This month’s interviewee is RIPLEY, an independent artist and singer-songwriter. We’ve been following her music output for some time now, witnessing a growing confidence in composition, demonstrated by more frequent uploads onto Naver and SoundCloud. During January 2019, RIPLEY announced her first official digital release, a single called ‘Ocean‘.
RIPLEY’S music is dreamy and fluid, normally contrasted against a strong thumping beat. Her voice finely treads the line between comfort and grit; with the overarching effect resulting in a mellow vibe, and yet her delivery still manages to convey a street wise knowledge of the world. On other tracks she adopts an approach that borders on a whisper, with lines floating delicately like dying embers giving out against the darkness of the night.
She switches between Korean and English in a seamless way, and sings her own backing vocals. RIPELY demonstrates a good grasp of knowledge when using sound effects, vocal sampling and instrumentals to emphasize particular notes, phrases and measures. It helps to make her music evocative and bring it alive. RIPLEY has a cool and collected style; her music is perfect for night time listening and is ideal as a backdrop for listeners getting lost in their own thoughts.
There are many RIPLEY tracks that we could recommend. The most recent single (Ocean) is very good, as is her collaboration with SLCHLD (Emotions), but we have chosen one of the most interesting RIPLEY tracks as a good place to start, titled ‘Dream.’ We’ve included a few more track recommendations in the blog version of this article.
Below is our interview with this promising new artist, which we are pleased to present to our Inspire Me Korea readers. Support RIPLEY by purchasing Ocean on major music platforms, including Apple Music, Bugs, Genie Music and Melon.
Please introduce yourself and your music to our readers. How did you choose your stage name?
Hello, I’m RIPLEY, a singer-songwriter. My name was inspired by RIPLEY’s syndrome. (Editor’s note: this is a psychological condition where a person crafts a sense of self from fantasy)
Where does your interest in music come from? Do you play any musical instruments?
I’ve always liked singing from a young age. I love to listen to music and I listen to a lot of different genres.
Later on, I started thinking, “How can I determine the music that I wish to sing?” And then I decided to make it myself.
I can play both the piano and guitar.
What kind of music did you listen to when growing up?
When I was very young, I used to listen to a lot of K-pop, but ever since I was about 10 years old, I started to listen to more pop music from singers like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Karina.
What do you enjoy about being a musician?
If it is possible, I just want to be a musician. So I’m spending all my time doing music right now.
One of our favourite RIPELY songs is ‘Dream’. What were the main ideas that you wanted to express?
I wanted to express the anxiety and fears that a young child might have within a dream, be that a dream they enter when they are sleeping or in their dreams about the future. I thought of the child as myself, so I conveyed my feelings in those dreams.
We found it interesting that you like to sample dialogue and speech during your tracks. For example, Martin Luther King’s widely recognized line, ‘I have a dream.’ Where did this idea come from?
After I finished making the song, I immediately thought that I would like to include a speech in the later section.
I think Martin Luthor King’s words make the touch more heartfelt and touching.
How did your collaboration with SLCHLD happen for the track Emotions?
I worked with him remotely and everything was done online. I like the song that we made together.
You have used online platforms such as the Naver Musician League and Soundcloud to share your music. Have these worked well for you? Do you feel that attention for your music has increased?
Sure they have. Based on the traction I’ve gained from the public by using these online platforms, I am releasing a song in Korea titled Ocean.
You were able to make and release a mixtape this year. Was this a big goal for you to achieve? Do you have any memorable moments that you want to share about it?
Releasing the ‘Fool’ mix-tape was a big goal for me. Making an album with such a story has always been a milestone that I wanted to achieve.
There were times when I said I couldn’t do it because it was too hard. But people around me cheered for me and gave me encouragement.
I found it especially difficult because I self-produced the entire thing. It is very difficult to make music with a limited budget.
You have performed some live shows now. Do you comfortable standing on stage? What kind of venues do you enjoy performing at?
I am always excited and nervous at a live show. I think this stems from wanting to give a great performance. Performing at a festival would be an interesting next step, because I’ve only done club performances so far.
Who do you look up to as a role model in the music industry?
I like Melanie Martinez a lot, because her uniqueness inspires me.
How are you moving forward with your music and projects now? What are your plans for 2019?
I’m going to keep posting my songs on SoundCloud, but I’ll focus more on official songs for the time being. Please listen to ‘Ocean’ (my first single) on international platforms like Apple music.
How would you describe your current life and routine? Are you satisfied with where you are now?
I just keep working these days. Sometimes I will go out if I have an appointment. The stage where I’m at now isn’t bad. I’m trying my best in the given moment.
We thank RIPLEY for participating in our interview and introducing her music to our readers!
If you would like to follow RIPLEY’s activities, here are her social media links:
Featured image and in-article images source © RIPLEY. 10.01.2019. All images were provided directly from the artist with permission granted to use them for this article. All rights reserved. No images should be reproduced in other media.
© Interview with RIPLEY. 14.02.2019. Inspire Me Korea.