Welcome to another special edition of our K-SPOTLIGHT series! This time we are very fortunate to be able to interview an upcoming new artist and songwriter who calls herself ‘VIEW’ and also Jade Key, the CEO, producer and composer of the start-up label ‘Jade Key Music’. The team and VIEW work together to release her music so we really think that this double-interview will offer a unique perspective and insight to our readers!
VIEW has an R&B based sound and background to her songwriting, but has combined this with the electronic music that Jade is involved in composing. The result is something a little different from the typical output from the electronic genre, and we think that there is a lot of potential in what we hear.
VIEW has released her debut EP ‘Dear Heart’ which we will be reviewing in our music feature. It is available to read on the blog now! Please support the artist by buying the music! Songs from the EP are available to purchase via iTunes and for streaming on Apple music. You can also find the single ‘Take it away’ on iTunes here.
Make sure to also visit VIEW’s soundcloud page and Jade Key’s soundcloud site to check out their music!
Many thanks go to VIEW and Jade Key for all their efforts in answering the questions in this interview! Their enthusiasm for music is to be admired and we are pleased to present their responses to everyone in this article 🙂
So let’s get started with the interview!
1. Can you tell us a little about how you both started?
Jade: VIEW is an R&B-based singer-songwriter and I was a bassist of the band (언니네 이발관) a long time ago. I was studying electronic music at the Record Factory academy and I met her there. I found that we had a similar taste in music, and started working on music together. This is the beginning of VIEW’s story.
VIEW is the first artist of the label but we plan to release more songs in the future and grow.
2. Do you always agree together on the sound of each track? For example, ‘Take it Away’ is tropical house/EDM genre which seems to be trending in the Korean music scene over the last few months. Did you make the choice to do music of this style because it is popular? Or was VIEW interested in trying something different?
Jade: VIEW wanted to do something in the tropical house genre and I was able to work on it because I like to pursue trendy dance music. I made a track and sent it to VIEW, so it was also a genre that I wanted to do. She listened to the track I was working on, recorded the melody in an hour and sent it back to me. She also composed the lyrics.
3. VIEW recently released her ‘Dear Heart’ EP. Did you both write a list of songs and choose 4 for the EP or did you plan the concepts and then write the tracks? How do you usually work together to make music?
VIEW: While we were making the ‘Dear Heart’ album, we didn’t plan any concept before Jade began writing some tracks. First he wrote several that were based on futuristic, tropical, mixed hiphop beats, and R&B genres. Then I chose some of these and sung a rough melodic line. After we had some tracks with melodies to hand, I decided the concept of this album, deciding each of the titles and making lyrics using our ‘sketch’ tracks.
While working on this album, we would have weekly meetings at Jade’s studio. We shared basic concepts about the songs and as soon as any special ideas about the melody came to mind, we would record right away.
Jade: At first I took a completely separate role when it came to songwriting. There wasn’t a recording studio available at that time. But while working on this album, we were able to meet and share a lot of ideas about arrangements. We found that the consistency and colour of the album became much clearer when we worked together rather than separately.
4. What happens if you do not agree on something when you are songwriting?
VIEW: We usually don’t clash when songwriting and aren’t afraid of sharing our opinions with each other. When we accept different ways of looking at things, we achieve a better sound anyway.
5. VIEW, where did you study? Do you both think your background and learning prepared you well for starting a career in music? Or did you have to learn things on your own? What did you find difficult at the beginning?
VIEW: I graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego. I was studying psychology in my freshman year but changed major to music production and sound engineering. Life in NY was really dynamic. Living in another country is always exciting and inspires me!
At the beginning, I felt that composing a song was definitely not easy. Even though I wasn’t prepared to become a singer, I became one. I think that this world doesn’t impose limits or rules about working or making any kind of career for yourself. To me, the passion and personal belief that I have in pursuing music pushes me not to give up.
Jade: I was a bassist in an underground rock band a long time ago, but my main job was working as a game developer. Two years ago, I found Logic Pro X and was interested in making music without having to rely on the help of a performer. I decided to study midi by myself and attend the Record Factory academy last year. Now that I think back on it, that was a very good decision 🙂 I am now focusing on working with VIEW and composing Kpop songs.
“Even though I wasn’t prepared to become a singer, I became one. I think that this world doesn’t impose limits or rules about working or making any kind of career for yourself. To me, the passion and personal belief that I have in pursuing music pushes me not to give up.”
6. How did you both meet Mute of Chillwithus? How did it happen that he came to work with you?
VIEW: I met Mute from the Record Factory Academy during my summer vacation. At that time, I learned about several tools and composition skills from him.
After I graduated, I got a job for a while in a recording studio in music entertainment in Korea but it was not what I wanted. I decided to take Mute’s course one more time, and it just so happened that Jade and I met there!
7. Would you ever consider making an acoustic version or a song that is more simple, to allow VIEW’s voice to shine on its own?
VIEW: It would be great to make an acoustic version! Maybe we will try that in a live performance.
8. How have you been able to balance working on music and making a living?
VIEW: I plan to focus on making music this month, but will need to get a part-time job.
Jade: I haven’t had much time to start working with composing teams, but a few songs that I’ve made have been sold to idol groups.
9. What artists or producers do you admire or like to listen to?
VIEW: There are several artists that I admire! SZA, Kelani, and Daniel Caesar’s music are in my favourite playlist and I also like the producers, “The Underdogs”. I feel more inspiration when I listen to music from abroad.
10. Jade, the music you are creating now is so different from rock which you used to do! What made you think to change musical style?
Jade: When I played in a band, rock was the most popular genre of music back then. However, the flow of the times meant that rock was replaced by hiphop and now it has again changed; this time to EDM.
I always want to pursue the most trendy and exciting music at the time. I have incorporated this thinking into making music with VIEW and it will continue to evolve according to the changing trends of the future.
The possibilities of EDM are infinite. For example, if you listen to David Guetta’s music, his early and present music are completely different. It continues to evolve and starts trends. I’m very interested in what EDM has to offer.
11. We were very impressed that VIEW can think of a melody so quickly after being sent the basic track by Jade. Has this always been something that has been easy for you to do? And how do you think of lyrics?
VIEW: When we were working on ‘Take it Away’ I was able to get the melody instinctively. After this work, I have been struggling with generating choruses and memorable melodies. I edited a lot of melodies as part of the Dear Heart EP album.
With regard to lyrics, I ask Jade first about the theme and mood of the song. Then I use my sketch melodies and just vocalise words without any particular meaning. In my experience, I will naturally be able to write something while I sing (I tend to sing along to my sketch melodies in English because I find it to be more comfortable than Korean!).
12. Jade, what role do you like to adopt now (producer or artist)? If one day EDM was replaced by another genre as being most popular, would you be open to change again?
Jade: I see myself as a producer of popular music rather than an artist. I want to make music that may people will like to listen to. I will try out several genres (though I cannot make music such as ballad and jazz), but the point that will not change is that I will always be striving to make trendy and exciting music.
“The point that will not change is that I will always be
striving to make trendy and exciting music.”
13. When you think about performing in the future, are your feelings only of excitement or do you have any fears or doubts? Are you naturally extroverted in personality and find it easy to stand on stage?
VIEW: I can’t really imagine how nervous I will be on stage at first, but I’m sure that I will enjoy singing with the audience and communicating with them more. I don’t have an extremely extroverted personality but can really focus on my own music when performing.
14. Do you have any interests besides music?
VIEW: I am interested in collecting pictures that inspire me, and making films! At some time in future I would like to make a romantic movie. I collect photo collection books, such as the one by Los Angeles-based photographer Gray Malin, called ‘BEACHES’.
15. How easy is it to contact people in the music industry to help and work with you during these early stages? Is it more difficult to ask someone to give you time and attention when your reputation hasn’t been established yet?
VIEW: It is difficult to contact someone to help or work with without having some form of reputation or nice portfolio to hand. That’s why we made the album and released it ourselves into the music industry!
16. In a competitive music industry where there are so many artists doing similar genres, what do you think is different about you and your music compared to other singer-songwriters?
VIEW: I think our songs are unique in combining the characteristics of future sound with an R&B vocal style.
17. Where do each of you see yourselves in 5 years? Do you have a long-term goal or any big dreams that you would love to achieve?
VIEW: I hope that in 5 years, our composing team will have the opportunity to work with great musicians. Also I would be so happy to imagine that my song will be played on everyone’s playlist!
Jade: After 5 years, I would still be working with VIEW. By then, we would have become famous producers, growing our talented juniors, and developed into a big label. I believe that our dreams will be achieved if we continue to work as hard as we are now.
18. How do you plan to improve your own skills from now on?
Jade: I think the only way to improve would be to keep making songs. It would be meaningless to only store ideas in my head. Whether the result is good or bad, writing music will allow me to continually create, record and release my experiences out into the world. Beethoven and Mozart composed more than 1000 musical works, and so it is said that from this, a masterpiece was produced. I will also make sure not to take too much pride in the skills that I have. That kind of thinking will hold me back from challenging myself with new things when trends change in the music scene.
VIEW: I’ll keep making music and improving my skills on instruments like piano, guitar and bass etc. I believe that playing an instrument gives me intensive energy to create musical ideas.
19. Who do you consider to be a person that you admire or role model? Why did you choose that person, and in what way do they influence you?
Jade: At the time that I was doing rock music, my role model was Kurt Cobain and when I transitioned into electronic music, it became Daft Punk. Now I am influenced by listening to various genres of music rather than wanting to resemble anyone. I wish to be a recognised producer in the electronic music scene.
VIEW: Kehlani is my role model in many ways. Her lyrics, dance, voice, dance movement and fashion are all amazing. I feel like she is always unapologetically herself, a strong young woman who always ‘keeps it running’. The lyrics in tracks from “Cloud 19”, “You Should Be Here” and “SweetSexySavage” help me to overcome tough issues and remember that it’s okay to be a little crazy sometimes.
I want to share the thoughts gained from my own life experiences by being brave enough to speak truthfully like her. What Kelani puts into her music truly shows; I hope that I will also be able to have my own unique style of music.
(Responses have been edited for clarity with permission from VIEW and Jade Key)
That brings us to the end of our interview with VIEW and Jade Key! We hope you enjoyed reading this one; we think they did a good job! Thanks again to both of them for making time for us 😀 Read our review of VIEW’s debut EP ‘Dear Heart’ on the blog now– Don’t miss it!
Featured image and in-article images source: © VIEW and Jade Key Music. 17.08.2017. All photographs were provided directly from the artist for specific use in this article.
© Interview with VIEW and Jade Key. 19.08.2017. Inspire Me Korea.