Korean-Canadian producer Hyunji-A returns to TOR, continuing to cement her bespoke sound, which highlights enticing and emotive grooves. She’s been turning heads in her hometown Montréal through headlining shows at the esteemed Stereo, and her production career is well underway with releases flowing on the likes of OneDotSixTwo, 3rd Avenue, and right here on TOR. We’ve met up with her a few days after the release of the EP to get insight on the creation of the project, the perks of being both a producer and vocalist, her direct influences as well as some of her future aspirations. Enjoy!
We have to go back to Hyunji’s childhood to retrace the path of the EP’s title track ‘Stars & Satellites’. ‘It used to be our family tradition to go camping every summer. Almost every night we’d go stargazing, and not only did we see stars, but also satellites, which I thought were shooting stars at first. The lyrics, ‘Stars within, stars in the sky’ relate to the fact our bodies are made of elements that can only be formed in exploding, dying stars’, explains the 27 year-old who cites those experience as a main factor inspiring her to complete a physics degree at McGill University.
As for the B-Side, ‘Badabing’, it was some more recent experiences that led to its creation. “It was mostly inspired from being around friends who listen to more minimal type of music, Romanian minimal mostly. Having parties and afterparties with them and being exposed to that kind of music stimulated some kind of creativity to produce something in that field, but adding my own touch.”
That unique touch can be explained by the fact Hyunji hops back and forth between being a vocalist and producer. ”Having both roles allows me the creative control behind every single idea, the vocals, the lyrics, the flow, just as I would choose to create certain chords or melodies”. Even though Hyunji reveals that recently it’s the vocal idea that came first and then the production, it was the opposite for ‘Stars & Satellites’. The instrumental was fully produced before Hyunji added a vocal performance at a suggestion by TOR label manager Guthrie Drake.
On top of the music, Hyunji also has been performing as an actress since 2018, a passion which is coherent with the ease with which she lets her audience glimpse into her creative process on social media. ”I think it is a feedback loop between creating music and more video content. I’ve always loved filmmaking and acting, and in that world of filmmaking, cinematography, colour grading etc.”
As for the Montréal scene, an artist jumps out as particularly inspiring. ‘I’d say Kora would be the most influential if I had to pick an artist. Not only does he focus on music but he also does a lot for environmental causes and activities, which makes sense with the earthy tones, the organic sounds of his music,” she says about the Joliette native who will be presenting his first live-show at Osheaga this summer.
That ambition of one day elaborating a live performance is shared by Hyunji. ”That’s something I really told myself from the beginning. Growing-up, I played the piano and presented concerts, and to me those were really profound experiences, playing a real-live instrument in front of people. It gives a more personal touch to each show…”
Listen to Hyunji-A’s return on XYZ Selectors below:
1. Hyunji-A – Goodnight Oppy (Original Mix)
2. Hyunji-A – As Old As Time (Original Mix)
3. LADS – Tales of Orient (Hyunji-A Remix)
4. Anjei, Anjei & Ego – A Guy Called Ra (Erdi Irmak Remix Version 1)
5. GUGGA [BR] – Clocks (Original Mix)
6. Hyunji-A – 16 Hours (Original Mix)
7. Hyunji-A – Storm Chaser (Original Mix)
8. Fabreeka – Blue Sky (NOIYSE PROJECT Remix)
9. Hyunji-A – Camino Torcido (Original Mix)
10. NOIYSE PROJECT – The Groove Child (Original Mix)
11. Praveen Achary, Aman Anand – Fiasco (Original Mix)
12. Hyunji-A – Road Trip to Andromeda (Original Mix)
13. Hyunji-A – Blue Butterfly (Original Mix)
14. Hyunji-A – Stars & Satellites (Original Mix)
15. Hyunji-A – This Too Shall Pass (Hakan Ozurun Remix)
16. Brian Cid – Daydreamer (Original Mix)
Also, catch Hyunji-A play at Le Salon Daomé Friday June 2nd to celebrate the release of the ‘Stars & Satellites’ EP along with Laure: https://www.facebook.com/events/255891180440805
Stream / Download the ‘Stars & Satellites’ EP: https://xyzlabel.lnk.to/StarsSatellites
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/hyunji-a
Instagram – www.instagram.com/hyunji.a_/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/hyunjiamusic/