Artist Interview: SUMIN


Introducing exciting new voices in the Korean music scene

Korean by SSN / English by Soy Kim


Sumin may be a newcomer to the scene, but she is not to be taken lightly.

A well-rounded producer and talented vocalist, Sumin is signed to Luv Jones Records, an independent label in South Korea founded by jazz musician Kumapark. Her debut EP, [Beat, And Go To Sleep] dropped in early 2016 to positive reviews.

No genre is foreign territory for this versatile singer whose rich and sultry R&B delivery shines through, whether her production veers closer to funk or to future. She also uses her voice as an instrument, layering her vocals to create a full-bodied sound. What will 2017 bring for this blooming artist?


Q. Last year, you dropped your debut album to warm reviews. In your opinion, how was your 2016?

I enjoy seeing how my sound evolves with each project. My first EP, [Beat And Go To Sleep] and my latest single, “U & Me” showcased different sounds. 2016 also marked the year that I got to collaborate with colleagues and producing teams whom I really respect. I’d say it was the year that I began my musical journey in earnest. It was a magical, exciting, and joyful year.

Q. Do you approach the music you produce for K-pop artists and the tracks you produce for yourself differently?

I used to think that the music I produced for other artists was entirely different from the music I produced for myself. That they existed in alternate universes that could never coincide. But I’ve started to change my mind. If something is good, it’s good. It doesn’t have to be separated. If I were to point out a specific difference, however, it’d be that I imagine live stages or music videos when I compose for K-pop idols. For instance, I try to include a ‘killer part’ in K-pop tracks that could be choreographed in a fun way.


Q. What are the pros and cons of being an independent R&B artist?

The main upside would be that I have total artistic freedom. There are very few constraints on my music writing. The main downside would be that it’s harder to gain wide exposure for my music.


Q. How would you describe your own music?

That’s a hard question. I listen to a variety of genres: I like rock, but also jazz; K-pop idol songs, but also classical music. I’m inspired by all of these genres when I create new music. I’d say I just create the music that I feel like creating. I buy CDs, and I watch a lot of videos. If you keep listening to music, you are filled with the desire to create different types of music. As I work on my current solo album, I’m hoping to showcase the warmer and loveable sides of my voice.


Q. What are your hopes and goals for this year?

I’m currently preparing a lot of projects. I’m working on projects that encompass each side of my artistic persona: as a musician, as a producer, as a singer. I’d say I have the same goal each year, which is to show others my new work soon.

[the CUT exclusive] 

(originally published here)