Exclusive: Singer-Songwriter Paul Kim On K-Drama Addiction, Dance Tracks, And More

We were recently given the opportunity to interview singer-songwriter Paul Kim, whom you might remember from the 3rd season of MBC’s Star Audition or from when BTS’s Rap Monster promoted his song “Ex” on Twitter last year.

Paul Kim attended high school in New Zealand and then college in Japan before heading to Korea to appear on the 3rd season of MBC Star Audition. He debuted under Neuron Music in 2014 with his single “Would You Like Some Coffee?” His second mini album “Her” was released last year and, lucky for us, he’s currently working on his next comeback!

Get acquainted with his soothing and powerful vocals with the links above and then enjoy our interview with him below!

Who is your musical inspiration?

I get inspiration from people around me. It could be my family, friends, co-worker or really anybody.

When did you decide to pursue music as your career?

It all started when I was still a university student, after finishing military service. I had that moment when you ask yourself what is the reason of my being and started searching for answers. I read a quote in an album of a female Korean artist Lee Sora. It says “I’m a born seed to sing.” It blew my mind and I realized how much space music takes up in me and that I should become a singer, no doubt.

What was your reaction to BTS’s Rap Monster recommending your song “Ex” on Twitter?

BTS is one of my fave idol groups, and it made me feel good that he likes my music. I’d like to say thank you to RM.

How did you decide what kind of song you wanted to debut with in Korea? Are there other genres you’d like to do in the future?

Being a singer is like a journey, I learn through each step I take and my first single taught me a huge lesson. Most of my work tends to be medium tempo or R&B ballads. But I’d also like to make something that people can dance and chill to. That’s the main reason why I’m in LA.

If you weren’t a singer, what would you want to pursue as a career and why?

If I had to imagine myself being something other than a singer, since I have great interest in cultural events, I guess I would’ve become a sub-culture related manager.

Have you experienced any difficulty or obstacles being raised abroad and now breaking into the Korean market?

When I first went back, I got quite a few comments on my character or behavior. I was very open to express personal emotions and to be honest, but Korean culture expects you to be more cautious and polite. I see that I have changed through the last 5 years, which has pros and cons.

What’s your biggest/weirdest fear?

I have trouble watching horror movies, and that is exactly why my friends take me with them. Seems like they enjoy me being frightened.

What kind of music/TV shows do you listen to/watch in your free time?

I listen to genres from Jazz to hiphop, anything that catches my attention. I check up on newly released albums pretty much everyday to see if I can add it to my playlist. Recently I watched the drama “Goblin” and I loooooved it. I try not to spend too much time watching TV because I get addicted so easily.


Do you have a favorite K-pop group/idol or K-drama? Who/what turns you into a total fanboy?

As I mentioned, “Goblin” is one of my fave dramas and even after the last episode it is ongoing. Every scene is set beautifully and each character is extra charming.

What are some things you love, besides music?

I love going out for movies, spending time with my best friends. I also like to cook, since me and my sister are allergic to dairy products we try our best to make our own alternatives. There isn’t much variety in non-dairy products in Korea. I’m so glad LA is like heaven in that sense.

What is one thing that you’d like the international audience to know about you?

I’m not only a singer/song-writer, but also an honest and positive minded person who tries to find joy in every step. I hope my music can make people happy by connecting them with others.

What’s your ultimate career goal?

I wish more people can listen to my music in their everyday lives.

We hope that you are looking forward to Paul Kim’s next comeback! Thank you to SubKulture Entertainment for the interview opportunity.

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