Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

WTK’s Exclusive Interview With Eclectic K-Pop Solo Artist ARTLOVER

Up-and-coming K-pop singer ARTLOVER is no ordinary solo artist. The London-based singer made her start in the exciting world of professional make-up artistry, having worked with Vogue, ELLE, and famed fashion photographer Rankin before making the shift to music, where she showcases strong abilities in both rapping and singing. She made her official debut this spring with her first single “Want U Back,” a dream-pop meets hip-hop track produced by JYP Entertainment‘s Lee Tae Seop.

This summer, WTK had the opportunity to interview ARTLOVER regarding her artistic process and influences. We were also given the behind-the-scenes scoop on what went down in creating “Want U Back” and her very first music video. Check it out here!

How did you decide to transition from beauty to music? What inspired the change?

I always thought about becoming a musician, but I felt that it’s an unrealistic dream. At a certain point, I realized that I had learned enough from my make-up career and gained experience that I could use to help me navigate the world of music. It kind of happened naturally for me, gradually shifting.

Do you find it easier to be in front of the cameras or more difficult? What are some of the specific challenges you faced as you began your career with music?

At first, I was confused, but soon I understood and I could focus on the camera, and it became much easier. My biggest challenge was having to depend on my ears rather than my eyes.

There are not many K-pop artists based outside of Korea. Do you think it’s possible to become a hit in K-pop regardless of your location? What difficulties have you found being based in London?

I think it’s possible. There are K-pop fans all of the world. And in a city like London, people are very open-minded when it comes to multicultural aspects, including music.

Being in London has also helped me get in contact with various writers. One of them being Max Billion, who has worked with a lot of electronic producers and artists, such as Mark Needham, Oliver Nelson, Krono, and Ember Island. He brought some interesting influences to my music. If I had worked out of Korea, my music probably would have sounded quite different.

I haven’t encountered any difficulties yet with my music outside of Korea. However, it’s quite expensive, and I constantly need to work hard in order to survive.

What advice can you give to other singers who are not located in Korea and want to pursue a career in K-pop?

Believe in yourself.

As someone involved in fashion, how do you think that assists you in your music career? 

I have learned how to express myself as an artist, but also I have learned the practical tools for bringing a vision to life. A good example of this is my music video for “Want U Back,” which required both a clear vision and a practical strategy in order to be able to complete it.

We heard a lot of the jewelry and aesthetic in your debut music video came from your own collection and influence. Let’s talk fashion for a moment – what are your three favorite things in your wardrobe?

One of my favorite things for sure I have is a ring that my grandmother gave me a few years ago. Sometimes the value of something may exist because of the person who gave it to you.

Secondly, another favorite is a pair of diamond earrings from 18th century France. I call myself the queen of retro, so naturally, I love antique jewelry with history and charm. I used this in the styling for the “Want U Back” music video for the black-and-white flashback scenes.

Thirdly, I found one amazing vintage blue dress from the 80’s. I will use this for my next music video. I can’t wait!

Fashion is a huge part of K-pop and what appeals to many people from the beginning when they first see a K-pop video. What do you think is the biggest trend right now that people should include in their own wardrobe?

I’ve started loving waist belts a few years ago. I like to collect all different kind of belts and mix and match with the garments. And now it has become popular as a retro fashion trend. Now is the perfect time to try it out!

Who is your favorite artist(s) in K-pop and Korea?

I like Kim Gwang Seok, who is a folk rock musician from 80’s.

Who is your favorite fashionista in K-pop and Korea?

Oh Hyuk – I think he dresses cool.

If you could collaborate with one Korean/K-pop artist, who would it be and why?

People may guess my answer would an indie musician, but even though my music is a bit more indie, I still like to do more of a melodic rap, and from that perspective, it would be amazing to work with G-Dragon or Zion.T.

Who are some of the artists that have influenced you the most when it comes to music?

My music and fashion is inspired mostly from the 80’s, and Michael Jackson is one of my favorites, I think he [was] a true musician, artist, and entertainer.

For people who haven’t heard of you yet, how would you describe your music? Tell fans why should they listen to you.

My music is a fusion of hip-hop, jazz, and rock. I use different influences to create my own vision and emotion. I want [to] communicate with my audience through my influences and also through visuals, such as videos and pictures. So people can hopefully expect something that they feel is quite unique, both sonically and visually.

Can you tell us a little bit about the experience of filming your first music video? The scenery and aesthetic of the music video were amazing! Did you face any particular challenges while filming in Sweden? What was the best part?

Thank you so much! When I worked as a make-up artist, I used to check the screen, so standing in front of the camera was kind of different. I had to imagine the whole scenery because I couldn’t check the screen. During the shoot, at a certain point everything just felt right, and it came together.

I felt that nature wanted to help me because the timing was perfect as everything was blooming out on the Swedish fields.

You have a very distinct sound and sense of fashion that comes off as a very independent and strong woman. What women have made the biggest influence in your own life? Any other celebrities that inspire you?

Firstly, thank you for kind the words. I like Madonna. [It] seems like her passion is never-ending. I admire that.

Can you tell us a little bit about your work as a makeup artist? What are some of your favorite projects that you have worked on?  Any interesting experiences to share with fans?

One of my favorite shoots was a collaboration between ELLE and Pandora. Not only did I work on the shoot, but I also got an opportunity to be exclusively interviewed by ELLE UK. I loved to be styled up and photographed by their team. I got to be featured with two other young talents (women’s wear and set designers) who also worked on the Pandora x ELLE shoot with me.

As ARTLOVER keeps on her musical journey, we have no doubt she will continue to provide both unique and stimulating music that is bound to please those looking for something outside the normal sounds of Kpop. In addition, we are sure her next music video will be another visual feast, and wish her the best of luck and continued success in her career.

WTK would like to thank ARTLOVER for kindly answering our questions for this interview. If you’d like to find out more about ARTLOVER and keep up-to-date with her work, follow her official accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Have you watched ARTLOVER’s MV yet? What did you think?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Media: Trompe Loeil Records

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