I like Flash Flood Darlings a lot, but it’s hard to know what is happening in Seoul. He was kind enough to let me know about a collaboration project he was working on called Floating Island. The one single they have “Parade” was different from other electronic music that I’ve heard recently and I didn’t know anything else about the other members: Changhoon, Boram, and Sungmin.
After listening to the song a few times, I thought it would be great for Floating Island to introduce themselves and let people (myself included) know a bit more about the band and where the collaboration came from.
Can you introduce Floating Island?
Floating Island has electronic sound as a base and we hope to tell a variety of stories that resonate with Korean millennials through our music.
How did the members decide to work together? What else have the members worked on before Floating Island?
Changhoon wanted to form a band and had his eyes on Boram and Flash Flood Darlings as members. Boram is a back-up vocalist and Flash Flood Darlings was already active as a solo artist at the time. When the three of us got together, we liked each other’s style and thought something interesting could come up collaborating in a band.
When the three performed for the first time we felt like something was missing, so we asked Sungmin to perform with us for a few shows, but after one show we really like Sungmin’s presence and asked him to join as a member.
When Floating Island was composing “Parade,” how was the collaboration process?
Each member brings something that the other doesn’t have and after working on a few songs together we easily found a good balance for collaborating with each other. In the case of “Parade,” the main melody and structure of the song was made by Changhoon. Changhoon and Boram worked on the lyrics and vocal melody together. Flash Flood Darlings worked on the arrangement with help from Sungmin to lay the drums.
“Parade” has a upbeat dance sound, how did the tone of the song happen? The song is like a mix of a pop rock song mixed with electronic music.
Boram has a lot of influences from rock music and Flash Flood Darlings in electronic music. Changhoon wanted to combine those two influences. You can sense Boram’s influences from her vocals and the guitar arrangement she wrote for the song. The electronic sound can be felt from Flash Flood Darlings arrangement.
Is there more Floating Island music in the works?
We are preparing an EP set to be released at the end of this year.
Why did Floating Island decide to get remixes from KIRARA and Soohyuk?
We were fans of KIRARA and became friends with her by chance. Kirara heard a demo version of “Parade” and proposed that she do a remix. Soohyuk actually performs with Flash Flood Darlings. He’s the guy with the glasses next to Flash Flood Darlings. Soohyuk also mastered a few songs for Floating Island before.
Flash Flood Darlings remixes “Parade,” but he’s also a member of Floating Island. Was the remix more difficult because he worked on the original song?
Changhoon wrote Parade first and had an idea of how the song should sound and Flash Flood Darlings was mainly involved in the arrangement of the song. When working on a song together there has to be some compromises made in terms of each member’s own style. Remixing “Parade” was a chance for Flash Flood Darlings to do it all his way, so it wasn’t so difficult.
Are there any influences that guided the composition of “Parade?”
Changhoon saw a video of Sigur Ros performing on a prairie. It inspired him to visualise a slow parade over a peaceful meadow with a solemn song playing. That’s how the song “Parade” starts; with the snare in a marching beat. Then Changhoon wanted this ‘parade’ to turn into playful children skipping and running, which inspired the upbeat feeling of the chorus.
What are each member’s favorite release of 2015 so far?
Flash Flood Darlings’ favourite release is Hey QT by QT.
Borams favourite release is How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence and the Machine.
Changhoon’s favourite is Communion by Years and Years.
Sungmin’s recent favourite is Black Messiah by D’Angelo.
Korean independent music is getting more attention internationally, but it mainly focuses on rock music. Does Floating Island see electronic music also getting more attention?
We do feel that electronic music is a small portion of the indie scene in Korea. But we feel more and more that genres are overlapping and we think that is helping Korean audiences become more and more open minded to different styles of music.
Anything to say to readers?
This is just the beginning for Floating Island and we hope to make many songs that can resonate with people.