K-pop is obviously the major Korean cultural content from Korea consumed by most of the people around the world. But there are other great Korean musicians in different genres that you might be interested in. PSY who you probably already know, is actually not really a K-pop musician but we can categorize (if we need to) him as K-pop because his style is somewhat similar to other K-pop musicians. In this article, I would like to talk about some different kinds of musicians than K-pop musicians.
1. Nosaj Thing
His real name is Jason Chung. It’s such a genius idea, his stage name Nosaj is his real name Jason backwards. There is really “no such thing” in abstract electronic music scene. His label “Brainfeeders” founded by Flying Lotus has whole different taste-makers and another level of beat makers such as Nosaj Thing. My personal favorite Gaslamp Killer, Matthewdavid, Mr. Oizo, Thundercat and Lorn to name a few are all from that same Brainfeeders record label. Nothing like you can hear on the radio in the daytime but more like mind-blowing headphone hi-fi style music. There are usually no lyrics for the music. Rather his sound itself says something. A bit of music says more than hundreds words. Check it out.
Nosaj Thing – TRY feat. Toro Y Moi
Nosaj Thing – GLUE
Check out his website!
She is the official “Intergalatic Kimchi Squad Leader” which she said about herself, haha. She is also in Brainfeeders label along with Nosaj Thing. And she is even cute! I went to a show at Drake Underground in Toronto 2 years ago and saw her perform live. It was so unexpectedly fresh and full of inspiring things. She did a usual set playing her own stuff and her remixes then the rest of the time she played 180 degree different interpretations of hip hop anthems like those from Snoop Dogg, Notorious BIG, Dr.Dre and Nas, etc. with her own style. Imagine that you are listening to Dr. Dre – Next Episode but its way faster than the original and with more exciting off beat drums and other sounds like electro dance music but still remains a quality production. My body was dancing without any conscious thought and at the same time, my ears and brain were busy figuring out how the heck this happened. Let’s check it out what her sound is like.
TOKiMONSTA – SAMOJUNG
TOKiMONSTA – LOOK A LIKE
Check out her website!
Lots of Torontonians will recognise him because he’s come to T-dot for a lot of K-related shows recently. But it’s not just Toronto, he does tours all around the world. His rap is not trendy at all but he certainly has got a charming rap tone and his lyrics are never disappointing. For me, his music is not like hot or banging stuff but it always remains in my 16 gigabyte iPhone playlist for the last couple of years so that I can crank that up anytime I feel like it’s the right time for DFD (as he’s also known), no matter where I am. Especially, I just let it play like background music since it is not cheesy and easy to listen to for a long time.
DUMBFOUNDEAD REMIX – LOVE IS A SONG (DJ SOULSCAPE ORIGINAL)
DUMBFOUNDEAD – KOREAN JESUS
Check out his website!
4. Joseph Hahn
He is a member of Linkin Park. He was originally a turntablist (using a turntable as an instrument for making a particular sound, pitch changing, scratching etc). Then he met Mike Shinoda in college. They worked a lot together and collaborated with other bands like the legendary turntablist group X-cutioners and performed a lot in their local area. Eventually, they made a group called Linkin Park and won a Grammy in 2002 for the best hard rock performance. Joe Hahn is not only a DJ but also the director for most of Linkin Park’s music videos too. During Linkin Park’s shows, he usually drops samples and cuts. So there are not really that many clips of him performing live in action. But let’s check out how he directed music videos for Linkin Park.
Linkin Park – Waiting for the End
Linkin Park – Numb
Check out his website!
5. Cool Calm Pete
Peter Chung is his real name. He was born in Seoul and now is based on Brooklyn, New York . When I see him in pictures, he is so friendly like I can meet him next door. But guess what can represent him. The first thing is legendary Def Jux record label artist. And another one is designer for SUPREME. Now he is designing clothes for UNDEFEAT and UBIQ. Personally, I really like those kind of street skateboard brand clothes and shoes and did not know the designer was Korean. Wow. He’s got a really amazing career. Being a member of Def Jux is every hip hop musician’s dream. Some of you who like hip hop music might recognize these names: Aesop Rock, Del the Funky Homosapience, EL-P, Company Flow, Murs, RJD2 to name a few. They are all Def Jux artists. And how about being a designer of SUPREME. Almost every hipster wants to have SUPREME clothes. (I also have a few, such as caps and tees but they’re usually hard to get one so you need to line up in front of the SUPREME shop when they release new stuffs no matter how unreasonably expensive.) Because it is not just a brand but that brand implies so many things in the sub-culture and they actually affects a lot of street culture. And that SUPREME itself is also another huge sub-culture as well. In another word, this guy Cool Calm Pete made that flow. That’s really respectable and I am so proud of him because he is Korean born.
Cool Calm Pete – Brush P.S.A
Cool Calm Pete – Lost
Check him out on Facebook!