Hana Kim, a soul, indie singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, is releasing a new live in-studio EP on Itunes. It features three new original and one cover song, with four accompanying music videos on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/hanakimmusic).
Kim’s new single “Almost Famous” received great reviews and attraction from the Songwriters Universe where it was named “Best Song of the Month” for Songwriter’s Universe, and it received a separate review for CCM Magazine (Christian Music Magazine) and Mochi’s Blog.
Kim has played at venues including The Viper Room, Saint Rocke, Hard Rock Cafe, Room 5 Lounge, and many California universities including CSU Los Angeles, UC Santa Barbara, CSU Long Beach, CSU Pomona. She also participated in events such as the Chula Vista Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival, Asia’s Got Talent, KONNECT Panel, and been on featured on Paraguay’s National TV Show “El Gigante De La Manana”.
AAP Interview with Hana Kim
AAP: How long have you been singing? Tell us a little bit about your background.
HANA KIM: I have been singing since I can remember, maybe at age 6 when my parents first bought me a karaoke machine? But music has already been apart of my life. I learned piano who is a classical singer and pianist and from there continued to pursue learning various instruments such as piano, saxophone, and guitar, not to mention I was a huge band geek in middle school.
Starting high school, I started listening to songs and just playing them on the piano which ignited my love for songwriting. Just writing melodies and various instrumental pieces became a joy growing up. In college, I wrote my first finished piece “Venice Dream” and then starting performing at different venues, the first being “Genghis Cohen” in Los Angeles. I’ve been on performing and writing since.
AAP: What is your style?
HK: I think my style has definitely gone through an experimental phase these past couple years. I start with more pop singer/songwriter but I think as I am writing, I’m really trying to write more songs that can showcase a more soulful voice. I love playing with the band so I’d say my style has a definite aspect of indie rock with an encorporation of soul and folk. I’m inspired by artists like Norah Jones, Lianne La Havas, Feist, and the newly growing Kimbra.
AAP: Is this your first recording?
HK: I actually released my first EP in May of 2010 and another single last year in November of 2011. This is the first record however that I’m really pushing to in terms of style. I hope to build up on this live EP, extracting some of the songs and hopefully releasing my first full album in the next year.
AAP: You seem to have a connection with South America. Can you describe this?
HK: I have a huge passion and love for the country of Paraguay. I went there for a three week mission trip initially and just fell so in love with the place and people that I decided to return for a longer period of time. I actually ended up staying almost six months, serving at a school and local churches. It was a pivotal point in my life to experience something that I’ve never experienced and be used in ways I’ve never been used.
I actually had my first television debut in Paraguay for a morning program called “El Gigante De La Manana” and performed continuously there as well. I think it also became a time of personal retreat for me, I had so much time to just see the people, culture, and simple lifestyle and transform them into songs.
AAP: What are you doing next? A tour? More social media or online work?
HK: Currently, I’ve just been writing and hopefully trying to get more shows lined up. However, I’m returning to Paraguay again for three months this summer and will again be on the same program. I hope to release a couple cover and original videos before then.
AAP: What has been your experience as a Korean American singer? Any barriers?
HK: There are many barriers; often as a, not just a Korean, but an Asian singer-songwriter, you get classified into two categories: Youtube or reality TV shows (like American Idol). However, for me personally, I have a strong passion for live shows and would love to build an audience who enjoys the live experience of music.
There are so many media outlets that have made it easier for the discovery of Asian American artists, yet there is still a cultural barrier of acceptance in mainstream media. You can see this just by looking at the top 50 artists on the charts. Yet, I feel that we are slowly moving and I hope to be apart of that movement through live shows.
AAP: Who have you partnered with along the way?
HK: There has been so much support of people who have helped me these past couple months, the two main being Good Kid productions (who have filled both the studio videos and my music video “Almost Famous”) and Stereographic Entertainment who have produced both projects.
I have also had the pleasure of collaborating with many talented musicians who have had the privilege of touring with artists such as Bob Dylan, Feist, and Alanis Morisette. I hope to continue to coming together with other faces in the industry and creating great music.