EXCLUSIVE: Meet sogumm, The Korean R&B And Soul Artist Ready To Take On The World
We talk to her about her artistic influences and her thoughts on K-pop dominating the world. She also revealed the Filipino artist she loves!
“I’ve loved music since I was young,” says sogumm, whose real name is Kwon So-hee. The Korean R&B and Soul Artist, who debuted independently in 2015, burst onto the Korean hip-hop and R&B scene last year after winning in SignHere, a hip-hop audition TV show. That allowed her to sign with entertainment company AOMG. Since then, she has released two albums—“Not my fault” and “Sobrightttttttt”—as well as several singles and EPs.
sogumm has been one of the thousands, if not millions, of hopefuls wishing to make it one day in the world of Korean R&B and Soul, and today, it’s safe to say that’s she’s well on her way. “There’s a thing called late night self-studying at high schools in Korea,” she tells Metro.Style. “You could be exempted if you attend art, music, or physical education academies. So I began to attend a piano academy and it was the starting point of me doing music properly.”
Her sound is distinct and contemporary, a blend of hard-hitting hip-hop and electro-pop that incorporates lo-fi and acoustic sounds. She’s a member of the musical group Balming Tiger, a self-proclaimed “multi-national alternative K-pop band,” and has released several songs and a mixtape with them as well.
“I want to make music that is unique to me,” she says, “but I am figuring out how to make it appealing to everyone’s taste. I want to show a new style of music that breaks free from the traditional Korean style without too many hostile reviews.”
She’s always been keen on expressing herself through music, but she doesn’t settle for just that: “I’m interested in all forms of expression that I can voice myself with,” she adds. “Apart from music, I enjoy painting and I also like to write.”
Growing up, sogumm has been influenced by a number of individuals, but credits most of where she is now to her aunt. “She’s the ideal strong, independent career woman and I admired how confident she looked,” sogumm says. “I still look at my aunt for inspiration. My interests in painting or architecture are also because of her love for paintings and her taste in interior design. She gifted me a lot of special edition fairytale books and children’s picture books, so I think my aunt is one of the people who had the most influence in my life.”
She has a personal connection to the Philippines, too, having learned English from Filipino teachers through tutoring programs, and even naming Lea Salonga as one of her favorite artists. “Her voice is beautiful, and I admire her for making a name for herself by working with big names like Disney,” she says.
As for the growing popularity of K-pop, sogumm says, “I’m usually caved in my studio working on music, so I didn’t think much of the trend until I recently saw K-pop getting recognized on international awards shows. ‘What a tremendous honor,’ I thought. I realized that we are living history right now.”
“I was very happy to see that as a world, we have opened a whole new market that breaks the boundaries of race and culture and enjoys music,” she adds. “I am looking forward to what I would be able to offer in the future as well.”
As the year ends, we ask her about her Christmas plans and her wishes for 2021. “I have not thought deeply about what to do on Christmas Day yet. I like the slow buildup of excitement from December 1st to 24th leading up to Christmas Day more than the actual Christmas,” she says. “I’m not sure what I would be doing then but because of the pandemic, I will most likely chill at home while listening to Christmas carols. However, I will be trying my best to enjoy the festive mood to the fullest.”
Finally, sogumm also reveals that she wrote a lot of music this year, but was only able to release a small portion of it. “In the coming year, I want to release a lot of albums and songs. Apart from music, I want to show more of myself to my fans.”
We can’t wait!