My name is Cathy Kim and I am 23 years old. I was born in Sydney, Australia, but moved to S. Korea a few months after I was born. When I was 6, I moved to Dallas, Texas, lived there for 10 years and now I’m in the best of the west, California. I just graduated from UCSB’ 14. Go Gauchos! I am a singer, songwriter at ST5A MRMG in Downtown LA. I am slowly transitioning into a music producer. I also do food blogging on the side, because I love to eat and cook!
Where does your inspiration in music come from?
I began to play the piano since the age of 4, which is a typical thing to do growing up in an Asian family. Playing the piano was something really special to me. I believe it was the only thing that I knew I was really good at and I also knew I had the talent to pursue my career somewhere in the music industry. I wasn’t confident in education, it wasn’t something that I felt comfortable in.
My parents were very strict about me listening to Non-Christian music. They were a very strong spiritual family. However, I have been rebellious since the day I was born. Secretly, I loved to listen to Korean Pop. When my parents were away, I’d sneak on the computer to listen to the latest Korean Ballads, and Pop music.
I took something that I was good at, which is playing the piano and improvising, and what I love to listen together in the beginning year of my college. I was more free since I was further away from my strict parents. I was able to listen to K-Pop whenever I wanted. My musical abilities, and my love for K-Pop definitely brought this whole thing together.
What are some of the challenges artistes face in the competitive K-Pop market?
Back in the days, maybe about 3-5 years ago, it was all about how pretty or good looking the “idols” were, and this is just my opinion, and anyone can disagree. Now currently, I feel as if the superficial aspects of K-Pop is diminishing and it’s more about having multiple talent, which for me, is great. K-Pop industry also wants younger generations as trainees. So, now the older idols are less accepted and they stress about what is stored in next for them in their career. To satisfy a K-Pop fan is tough I think. One has to really be able to execute everything. If you are a dancer, it is recommended that you know how to rap and sing, and vice versa for the vocalists. If you don’t have that, the artist has to know how to entertain. Overall, it’s getting harder to become a K-Pop artist, you have to know how to sing, rap, dance, and entertain.
If you could have the opportunity to collaborate with anyone past or present, who will it be?
My style of writing is transitioning. As a classical trained pianist, it was a lot easier for me to write top lines for Pop. But as I have been taking vocal lessons, and practicing more of new style, R&B and Hip-Hop I personally would love to collaborate with AOMG, ZICO, CRUSH, ZION T, and DEAN.
What’s the most expensive item you have splurged on?
Hm… I’m trying to remember. I rarely go out to shop for clothes or anything. Money never came easy for me. My family always had a hard time. I earned my money through teaching piano and teaching swimming as well. But yes, now I do remember. I saved up about $1500 to buy myself a laptop for college. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was able to download K-Pop music on to my computer and listen to it whenever I wanted.
Can you recommend some of the best spots to party in Seoul?
I can’t answer you this one because I haven’t gone out to party in Seoul, just yet. But I heard Octagon and Arena are poppin’ right now.
If you had the choice of any superpower, what will it be and why?
Teleportation for sure. I want to travel the world. Listen to each culture’s music. I took ethnomusicology classes back in college. I love all kinds of music. I want to just teleport to places and experience their music world.
Which Disney character best represents you?
Ariel. She was rebellious, she learns her lessons through mistakes. She was willing to lose her voice to become human. I’d do anything to stay with music.
What guilty indulgences do you have for food?
Oh dear Lord… I do blog about food. My Instagram is just photos of food. My mom’s a chef. I can’t stop eating. I love Korean food. It’s in my blood. I love garlic, onions, vinegar, kimchi and rice.
Naughtiest thing you’ve done?
I’m an angel though… O:)
What’s sexy to you?
Confidence. I hear celebrities say this all the time, and I highly agree. If you are able to get past your insecurities and out of your comfort zone and accomplish what you want to do, that’s sexy in a woman.
Images courtesy of Cathy Kim
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