The K-SPOTLIGHT is back! We are excited to present a double part feature on K-indie artist UZA, who specialises in electronic and acoustic styles of music. UZA was kind enough to allow us to interview her, so this first part of the K-SPOTLIGHT will allow Inspire Me Korea readers to learn about UZA as a music artist, her passion for song-writing, her favourite places and much, much more! She plays so many different instruments and also has an eye for fashion too 🙂 This is one of our most insightful interviews, so is definitely a worthy read, thank you UZA!
We found her enthusiasm to be wonderfully infectious and charming, and it certainly comes across in this interview! We really admire the artists that give so much of themselves into all stages of the musical process, and UZA is one of them. So make sure to read the second part of the K-SPOTLIGHT with UZA to listen to some of her music and most importantly, lend your support and spread the word!
Support UZA by buying her music on iTunes or Google Play!
1. Can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your preferred styles of music?
Hello guys! My name is UZA. I’m a musician who lives in South Korea. I have two different styles to my music. The first style is acoustic, and the other is electronic. I am always making my own songs, and always thinking about how to express myself. I love all types of music but I especially love electronic music, R&B, and acoustic. I love the feeling of a warm mood.
2. Can you tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
I changed my genre only 1 year ago. From acoustic to electronic. And during my electronic performances, I always sit on the ground with my beautiful blanket. Another interesting fact is umm…my personality is really like the wind, in that I mean that I’m a really free person.
An awesome shot of UZA performing whilst sitting on a blanket! 🙂
3. How long have you been pursuing music and what attracted you to a musical career?
It might be when I was 11 years old that I started getting into music, I really took to music by ‘Shakira’ and ‘Britney Spears’ so I always searched for their music videos, albums etc. And when I had grown up; when I was a middle school student, I was really into rock music so I always listened to hard styles of music like ‘Nirvana’, ‘Hole’, ‘Metallica’ etc. So my childhood was always fully about music.
4. Some people write music to express themselves and some write to convey a message to others. What kind of artist would you say you are?
It is a really typical answer, but honestly I am both. Because when I was young, I wrote music to express myself and my thoughts, but these days I want to convey a message to people. The song that I wrote most recently, called ‘Literary Girl’ was written for my friend. That song is a really hopeful song.
5. Do you find it easy to translate your ideas into songs? Can you describe your song-writing process? And where do you find your inspiration from?
I think it’s totally easy for me. Because writing a song is just like talking with friends or painting. It’s really a natural way of working. My process is different everytime, but usually I pick a keyword from my thoughts, I go through a period of imagining what I want, and then I just write with my digital audio workstation (Abletone Live).
Using her electronic workstation, UZA creates interesting music © UZA. 20.02.2017.
6. When did you start to learn instruments? Were you self-taught or did you have lessons?
I learned piano when I was 7 years old. All Korean children attend an academy, lol. So I learned piano at the academy. I self-taught myself guitar at 21 years old, and I can also play the theremin. That is self-taught too. (Note: a theremin is a type of electronic instrument)
7. Do you find that it’s easier to promote your music because we live in an age of technology, social media and YouTube? Or are there different challenges?
Yeah I think so, it’s a little bit easier than in the past. I’m a super beneficiary of technology. It has allowed me to learn about music, art etc. and has allowed me to meet with you guys! I’m so excited! But I want to do different challenges. I like vintage stuff, so I want to promote my music in the way they did in the past too. For example, make a vinyl album!
She dresses in a laid-back style in this performance!
8. In what direction do you see your music heading? Are you mainly interested in writing more electronic songs?
Yeah. In the future, and even now, my main genre will be electronic. Because I think my electronic tracks will easily be associated with me.
9. What kind of venues do you perform in at the moment? Which are you favourite stages?
I usually perform at Hongdae! And my favourite stage is ‘Freebird’.
10. We love your cover versions and also noticed that you listen to music from the UK! How do you discover music and how do you approach making a cover? Do you prefer to stay true to the original or create something in your own style?
I really love UK music. And that usually forms the basis of my own music. I’m always searching about music on YouTube or Apple music (I only use Apple music for streaming. The Korea streaming system is a little bit weird). And when I’m making a cover, it comes naturally too. Like writing a song! I get hooked on a song! Then I always listen to that track, before long I can’t wait and I’m singing that track.
So I make a cover video 🙂 I prefer to create something in my own style. Because the original is an original. Nobody can make it the same. So that’s why I prefer to create in my own style!
A happy UZA singing at the keyboard during a daytime show
11. What are your favourite songs, artists and bands that can be found on your own playlist right now?
My favourite song now is called ‘Don’t Look Back’ by Miguel. My favourite artist is Burial these days. I love his musical values and his artistry. He is super awesome. And my favourite band is always Simple Minds from the UK!
12. What are your goals for 2017? What are your hopes and dreams for your music?
My goal for 2017 is making my EP! And I hope I will be more developed and famous, so that many people can listen to my music.
13. Are you involved in any other projects or hobbies in your spare time?
Yeah. My hobbies are to walk around beautiful places in Seoul. And to create beauty things! I’m really enthusiastic about cosmetics!
One of UZA’s favourite pictures © UZA. 20.02.2017
14. Can you describe your ideal day?
Like today! Wake up – eat breakfast – work out – eat lunch – work on music in the sunshine – and take care of puppies for the rest of the day!! (I have to take care of my friend’s puppies for 2 weeks because he has to travel to Europe!)
15. What is your favourite place in Korea, and why?
The palace!! Seoul has a really beautiful palace. That space is really traditional and beautiful. It always makes me happy, day or night.
Outdoor photoshoot time!
16. Where might you take your friends?
My hometown is Hongdae, so I would take my friends there. Hongdae is a really fancy space, and a hub for K-indie. I would also take friends to Gyeongbokgung (the palace), that is a traditional place with beautiful views. When I feel blue, I will always go to Gyeongbokgung. It is a place that feels really peaceful to me.
17. What is your favourite clothing style for a normal day?
My favourite style is also known as swagger or hipster style lol but I usually wear sportswear. My daily routine is to go workout and then do something related to my music so I have to wear a comfortable style.
18. Are you a city-lover or do you like going to see some countryside?
I prefer the countryside! But it must have a beautiful café. I love working inside a beautiful café and I love seeing nature. I like taking photographs and videos, so if I lived in the countryside that has a nice natural view, I would always be working hard making lots of videos and taking lots of photos!
19. Where would you like to travel if you could pick any place in the world?
I would like to go to Europe, especially the UK! Because I really love the British style of music. I want to meet Hurts, FKA Twigs, Simple Minds, Mansun and Def Leppard if I can!
UZA playing acoustic guitar, are you amazed with how talented she is yet?! © UZA. 20.02.2017
20. How would you describe what living and growing up in Korea is like to an outsider?
Living and growing up in Korea allows you to learn to have patience lol. Many foreign people might think that South Korea is a little bit dangerous, but I feel that Korea is a really safe and peaceful place. My foreign friend from the UK said that the Korean lifestyle is too busy, with no rest, however I hope that this bad side of Korean culture will disappear.
Responses have been edited for clarity with the artist’s permission.
Please support the artist by buying her music on iTunes or Google Play! We will be showcasing some of UZA’s music and performances in our K-Spotlight special music feature. UPDATE: This is now published on the blog so click here to read it!
Featured image and in-article images source: © UZA. Images were kindly provided directly from UZA or reproduced with permission from her official Facebook page.
© Interview with UZA. Inspire Me Korea. 29.04.2017.