On The Records: Lucite Tokki

Hello there, do you mind introducing yourself?

Hi, We are a singer-songwriter pop duo based in Seoul, Korea. We consist of a vocal, Cho Ye Jin and a guitarist, Kim Sun Young.

 How do you guys met each other? Who’s the first one came up with an idea to form a band together?

Ye Jin: We met each other in college. We both majored in applied music and during our first year we had to pair up with a partner for our exam. It was then when we decided to work together for the first time. Sun Young made a song and played the guitar while I wrote lyrics and sang the song she made. This triggered us to have formed what we are now, naturally.

Where the Lucite Tokki name is came from?

At first, we were just “Tokki” (which means rabbit in Korean) because of our characters. Ye Jin used to draw a rabbit which you can see on our website (www.lucite-tokki.com) as her mascot since high school. And we decided to use the rabbits as our characters and call ourselves “Tokki”. But while presenting our band names to our friends, they said it was too simple. So we put the word “Lucite” in front of  “Tokki”. We just like the nuance of the word; it doesn’t have a special meaning.

 What are the musical influences for Lucite Tokki? What music you guys listen to right now?

These days we love to listen to classical music and jazz of 30s, 40s. Especially Jerome Kern whom I think is the best composer out there. But basically we were influenced by pop, rock and electronic songs. We love many UK bands like Mansun or Franz Ferdinand and electronic musicians like Depeche Mode, Junior Boys, Daft Punk and many more.

Which one is easier? Singing/writing in English or Korean? Are you hoping to make more full English songs in the future?

 We were born and raised in Seoul. Thus, it is a lot easier to write in Korean but we would like to write and sing in English because English is a global language. We are hoping to spread our music all over the world and in order to do that, we have to study English harder haha

Korean Wave already became a global phenomenon, but to be honest we eager to know the other choice of Korean bands, so please tell us a bit about the indie scene in Seoul from your personal opinion. Do you think the indie bands will get some recognition from wider audience too?

Of course! They will and they have to get some more recognition from world wide music fans.

I know Korean Wave at this moment is just confined for idol groups but there are many amazing and well-prepared musicians in the Korean indie scene. I think many indie bands in Korea (including us) are well qualified and are waiting for a chance to expose their music. So we have to come up with fresh and new ideas to meet abroad listeners like you!

You’ve been making music together for quite a long time, was it hard to maintain the good relationship between you two? Do you ever fight or argue, and if yes, what you’re usually doing to settle the problems?

We always argue with each other and I think arguing is the key to maintain our relationship. It might sound like an irony but it really helps to keep us open with each other.

Where’s the best spot to catch a great music while we’re on Seoul? 

Nowadays, many places are emerging as a hot spot for art and music in Seoul. But I think there is no place like Hong-Dae for live music. You can visit here and listen to live music with a wide variety of genres.

What’s your favorite idol/group from the mainstream K-Pop and why?

I’m not sure you would be familiar with ‘Shin-Hwa‘. They are one of the first generations of K-Pop idol. They remind us of our teenager days.

What are you guys doing beside music?

Nothing! We are full time musicians. But we draw cartoons and make short video clips for our music. And sometimes we offer singing/guitar lessons.

What’s next project/hope for Lucite Tokki?

We just released our third full album in July so we are going to have many gigs for a while. And we have a plan for the next season of ‘Suitcase Theather’ which is our live performance on Youtube for international supporters.


On The Records: Trampauline, Seoul’s Shimmering Synthpop.

Trampauline is synth pop project of Cha Hyosun from Seoul, South Korea. Alongside the catchy name, it is the ethereal mix of twinkling synth and hushed vocal that capture your attention from the early notes and set her apart from any other musical acts in Korea. Definitely not a K-pop.

      Hello Hyosun, how are you? What are you doing before answering this email?

I am doing great. Just got back from Japan tour and still in the house-cleaning process… I was cleaning my desk.

So how was the Japan tour?

 It was great and there was a sort of warm-welcoming air+energy that I felt from audience and Japanese musicians. Great tour really.

      When the first time you realize you want to be a musician, and specifically making music like you make as Trampauline now?

I saw Korean punk bands playing at a place called ‘Drug’ long time ago, thought I wanted to be one of them, I turned out to be a electro pop musician though, I was not a very good screamer after all :). Trampauline was a slow process. I just wanted to make my own music and slowly the music began to take shape.

      Trampauline is such a catchy name, where the name came from?

I actually liked playing on trampolines when I was young, I liked the image of the movement (jumping on it) the word has. And I liked the sound of the word when it’s pronounced. It’s pretty+ ethereal, isn’t it?

      It is! What band/musician influences your music? 

Don’t know.. lots.. but just to be specific, I’ve always liked T-bone Walker and Bo Diddley than Stevie Ray Vaughan and Roy Buchanan (even though I really liked some of their songs). I’ve been more enthusiastic fan for guitarists who are more of rhythm-maker than solo-maker. Although I don’t make guitar-based music, I’ve had certain tastes and influences even on guitars and that influence on my music I guess. Wait… I am listening to Roy Cuchanan’s “Sweet Dreams” and it’s just a beautiful song… haha. Do I make you get confused?

      How’s the creative process for your song, is it the music first or the lyric?

It’s different everytime. Sometimes I start with a single melody or phrase, sometimes beats come first and then I add a lyric or melody on it, sometimes I start with guitar chords and song melody.

      Did you intentionally make an English based lyric for the songs? 

Yeah, it is. It works well with other elements that I make, that’s why.

      Your songs sounds so different, not only among Korean bands, but also even the rest of the bands out there… what things you try to express from your songs? How you describe your sounds?

There are feelings that I eventually deliver through music whether I intend it or not. I guess it’s sort of chill you get from not trying to be too…dramatic or passionate. I believe there are certain kind of feeling and chill in between that music can deliver. Oceanic feeling. Short breath. Certain bright craziness.

      When the best time/condition to hear your songs?

Whenever it suits you.

      From some of your videos I watch on YouTube, you’re playing from underpass to roadside, where’s your best gig so far and why?

Can’t pick one. I have done lots of good shows.

Korean Wave already became a global phenomenon, but to be honest we eager to know the other peculiar choice of Korean bands, do you think the indie bands will get some recognition from wider audience too?

As long as there are people out there wanting to find more about non-mega star but good musicians, we have many to be found out. Keep an eye on us.

      Where’s the best spot to catch a great music while we’re on Seoul? 

Lowrise at Mullae dong, Kkonttang at Etaewon are places you should try when you want to find out indie-fresh new acts. there are lots of gig places at Hongdae where many gigs are hosted.

      What are you doing beside music?

 Living an ordinary life… does that explain?

      What’s next project for you? 

I am participating as a film music director at LIG art hall program. Also working on a new single for a Pastel Music’s 10 year anniversary album.

Thanks for this interview, I love your music so much! x

Thank you and best wishes!