Photos by JV Rabano
By now, we’re familiar with what K-Pop sounds like — the glossy beats, the high-level production, and the overall infectious energy of K-Pop songs are just some of the recognizable elements that we often associate with that kind of music. Korean music has been in the spotlight lately for K-Pop, but there’s a side of it that’s still pretty under the radar: their indie music scene. Four piece indie-band Adoy joined multi-instrumentalist FKJ for Karpos Live Mix 9 last Nov. 14. ,
With Juhwan on vocals and guitar, Dayoung on bass, Geunchang on drums and Zee on synthesizer, Adoy’s music is the perfect companion for a getaway. The dreamy vocals, lo-fi beats, and lyrical themes about youthful nihilism all blend well with the hazy and hypnotic sounds that we don’t usually hear from mainstream Korean music. It doesn’t hurt that the band’s visual direction is also a little bit retro, with charming anime-like imagery stamped on their EPs.
We got to sit down with the band (with the assistance of a translator) before their set to talk about their music, their goals, and what they think of the Korean music scene now.
Young STAR: You guys [originally] came from different groups. How did you form as a band?
Juhwan: We’ve known each other for quite a time, [and] we’ve been under the same agency, so we just got together.
Who are your biggest musical influences and inspirations?
Zee: It’s different for [all of us]. For me, I was really into heavy metal, death metal. After hearing Daft Punk, I got into keyboards and stuff, so I can say Daft Punk.
Juhwan: I got influenced by David Bowie.
Your music talks a lot about the idea of youth. Your recent single Pool, is about driving away and being “wide awake”. Were those inspired by your personal experiences?
Juhwan: We’re not necessarily influenced by the concept of youth, but then it’s the people who perceive our music as youthful.
Zee: Maybe it’s bright. It’s kind of light, and we have a famous song called Don’t Stop and it talks about youth.
Juhwan: When we produce music, we want our audience to be more positive in accepting [and listening] to our music and that influences our sound.
How’s the state of the indie music scene in Korea?
Zee: It’s shrinking, because it’s hard money-wise, to survive. K-Pop is getting bigger but then the money follows K-Pop and not indie. So, it’s kind of hard and you got to really stand out, become like top five or three.
Since K-Pop is getting bigger internationally, is it harder to be a band rather than say, a group? Do people have expectations?
Zee: There are [fewer] band musicians. There’s more hip-hop [because with hip-hop] you don’t really need that band set-up. So it’s harder for bands to get an event because they would be hesitant to prepare all the drums and all the backup. So, there’s less [opportunities]. But I guess at the same time, you can stand out more as a band. In other ways, you can look at that as a chance.
You have an album coming up. What was that process like?
Dayoung: We just worked hard. (laughs)
What are your favorite tracks?
Zee: We like Porter, the second track because it’s a new style of track we’ve never tried before.
Juhwan: [I like] Ever.
What can we look forward to from you guys?
Juhwan: First of all, we have a new album to be released. We’re going to have more solo concerts with artists we’re close to and more year-end concerts.
Is there a specific goal for next year?
Zee: I guess just to continue, just not to go backward and keep on moving forward. Just to do music for a long time.
You can check out Adoy on Instagram andstream their music on Spotify. Follow Karpos Live on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on upcoming events.