Interview: Haihm at SXSW

Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016
Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016

After watching one of Haihm’s music video’s online prior to South by Southwest (SXSW) – which incidentally was a project that Haihm worked on with the visual artist that accompanied her to our interview, among others – I was intrigued to see her live. And while you can read more about my thoughts on her performance in my review of the K-pop Night Out showcase, I enjoyed her set but thought it was misplaced in the lineup and probably would have worked better in a different venue visually but was nonetheless, filled with music that made you want to move.

It was interesting chatting with Haihm and hearing her describe her music but you’ll want to read her answers so keep scrolling. ^^ And don’t forget to check her out if you haven’t already!

Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016
Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016

Interview with Haihm

Hello

VJ: Hello.

Haihm: Hello, he’s the VJ from last night.

VJ: Did you see last night?

I did, yes.

VJ: I made the visual clips, you know.

Oh, that was really interesting. I enjoyed the set. It made me want to dance.

Haihm: Oh, thank you.

Okay, let’s start the interview. Can you introduce yourself?

Haihm: I’m an electronic musician from Korea.

Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016
Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016

What drew you to make electronic music?

Haihm: Electronic music is… first, rhythm is important and my focus is on rhythm and texture of sounds. I’m very interested in this point of view, the texture of sound, yes.

In addition to making your own music, you also produce and compose for other musicians. How does working for others or with others help your own music?

Haihm: I’m a very bad singer. [laughter] If I need some vocals or something in my songs, example the guitar session, and they help me and the song is perfect for them.

What influences your music, what inspires you?

Haihm: I learned to play the piano at a very early age and then I liked Bach’s music. Bach’s music is deconstructed and very stable, with strong energy, maybe from the universe. I like him very much, his music very much. Originally I felt that I was a classic person so this kind of classical music inspired me.

Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016
Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016

You studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria.

Haihm: Ah, yes.

How did that affect your music? How did that shape your music?

Haihm: Sometimes people talk to me, some form is very simple and very effective and they told me your songs are made very well. And then I think my classic education from school from an early age, this had an effect on the song or something.

Your music is very danceable.

Haihm: I like dance.

At the K-pop Night Out showcase, I wanted to dance.

Haihm: Oh, thank you.

Is that your intent? Do you want people to move, to dance, when you write the songs or does it come out in the process of creating the music?

Haihm: When I make music, I’m dancing with my music [laughter] and I think if this song moves me, I think, that’s okay, that’s good. I like rhythm.

Where do you see the future of electronic music in Korea? How do you think it’s going to change?

Haihm: In Korea, the electronic music scene is very, very small and with few venues. Actually the electronic musicians in Korea, the underground musicians are very good. Actually we are in a very difficult situation, it’s very small, but then the musicians are very good.

Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016
Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016

I saw that you did a collaboration with a multimedia group.

Haihm: Yes, he’s in the group. [referring to the visual artist accompanying her]

Okay. What was that experience like?

Haihm: I think my important view of music is visualization, from music. The texture, touchable things from the sound and music, and he or his partners can make this visualization from the sound to show to people. This is very good. I’m lucky.

So for our readers who may not be familiar with your music, which song would you recommend that you listen to of your songs?

Haihm: “Bird No Singing” is my title song from my album, Point 9. This is the song and the texture of the song, at the end, it’s an easy start to listen to my music. I think.

My last question, are you working on anything new?

Haihm: Maybe, maybe this October or September I am going to Argentina with VIEWZIC. We are going to Argentina for a performance with an installation. I am very excited.

That will be interesting.

Haihm: Yes.

Thank you very much for the interview!

Haihm: Thank you!

Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016
Haihm at the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW 2016

Just the facts: social media edition

Huge thanks to Haihm for taking the time to chat with us while at SXSW. It was much appreciated. To stay up-to-date with Haihm, don’t forget to follow her on social media! Which, of course, we’re provided for you. ^^

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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