This month’s interview is with electronica group Lofibaby, comprising two members, SAY and ZO. We first noticed them as part of the roster of artists at the 2018 Zandari Festa showcase festival. Lofibaby are a group that invests much thought into the delivery of their music, and in more ways than one. They have an interest in framing their music with graphics and visuals as well as pairing it with a novel which they included with their first album [N]. SAY’s R&B vocals match well with ZO’s electronic sound, and they seem to have fun creating music together. Progress has been made over recent months as they earned a nomination in the best dance and electronic album category for [N] at the Korean Music Awards 2019 and have been playing some bigger stages too. Keep an eye out for them as the quality of their songs have been very high thus far. We recommend you listen to two songs as a good introduction to Lofibaby’s sound; the first is called ‘Sunset’ and the second is ‘Or’ which features YESEO; one of our previous indie picks. Still looking for more? Then check out the grand nature of ‘World’ which Lofibaby consider to be their best song.
Special thanks to ZO for helping with our interview. Support Lofibaby by buying their music, which is available on iTunes or Amazon. Follow them on their social media links which you can find at the end of this article.
Can you introduce Lofibaby to our readers? What do you enjoy about the music you create?
Lofibaby makes music based on electronic and R&B genres.
SAY: I like the freedom and imagination.
ZO: I like the process of developing, realizing, and creating something.
How did you define Lofibaby’s sound? Did you have good ideas about what type of music you wanted to make in your album [N]?
The ideas that we formulate in our heads come together as SAY’s R&B vocals and ZO’s electronic sound. This album contains a novel put together with storytelling. The music has been made to match the background and mood of the story.
How many instruments do you typically use?
We started with guitar, and now we are trying to use as many different instruments as possible like the piano, drum, bass, and controller.
At the beginning, you didn’t have much knowledge about how to promote music. How have things changed now?
Our knowledge still isn’t perfect. There are good people close to us who help. We worked hard together. We participated in several contemporary artist showcases and as we experienced it ourselves we have been through many trials and errors. Nevertheless, we still love our music and have become more daring because of these experiences.
What was the reaction from people around you about the unconventional choice you made about choosing to do music rather than pursue another job?
SAY: My mother used to dream of becoming an artist too, so she supported me in my choice.
ZO: At first, people were very concerned about me dropping out of college to become an independent musician, but now they support me the most.
What inspires you to write music and what do you enjoy writing about? What motivates you?
SAY: The desire to say what I want through music is what moves me.
ZO: Materializing the concepts and ideas that we imagined is thrilling for me. It’s f***ing awesome.
How do you work together during the writing process? How do you complement each other?
SAY sketches out the melody and writes the lyrics while ZO applies the colours in the production. Then the finished track is dressed to fit Lofibaby’s style through the use of videos and visuals.
What do you feel are the advantages and disdvantages to being independent musicians?
The fact that everything we make is through our own hands is both good and bad. It is satisfying in the sense that we have creative freedom in all aspects, but there are times where that becomes hard on us, both physically and economically.
How do you find venues to perform? How aware are you of the audience reaction when you are playing?
We mostly get invited to shows through e-mails or by being contacted through social media. For solo performances we have found a place to do both our music and exhibits. When we are up on the stage we only focus on doing a good job as looking at the audience and their reactions distracts us.
How was your experience of Zandari Festa in 2018? Which other groups impressed you?
This was the first festival we ever did so it was the exceptionally moving for us. We were amazed by the other artists’ professionalism and experienced the passion of the crowd and fans who came to see the artists. The people who helped organize the festival did a great job.
Are Korean listeners willing to listen to new groups regularly? How do you plan to overcome the challenges of being noticed amongst more established artists?
ZO: These days, the trend in the Korean charts is for the music to be diverse. I believe I am ready to learn about new music. It’s not just simply about releasing music and overcoming differences between artists but rather trying to create content that matches the new mediums.
What do you think has been the biggest challenge for Lofibaby so far?
The release of the novel with our first album and our solo concert.
How did you meet Jeong Jin for the Lofizone project? Will you work together again in the future?
ZO: I met Jin as a staff member at one of my outside shoots and we became friends. However, we are planning to continue building the world together as Lofibaby from now on.
Do you think you will consider using more graphics and visuals in your performances in the future?
We like to incorporate storytelling into our music, and to effectively deliver it – we need visual elements.
What are your thoughts after releasing your first album [N]? What was the concept of the album, the meaning of the [N] and the thoughts behind the artwork?
ZO: I felt a lot of stress before the release but afterwards I felt a rush of emotions like pride and comfort, and surprisingly, also emptiness.
People talk about the process of chasing something. The blue bar on the left of the [N] album artwork signifies S from the novel, and the various bars on the right represent different values that can be N (such as the pursuit of money, love, religion, attention, etc.) The red line (in contact with the N) helps to form the actual letter N.
What is your favourite Lofibaby track and what are the reasons for your choice?
We like WORLD the best, because S and N were able to become one perfectly in this song. Honestly, while we were writing WORLD we knew this would be our best song.
Is it possible for you to do music full-time, or will you need to look for other jobs to fund Lofibaby?
During the early days we needed to work part-time jobs but now we are able to make money through our activities and music lessons.
How do you like to rest and relax in between projects?
SAY: I have a lot of hobbies. I read a lot and rest by having some alone time. ZO: I like sleeping the most and I’m always thrilled to spend time alone in different ways. My favorite thing is actually doing housework.
What are your ambitions for Lofibaby overall; do you see yourselves as a global group or only being well-known in Korea?
We are very ambitious. We are curious to see how far we will go, and we are not limited to Korea. We want to become a global group.
What are you feelings about your achievements in 2018? Are you optimistic about 2019 and what are your plans and goals for this year?
Oddly enough, most of our goals have been accomplished. That’s why we are motivated to look ahead at 2019 with a positive view. This year we are preparing some fun projects and have set our goals higher than the ones we have achieved. Keep a look out for us.
Lofibaby’s social media links:
Feature image and in-article images © Lofibaby. 04.04.2019. All rights reserved. Copyright belongs to the artist. Images were used with permission from Lofibaby. No reproduction is permitted.
© Interview with Lofibaby. 04.04.2019. Inspire Me Korea.