KI-JUNG – ‘Crystal Light’ + Exclusive Interview

1. Hello, thank you for your time, please introduce yourself in a few words!

Hi, I’m so glad to speak with you.  My name is Ki-Jung and I’m a multi-instrumentalist, a very active experienced composer and a producer with a wide range of preferred musical tastes – I call myself eclectic.  In all, I’ve written well over 100 songs in my career with more than 20 conceived during Covid alone.  

By way of background, I started my life as an orphan in South Korea until I was 2 years old.  I was adopted overseas to America and grew up in an Italian-German American family who put me through year-round music training starting at age 7, and later I also became a French citizen to give me the option to live, work and possibly retire in Europe.  

So I have split my life on three different continents and have been delighted to see how music is so integral and important to every human being in every culture I know.  It really is a universal language that pays huge dividends in the form of bonds and relationships with lots and lots of people I’d never know without the music scene.

2. Please give us an update about – new single, new album, tour dates, new videos?!

My newest single coming out now is called “Crystal Light” which is dark, ominous, a big cavernous vibe, enveloping a very intense, hooky pop/alternative song.  I love the internal tensions within this song between dark and light influences – sort of the yin-yang in a song – with an overarching theme of an intense love affair which is relatable to all.

I have some other tracks getting out there now too which are equally exciting in their own way.

3. Name 5 things we all should know about you as an artist?!

#1 I live currently in the New York area but am a truly global citizen and appreciate music and music enthusiasts everywhere.

#2 My art is 100% a way of life for me.  Music is a way of being and processing the world; it is not a part-time activity for me because it’s inextricable from my personal identity and the meaning of my life on earth, as I see it.

#3 I love the melding of the minds and the spontaneous magic that materializes when I work with other, world-class musicians and producers on projects.  There’s no better thrill than collaboration with incredibly talented, nice people. 

#4 I have a particular affinity for songs that have wide mass appeal, genre-wise.  That puts me squarely in categories like rock, pop (both indie and mainstream), ambient modern synth-based pieces, R&B/soul with Aretha-like groove, and a few others.

#5 I am also a music entrepreneur.  In addition to my own activities and career, I launch and grow the careers of multiple other musicians on the scene in different parts of the world.

4. What fashion style or brand would best describe your music?

I love bands or artists like Muse, Queen, Tears for Fears, the Cranberries, Elvis Costello, U2, The Shires, John Denver, Led Zeppelin, Sarah McLachlan, and many, many others.

But I gravitate to varieties of pop for the most part – rock pop, electronica, indie/alternative rock, and lovely, heartfelt autobiographical ballads.

5. Tell us more about your songs! Topics! Message!?

The message that most commonly shows up in my songs is that life and love are hard, but absolutely worth it – the challenges are surmountable.

That two-part, and somewhat integrated or symbiotic, dialectic is a good way in my opinion to think of our human condition in general.  My end message is that we will overcome.  

Music to me means making a statement that we feel the tough punches to the gut, but that we are stronger inside than we think – we’re survivors and ultimately will climb the walls of adversity.  It is the joy and happiness, peace and reassurance, compassion or empathy, and true love that music brings us – like nothing else in my experience – that is my mission and my service unto others.

6. Beside music, do you have any special talents?

I have a fair number of interests, from drawing to investing and various business ventures to tennis and martial arts (karate, Aikido, kung-fu, kickboxing, etc.), foreign languages, and even a stint training for ballroom dance competition many years ago.

7. Being on stage feels like….!

Being on stage for me is like speaking my love directly into the hearts of my listeners.  I’ve performed in large and small venues and the interaction is always the same – I bring my best and my strongest playing to every gig because my audiences deserve that.  And I feel the utmost gratitude to them for accepting to hear me play.  

I take my performances seriously and always prepare hard, for I get that one night to show myself and share my messages with my fans effectively.  It’s a rush in so many respects, and that’s frankly addictive.

8. How did you learn to sing/ to write/ to play??

My mother was the one who got me to take up drums at age 7, piano at age 11, guitars around age 14-15, vocal training around age 15-18, and so forth.  I trained with private teachers and in groups year-round from age 7 until my early 20s at which point I got into a New York professional music school.  I ended up going more in the direction of liberal arts at an Ivy League school with a great school of music and got the best of both educations in my mind.

As a songwriter, I am completely self-taught.  I just have a strong sense for how music can be written and “packaged” for mass appeal and consumption.  I went through phases of studying and learning nearly all songs for the artists I rotated through as I grew up, and the synthesis of so many influences – from Glen Campbell in country to Survivor in rock, etc. – led me to write in multiple genres faithfully and confidently.  

My craft in production has been built and refined by working in partnership with producers and professional musicians who hold themselves to the same high standards as I bring to my craft.

9. A question you’d like to answer, but never been asked in an interview before?! + Answer pls

A question for me would be: What keeps you creating?

The answer is clear: I have no choice but to create.  It is my language, the way I process my life experiences – like journaling – and I am but a vessel for delivering that unknown and mysterious place within me, my soul if you will, and I try to hit the music bulls-eye at every turn.  I’m a perfectionist and a very hard worker by my nature, and I love both music and people.  That’s what keeps my creative engine humming all day and even in my dreams, effectively without rest. It’s just what I do and who I am.