Many thanks to Reddy for agreeing to be interviewed for SeoulRebels! Check out the Korean version of this interview here. Thanks Jaehyuk for all your hard work on the translations!
– Please introduce yourself.
Hello, I am Reddy with Hi-Lite Records.
–How would you describe your music? What or who has inspired your style the most?
I want to make music that people in a comfortable, good mood can enjoy. I want to please people with my music. It is difficult to pick only one artist who has influenced me but I guess the music that I listen to often has generally influenced my work. I like Kanye West’s albums ‘The College Dropout’ and ‘Late Registration’ and also Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and Pharell. Lately, I have been listening to Post Malone a lot.
– How did your recent collaboration with Jay Park come about?
As I wrote the lyrics and began to create the song, I thought Jaebeom would be suitable for this type of music. So I called him right away to collaborate. Jaebeom didn’t even listen to the song first and was glad to collaborate. Soon after he recorded his part of the song and sent it to me.
– What was your favorite collaboration?
I enjoyed ‘Think’ the most.
– What do you listen to these days?
I listen to Post Malone, White Iverson, Too Young, Tear$ and similar artists. I have also listened to Bryson Tiller’s album ‘T R A P S O U L’ a lot recently.
– What do your parents think of you pursuing music?
My parents have always cheered me on. Although I never talk about my music, they are interested in looking up my music and searching for tv clips that I’m in on the internet.
– How did you get connected with Brandun Deshay for your collaboration? How was working with him?
Brandun DeShay first contacted me through email and sent me the beat. I liked it so we decided to work together. Having listened to numerous beats, we picked some and worked on them. We decided to release ‘Chi Kwon’ because that was the best one. It was fun to bring our Eastern and Western styles together. Although hip hop music started in the U.S. and the beat was created by brandUn who is an American, he was also exposed to cool Eastern culture. My lyrics were also inspired by the movie, ‘Drunken Master’. As a result of these influences, the mood of the song became very unique, which I liked a lot.
In your song “I Wish” with B-Free, you mention Ferguson, what are your thoughts on racism towards black people in America?
I am very upset and shocked by the fact that there is still racism in the world. This shouldn’t exist not only in America but anywhere in the world. Through my music I want to get rid of racism and other forms of discrimination.
– Is there anything you wanted to do besides rapping?
Because I majored in visual art, I would have loved to become an artist, graphic designer or fashion designer.
–Do you view the hip hop scene in Korea as one big community? Is there significant competition or any animosity between artists or labels?
I want it to be one big peaceful community. The ‘diss’ culture is too prominent in hip hop and sometimes all of the jealousy and hatred is too much. I will never agree with that culture.
–What are the pros and cons of the Korean hip-hop market?
Recently, a lot of great artists are being introduced to the public. This type of exposure was impossible to achieve five years ago. Because the Korean hip-hop market is small, I think anyone who has talent can become famous quickly. On the other hand, if fans have some small issue with an artist or he or she becomes involved in a scandal, their career can be ruined. That is what Korean hip-hop is like currently.
– Do you have any hobbies other than music?
I enjoy finding delicious restaurants. I am interested in delicious food and diverse food from different parts of the world.
–How do you feel about the spread of Korean hip hop globally?
I think it’s great! Because of this, I was able to work with brandUn DeShay. Korean hip hop’s global popularity influences me a lot. When I watch Youtube reaction videos, I’m surprised. I am very shocked that there are so many people around the world who listen to my music. This makes me feel more responsible for what I create.
–Are there any artists in Korea that you have not worked with that you would like to?
I really want to work with Gaeko (from Dynamic Duo). Ever since I started listening to music, I liked his rapping. He is still my favorite rapper.
– What is your advice to young people in Korea who hope to pursue a career in music?
I want to tell them they have to enjoy every step of the process. When they don’t get to enjoy it, nothing original will come out. It is important to always have a good mood while making music because your mood is reflected in your work. You can feel the mood of the artist when you listen to their music.
– Any plans to travel to or perform in the U.S. in 2016?
There are no plans yet but Hi-Lite Records is planning to do a tour outside Korea. If I work hard in Korea there might be a chance to perform outside the country.
Shout out to fyhilite.tumblr.com for the pictures!