On the afternoon of April 11, Eddy Kim filled the IFC Mall’s M Pub in Yeouido, Seoul with the sound of his voice and guitar at his first showcase as a solo artist, and as MYSTIC89’s first male soloist from the fourth season of audition program “Superstar K,” where he placed in the Top 6.
Eddy Kim is a talented musician whose interest in music began when he was young, starting with violin and studying classical music until high school. Afterwards, he went to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he really started to study music in an official setting.
All of the songs on “The Manual” are songs written, composed, and produced by Eddy Kim himself. From 50 songs that Eddy Kim had made since he started music, the singer, after great deliberation, narrowed it down to six. Yoon Jong Shin co-produced the album, and on arrangements were Jo Jung Chi and Postino. Robert Carranza, who has worked with Jack Johnson, was on the mixer, and Stuart Hawkes, who worked on Lorde’s “Royals,” worked on mastering for the album.
Q1: DID YOU GIVE UP STUDYING (in high school)?
“No, I didn’t. I studied music after school. A lot of my teachers graduated from Berklee College of Music, so I always thought of Berklee as a school that I wanted to attend.”
Q2: HOW DID YOU COME TO HAVE THE NAME EDDY KIM?
“When I went to the U.S. to study, people had a difficult time pronouncing my name, Kim Jung Hwan, so I decided to just go by Eddy.”
In deciding the official stage name that Eddy Kim would use, Yoon Jong Shin and Eddy decided to put it up to a MYSTIC89 employee vote, between ‘Eddy K,’ which is what Eddy liked, ‘Eddy Kim,’ which is what Yoon Jong Shin liked, and then ‘Kim Jong Hwan.’
Most voted for ‘Eddy K,’ but Yoon Jong Shin, with unilateral rights as the CEO, decided on Eddy Kim. It’s not a democracy after all.
Q3: HOW DID YOU END UP AUDITIONING FOR “SUPERSTAR K” WHEN YOU WERE IN THE ARMY?
“I never really watched audition programs. When my superiors in the army found out that I had studied music, they started to ask me about things. I’d teach them some stuff here and there, and we just enjoyed music together. Later on, they told me to try and audition because they thought I would make it. So, I decided to try, although I had no idea I would make it so far.”
Yoon Jong Shin then commented that the guitar Eddy Kim was using is very expensive, and that it used to be his, saying once again that he is confident enough in Eddy to give him his very own guitar.
Q4: (to YOON JONG SHIN) WHAT DID YOU SEE IN EDDY KIM THAT MADE YOU RECRUIT HIM TO YOUR AGENCY?
“During 2010’s ‘Superstar K2,’ a lot of people playing acoustic guitar came to audition. Back then, my agency wasn’t as big as it was now so I do have regrets in not being able to take in some talented musicians then, along with other artists like season 3’s Busker Busker. Though I didn’t judge for season 4, someone recommended that I take a look at Kim Jung Hwan, a singer-songwriter, and he truly is a ‘one-man content-maker.'”
Q5: YOON JONG SHIN ASKS EDDY: “WERE YOU DISAPPOINTED WITH 6TH PLACE?
Eddy Kim: “Of course”
Yoon Jong Shin: “I think 6th place was just enough.”
Q6: (to YOON JONG SHIN) YOUR (YOON JONG SHIN) BRAND IS GETTING STRONGER. HOW DID YOU TAKE SOMEONE UNDER YOUR WING WHEN THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT MUSICAL STYLE THAN YOU?
“Working on my music is a completely different thing than looking at another musician and their work.. As a producer of my juniors’ music, I plan on emphasizing what suits them best. If I were to focus on what I like to do, I wouldn’t be a very good producer. That’s why I previously said that I would put my brand on the line to help him succeed.”
(Click on the next page for the second half of the press conference)