While music is the medium of healing, the process of creating and promoting it is really tiring. It takes a lot of effort to break through competitive space like the music industry and for artists like KREAM, it has always been a tough and endless fight.
A space where process and path to success has already been established, exploring new genres and carving a niche for oneself is like taking the role of a rebel.
KREAM debuted as an independent artist in the year 2014 after training for almost 8 years (as an idol). His R&B sound in singles including “Talking to the Moon” and “Good Morning” mesmerized listeners but could not reach the masses. His EP “Talking to the Moon” garnered attention amongst the music lovers but it remained limited to small number of people.
In an attempt to get closer to both his domestic as well as international audience, KREAM tries to interact with his admirers through social media on a regular basis and we would like to lend him a helping hand.
CelebMix is a space where we make an attempt to introduce the artists whose work needs to be discovered. KREAM is trying to bring genres like R&B and Soul to the forefront and he is working hard to achieve his aim.
We got a chance to catch up with KREAM and discuss his journey and his music. There isn’t much information about the singer on the web so, we decided to let the artist tell us a bit about himself. Check out our complete interview with the singer below:
While a lot of people love your music, there isn’t much information about you on the web. So, for fans and music lovers who are intrigued, please introduce and tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, this is KREAM. I am a Korean R&B singer-songwriter, and once was good dancer!
We would like to know about your musical journey. That is, how did your journey as a singer begin and how has it been so far?
In my early teens – when I was between 14~15 years old – I studied at an international school in the Philippines. However, after my Dad’s business got worse off, I had no choice other than coming back to Korea. Then, the only thing I had was my MP3 player. I had neither money nor friends. I went to Han-gang (Han River) everyday just to listen to music for hours and hours. Music was an escape from the hard time and led me to dream an artist.
How do you perceive music? Also, do you have an idol you look up to?
When I was younger, I looked up to be someone else. I was thinking “I wanna be artist like Chris Brown, Usher, Ne-Yo”. However, difficult times changed my view of life – I learned that the most important part in a life is to be myself.
These days, I just put my efforts into being KREAM.
You trained for 8 years before embarking on as an independent artist. What prompted you to make that decision?
To be honest, I never wanted 8 years of training and it just happened. First, I had few chances to debut as a member of an idol group. Second, I deeply thought about my future and my happiness – Do I really want to be titled as an “idol”. The answer was No. Being happy seemed more important to me.
I decided to be an artist who performs the song that he/she makes and I needed hard training to write my own songs. It took quite a while doing so. I still feel that I am not enough.
Recently, you released a single “Photograph”. Please tell us a bit about it.
“Photograph” is a song about lovers who cannot stay together anymore. To tell you the truth, I wrote ‘Photograph’ and the second track ‘Love song’ based on the ex-girlfriend I dated for almost 4 years.
Considering that you have released some songs this year, can we expect an album soon?
For now, the album release won’t be so soon. Hope you enjoy the released songs till then.
A lot of your songs carry the themes of “love”, “longing” and “memory” but your manner of treating these themes seem quite different. For instance, both “In My Heart” and “Photograph” talk about relationships and longing but of different kinds.
We would like to know about your approach towards the themes you choose for your songs.
Basically, I try to write songs based on my own experience. In writing lyrics, my priority is to view the subject or emotion from a different angle and write as a poem. I think that’s the reason why all my songs have a big different vibe compared to others.
People just don’t know you as a singer but also as a songwriter and producer. Most of your lyrics sound poetic and tend to tell an open-ended narrative. Would you like to tell us a bit about your songwriting process? Where do you draw your inspirations from?
I think my answer to this question is related with the question number 7. First of all, I choose one big theme and it branches out.
For example, if I want to write songs about ‘longing’, I look for the object that indicates ‘longing’. If I choose ‘photograph’, I go like “Oh, I am having a happy smile in photograph with my ex”, “Oh.. sometimes I miss the time we were together”. Then, finally produce a song.
From “Dalla” to “Talking to the Moon”, we saw a major transformation in terms of music and theme. The tone has gone calmer now. What’s your take on it?
When I write songs, the most important part is ‘emotion’ of the moment and conditions around me. I am the type of man who always fights to be himself. ‘Dalla’ was the song I made when I was discontent with Korea’s music industry system. I got out from the third entertainment company because I was not properly treated – they tried to make their trainees into their puppets. Anyway, ‘Dalla’ failed in gaining popularity and I hit a long slump. I spent a long time alone and my personality changed: I became calm. It is somewhat natural that my recent songs became more poetic and calmer.
The South Korean music industry is highly competitive and dynamic. In terms of opportunities, where do you see independent artists placed in such a competitive space?
You are right that the Korean music industry is competitive and dynamic. At the same time, the Korean music industry needs diversity. Idol and huge capital swallowed this industry and artists who follow the essence of art lost their stage, unfortunately. But I realize that there is nothing I can do other than making good music. I will make good music that affects the huge industry. One day people will know.
Continuing with our previous question, a lot of fans consider you as an “underrated” artist. On YouTube, there are several channels that place your music on the list of their favorite songs and try to create awareness for your music. But we would like to know your stance on it? How do you see yourself placed in the music industry and amongst? independent artists?
Most people in Korea don’t even know that there is an artist called KREAM. I belong to a small independent music label and the company does not spend much for my promotion. I should accept the reality as it is. Continuing with my previous answer, I just believe that nothing is more important than making good songs.
You have a passionate fandom. Have you got a chance to meet your fans? If yes, do you have any funny/memorable fan interaction that you would like to share with us?
Sadly, no. Most of my fans are the international fans, so I never got a chance to meet them. However, I am planning to meet my fans who live in Korea!
Would you like to share with us your future projects or endeavors that fans should know about?
I have no plan to release a new single yet. I am preparing for TTTM live and a hope to have a small live performance in Seoul, with some other songs.
Lastly, how do you plan to celebrate Christmas and New Years?
Nothing special. I will sleep from 24th till 26th. Though I am going to celebrate New Years with my family.
KREAM has recently released a demo for his single “Tame Mo” and similar to his last EP, it too brings forth the poetic side of the artist.
The singer is pretty active on Instagram and if you’re interested, you can catch him live every now and then. Also, he answers a lot of fans’ questions. Below are the social media links for the singer:
What do you think about KREAM’s songs? Share your thoughts via tweet @CelebMix.