Many many thanks to Paloalto for agreeing to answer some questions for the first artist interview for SeoulRebels!
- Please introduce yourself for those who aren’t familiar with you.
Hi, I am Paloalto, rapper, producer, and founder of Hi-Lite Records. I am from Seoul.
- I know that you also produce as well as rap; do you always do both of them together?
I wanted to be a songwriter. But when I started listening to hip-hop, I was fascinated by rap so I started rapping more. Now I’m more well-known as a rapper. Even though people are more familiar with my rapper side, I produced the all the tracks in [Cheers] which came out last September.
3. Your music seems to be influenced by jazz, which is unique. Where do you usually get your inspiration – any specific genre of music or artists? Do you listen to music other than Hip-hop?
I usually listen to a wide variety of music. I used to listen to a lot of jazz growing up. I learned how well jazz and hip-hop blend with one another from listening to artists such as A Tribe Called Quest and Pete Rock.
4. Do you have any American artists or producers that you want to work with in the future?
Oh SO many.
5. How do you usually write your lyrics and where does your inspiration come from?
It is really case by case but usually I write while I’m alone in the recording studio or home. I get my inspirations from relationships with others or life in general.
6. What’s the most recent album? How was that different from other albums that you have worked on/produced?
The most recent album is [Cheers], which was released September 2014. The biggest difference between this album and previous albums is that I produced the entirety of it. I produced the album wanting to deliver bright and positive vibes to the listeners.
7. What were some roadblocks in releasing the album? When are your proudest moments?
Every album always has little parts of it that I wish I had done better. I am the proudest when people like my work.
8. What is your favorite track in this album?
It depends on my mood really, but recently I’ve been leaning towards “감기 (Cold),” specifically the melody rather than the lyrics. I had a lot of fun working on it.
9.Were there any specific reason behind working with other artists as you found Hi-Lite Records?
Since it is a record label, I definitely thought that I had to recruit new artists. I recruited artists who I thought were musically talented and had potential.
10. Are there any works in progress that the fans of Hi-Lite Records should be excited about in 2015? How do you want Hi-Lite Records to grow?
Okasian, who is also a member of The Cohort Crew, and Keith Ape will be releasing their album. Other artists will also be releasing their own works. I believe that if the artists of Hi-Lite Records continuously produce quality work, Hi-Lite Records will grow well, however the direction may be.
11. What is your most memorable collaboration with another artist?
I do remember every one of them but B-Free I remember in particular. B-Free is very adamant and has a rough personality so we fought a lot and that makes him the most memorable.
12. What do you think about Korean hip-hop music being recognized globally?
I think it’s terrific and I am very proud of it.
13. What are the pros and cons of Korean hip-hop market?
The pro is that there are a lot of new artists and so much music is being produced. It really isn’t a con but as a fan of Korean hip-hop, I wish to see more individuality and ingenuity in the genre.
14. How has hip-hop in Korea developed?
The mid and late 90’s were when the rap albums really started being produced. Skill-wise, there has been general upward leveling. Practically speaking, being a rapper became a more profitable musical career.
15. Do you have a lot of concerts? Do you have any plans to perform in the U.S. (You should come to Chicago!)?
Performing is a huge part of my life. And I would like to more perform more frequently in the U.S. if the opportunity presents itself.
16. Do you have any hobbies other than music?
I didn’t have a hobby but nowadays, I am very into Nintendo games.
17. Any last words?
Thanks for reading all this!
Please make sure to check Paloalto’s SoundCloud, Facebook and Twitter below!