusing on beat-based music with electronic sounds. The most important part of my music is the drum beats and bass, I guess.

Up and Down’s three main songs (“All Night Long, Listen to your Heart, Up and Down”) each have a different tone while containing a central theme – what kind of mood and feeling did you want to convey?

Yes, I made each track’s tone different. And I hoped people knew what Smells’ sound is.
Each track has a different tempo, but all the tracks sound like what I really loved from when I was a kid.
I don’t know what it is exactly, but I think I like something bright and grooving.

How did the collaboration with the artists happen?

After I finished the tracks, my label sent my demo to each artist that I wanted to work with.

Son Seungyeon and Neon Bunny liked my demo and they were willing to sing on my tracks. I really appreciated it.

Demicat is an electronic music producer and also my good friend. We usually discuss about new beat music.

Dance music is mainly seen through Kpop, as a producer what challenges do you have when creating music?

I’m very happy my music is introduced by the Kpop scene. More people can listen my tracks through the Kpop boom.

Each time I’m just focusing on making good music and the good sound I have in my head.

Are there any other artists you would like to collaborate with?

Yoon Mirae, Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men, Snoop Dogg.

Where can someone in Seoul go to see great DJ performances?

I recommend Club Cakeshop in Itaewon. I used to play there. They play sweet music like bass, garage, hip-hop, trap, and disco.

Hope you like it there 🙂

How has the reception been with Up and Down?

I think I got some fans from all over the world, haha..

Do you plan to release more music soon?

Yes I’m making a new Smells’ single and I’m planning to release a full-length album at the end of this year.

These days I’m constantly working with MFBTY and I got some offers to produce some original tracks for Korean idol groups.

Korean music is becoming global, how do you see it expanding more? You released Up and Down on iTunes, how was your experience with it?

I think the most important thing is that all artists should make good music as their own style.

I’m just happy to release my EP is on iTunes. Get these tracks if you like it 🙂

Anything to say to listeners?

Thanks for listening my MP3s or streaming, fellas. It’s really amazing and exciting to me.
Hope you keep dancing in your bedroom. I’m throwing everything I can at this year. Keep in touch with my twitter @smellsgoood 🙂

Smells on Facebook.
Smells on Twitter.
Smells on iTunes.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started listening to Smells, but his EP is amazing and tons of fun. With new music on the way and his work with MFBTY, it looks like he’s just getting started.

It will be interesting to see how far he goes with his music and since he’s making music that he likes, I’m sure anything he produces will be enjoyable.

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