Up-and-coming pop artist, SANG, grew up in South Korea before moving to the United States to study at Brown University, model in Los Angeles, attend law school at the University of Southern California, and now beginning his musical career. SANG has certainly done it all, but it hasn’t been an easy path. Years ago, he didn’t have the confidence to pursue all of his dreams, especially music, due to it being considered “unrealistic.” However, K-pop’s recent popularity in the United States has made SANG see that both his language and culture is something to be celebrated and that there is an audience out there that would happily embrace his overlapping identities.
Last month, SANG released his debut single, “Fantasy,” and now he has finally shared the music video to go with it, which you can watch below.
CelebMix also had the opportunity to interview SANG about his new video, as well as how K-pop helped inspire him to launch his career. Read the complete interview below.
Hello, Sang. Thank you for speaking with CelebMix. We’ve just finished watching your video for “Fantasy.” Can you tell us about your vision for the video?
Hey! Thanks for having me. My vision for the video was to create something that aesthetically fits the sound of the song and takes the audience on a loop representing life’s repetition. As you can tell from the beginning, Dytto took on a very robotic, Stepford Wife-type form and throughout the video, more hints begin to be revealed the reality of the relationship in the end (I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t seen). The goal was to create a feeling of surreal fantasy, and I believe we achieved that with the style of filming that my incredible team and I chose.
Dytto is also known as the “robo babe.” How did you come across her work? What do you think she adds to the music video?
I first saw Dytto in a commercial in South Korea for a credit card company. I loved her robotic style and futuristic dance moves. When it came to a futuristic theme for the music video, Dytto came to mind, and I knew she would be perfect.
She does a lot of robotic choreography in the video. Do you see yourself performing choreography any time soon, or do you see yourself sticking to just singing?
I love to dance and would eventually like to incorporate that in my music video!
This was your first music video. How was the filming process? Were you nervous?
I am currently attending law school, so juggling school and preparing for the music video was a bit hectic. I may have lost a few hours of sleep, but it was totally worth it! Once it came down to the shoot and seeing how everything came together, all my nerves went away.
How has it been trying to balance becoming a lawyer and a singer?
Let’s just say I drink a lot of coffee.
You said that your parents’ generation frowned upon dreams that seemed “unrealistic,” so was singing something that you were always interested in but didn’t have the confidence to pursue?
I think everybody struggles with choosing between “playing it safe” and pursuing your dreams. Both of my passions are challenging, but at this time in my life, I now feel confident enough to fully pursue both.
You also said that K-pop’s popularity has helped change that mindset and has given you more confidence to put your music out there. Can you elaborate?
When I was attending Brown, I noticed that K-pop was gaining popularity through watching some of YouTube videos. After seeing that some of the songs that were in Korean language were being featured in top song/album charts in the United States, it gave me a boost in confidence to pursue music.
You included both English and Korean lyrics in your music. Since you grew up in South Korea but have studied in the U.S, do you see yourself having a career in both countries, or only in the U.S?
I have decided to include Korean lyrics to embrace the culture I grew up. Although I graduated from high school in Korea and came to the United States when I was 19, I do see myself having a career in both countries because even though I will practice law in the United States, I would like to use my native language and knowledge of Korean life to bridge both countries.
Do you consider yourself as part of the “K-pop” genre because of your Korean lyrics? Why or Why not?
It could be answered as both yes and no. Since I have decided to put some of the lyrics as Korean to my first debut song, I can consider myself as part of the “K-pop” genre. However, since I will stay in the United States to create more music in the future, I am currently planning to create more songs that are completely in English. I’ll leave it up to my fans to determine that.
Identity has been a recurring theme in your life, from being a lawyer, model, and singer, to living in South Korea and USA, to singing in both English and Korean. What does identity mean to you?
Identity is ever changing. I think if we stay in one place for too long, our surroundings begin to define us. I am evolving every day, and this is where life has happened to take me at this moment.
Speaking of identity, what can people expect from your music?
I love experimenting with new sounds and futuristic elements. Expect more visuals and some tracks to dance to!
Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks so much for having me. I look forward to sharing more projects in the future!
To keep up with SANG, make sure to follow him on Instagram.