Find Out More about Eddy Kim in His Showcase Interview! His Dating Style, Pledge for Number 1, and More!
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)
Q7: WHAT WAS THE DECIDING FACTOR FOR YOU IN JOINING MYSTIC89?
“I’m a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to music. Even if it takes a little bit longer, I work a lot towards music quality. In selecting an agency, I wanted to go somewhere that would help me grow and I looked very much into the musical qualities of the agency. While MYSTIC89 was the last agency to approach me, I liked that they talked about music first.”
Yoon Jong Shin: “Other agencies first talked about how much they were going to offer him and details on the contract, but the first thing I asked him was what kind of music he wanted to make, and that’s where we really connected. I think our (MYSTIC89’s) role is to create a good platform where Eddy Kim can make and share his music.”
Q8: DO YOU FEEL ANY BURDEN OR HIGH PRESSURE TO SUCCEED?
“Of course, it is my first album, and it is a lot of pressure for a rookie to personally write and compose all the songs on the album. All singers want to taste some level of success so they’re able to do the kind of music that they want. Seeing that I have this opportunity, I think I’m really lucky. I don’t have any particular burdens as of now since I just have to do my best.”
Q9: ARE YOU SHOOTING FOR NUMBER ONE ON THE CHARTS? DO YOU HAVE A PLEDGE IF YOU DO GET NUMBER 1?
Yoon Jong Shin: “A lot of great artists aren’t able to perform on stage, get invited to festivals, nor hold concerts, even though they are very talented, just because they don’t do well on the charts. If artists want to perform a lot, and be invited to new venues, getting to number one and doing well on charts, I think, while I don’t like to admit it, is important in opening up those opportunities, and in turn, success. In a certain way, it’s business.”
Eddy Kim: “I think that a person’s song placing high on the chart reflects how well it, and the person, is loved by the public. My wish is to hear a lot on what other people think about my songs.”
Yoon Jong Shin went on to say that if Eddy Kim does make number one, he will go shirtless. He said that Eddy Kim, unlike the stereotypical acoustic guitar-wielding musician, actually is very active and loves to exercise, and that Eddy’s abs are currently in the works, so if he gets number one, he’ll take his shirt off.
Q10: YOU RECEIVED A LOT OF HELP FROM YOON JONG SHIN, BUT WHAT ARE SOME ASPECTS IN WHICH HE HELPS YOU IN PARTICULAR?
“First, I got a lot of help in terms of music. Once we go into productions, it gets really busy, as he (Yoon Jong Shin) has the agency and variety shows on top of that, but he always takes care of me and asks me how it’s going, through text or phone calls. He goes above and beyond what is called for by a CEO. That’s where I got a lot of help.”
Q11: WHEN YOU DATE, ARE YOU GOOD AT PLAYING HARD TO GET- LIKE YOU TALK ABOUT IN “PUSH & PULL?”
“I think that I’m good at playing the game. But that’s just what I think. In reality, I’m not. Mostly I took a lot from the experiences of people around me for song inspiration.”
Q12: YOU TOOK LEAVE FROM SCHOOL; ARE YOU PLANNING ON GOING BACK?
“I’m majoring in songwriting at Berklee, and it’s a school where I learned skills in order to be on the major playing field. In terms of learning music, I did it for a long time since I was young. Coming to MYSTIC89, I still felt that I was lacking, and I think it’s important to get some hands-on experience in the real world.”