[Exclusive] Interview with Swedish YouTube Singer Impaofsweden
YouTube singer Impaofsweden, like her name reveals, hails from Sweden. She first discovered BIGBANG’s G-Dragon in 2010, which was a great intro to the world of K-Pop. She discovered her love for singing later than the usual child who dreams of becoming a singer as a teen. Despite her “slow” start, it quickly became her biggest interest. Impaofsweden started uploading her first cover on YouTube in December 2011, which was labelmate 2NE1’s “Hate You.”
December 2011 || 2NE1 – Hate You
“Wait- did 2NE1 release an English version?” That’s probably one of the first thoughts that popped into your mind while listening to the audio. If you check out her other covers, you’ll realize that all the covers are in English. Impaofsweden revealed that she was too afraid to pronounce Korean incorrectly, but she wanted to sing the songs she loved, so she decided to write the English lyrics, which aren’t always straight translations of the Korean version.
YouTube Name: Impaofsweden
(The name Impa is taken from a character in the game series The Legend of Zelda (which I love))
Age: 21 (born 1993)
Q: How exactly did you get into K-Pop? You mentioned that you discovered G-Dragon back in 2011, but how? What’s your story?
To be honest I don’t really know, but it was through youtube in some way. I guess I just ended up finding something that linked me to another thing, and so on. I don’t really have a good story I’m afraid, haha. But when I did find it I couldn’t stop searching for more.
Q: Were you the first to discover K-Pop within your circle of friends? How did your friends view K-Pop back when you started making covers and how do they see it now?
Yes, I was the first one to discover it. I also introduced it to my best friend (sneak attack) and now she loves it too, haha. My friends that don’t listen to k-pop don’t really have anything against it, not at all, but they don’t love it either. First they thought it was a bit surprising with the korean language, but the more I made them listen to k-pop the more they got used to it.
One thing I’ve noticed is that when people hear the k-pop songs I cover with english lyrics they hear a “normal” pop-song, it’s just the language that is unfamiliar.
Q: Do your parents and friends know of your YouTube fame? Do you get recognized when you walk around in the streets?
Yes, my family and my closest friends know of my youtube channel. No, I don’t get recognized, at least not what I know of, haha. Even though k-pop is getting much more popular in Sweden it’s still not very big, and there aren’t really that many people who knows about it. I do know though, through friends, that some of their friends, or people they know, who listens to k-pop do know who I am, which is such a crazy thing for me!
March 2014 || Girls’ Generation – Mr.Mr
(Next page: Imapofsweden talks about G-Dragon, covering K-Pop songs in English, balancing a full-time job and YouTube)
Q: It’s surprising to hear that you didn’t sing since you were a child. Was there a special event that made you realize you enjoy singing? Did you receive any training since?
I have always loved singing, I have, but I never really thought of doing something about it. Probably because I’m not a very boastful person and when I was younger I was pretty shy, so it didn’t come naturally to show people that I could sing. It wasn’t until 7th to 8th grade that I realized that maybe I was good at singing. My music teacher at the time pushed me to take more place and got me to realize that singing was my thing! The more I got to know my voice the more confident I got in singing. Youtube also takes part in this and I have really gained a lot of confidence in my singing thanks to the response I have gotten on my covers. I am forever thankful!
Q: You’ve mentioned that you’ve started doing English covers of K-Pop songs because you were scared of having the wrong pronunciation. It’s been a few years since your first cover. Would you try singing in Korean?
Yes! I’ve actually always been singing along with the korean lyrics, but at the time I was really afraid to embarrass myself and pronounce it the wrong way so I found another way to sing the music I loved. Now I’m more used to singing in Korean and I do occasionally put up a cover or collab in korean on my channel.
Q: Who inspires you? (as a person, your singing, etc.)
To be honest, I don’t really have a very specific person who I strive to be like or who is my ideal. There are a lot of people I do like and who inspires me on many different levels. I often tend to be amazed by those who are strong on the pints I’m weak at. For example I tend to be impressed by rappers who are skilled because that is something I can’t do well. To mention someone though, I will always adore G-Dragon. Not particularly for his voice but more for the things he do as a song writer, producer and a an artist. I really see him as an inspiring person.
Q: If you could collaborate with a K-Pop artist, who would it be?
I think my answer to the last question should be enough, haha. But yes, I would never say no to work with GD.
Q: What do you do besides uploading covers onto YouTube? Are you a student or do you have a full time day job?
At the moment I have a full time job and I work during the weekdays. But as soon as I have free time I work as much as I can with writing lyrics and recording for my covers.
January 2014 || Girl’s Day – Something
Q: What are some of your other hobbies besides singing?
I love to paint and sketch, or just doodle, I love eating good food and spending time with my friends, traveling, looking at nice clothes on the web (and then close the page, haha), watching movies, and (of course) being silly!
Q: We see that you try to match the overall look of the artist you try to cover. Who takes care of the makeup and hair styling?
That would be me! Yes, I try to match it somewhat nicely to the theme of either the MV or the album/promotions of the song. I’m glad you’ve noticed!
Thank you so much for your time. Can’t believe how you’re able to manage a full-time job and an active YouTube channel on top of your other hobbies. Any last words to Soompiers (our readers)?
Hello everyone it is very nice to meet you, I hope you will enjoy my covers and thank you very much for reading~
I also want to thank my subscribers, I really appreciate your support and it means a lot too me, thank you so very much.
November 2013 || 2NE1 – Missing You
If you enjoyed reading this interview and want to know more about other YouTube artists, feel free to make suggestions below! Who knows? Maybe we’ll interview that person next!! ^^