HHP: Briefly, introduce the music label to us.
AC: I am CEO Noh Young Il who is in charge of being the marketing director of Amoeba Culture. I had originally worked under the entertainment business in 2002 and was a manager for idols right up until the point when I had started Amoeba Culture. And in having maintained my relationship with Dynamic Duo and our current staff, whether it being work-related or outside of work, we followed the motto of “Before we get older – I don’t think it’ll get easier once we get married.. – let’s have fun all the while working with people who you can connect with.” So as one of the “Seven Comrades” in Dynamic Duo’s 3rd album “Rewritten History,” I have been with them since the beginning of when Amoeba Culture was created in September of 2006 till now. And I know this happens anywhere for small scale companies, that having not a lot of staff, there’s really no subdivisions in regards to the workload so I had to work like the CEO in the movie “Captain Hong” in solving everything on my own but now, we have a lot of members of our family and I have finally come to the point of becoming the marketing director from 2011 and on in overlooking all of the marketing activities. With the label getting bigger, importance of planning and marketing was highly needed; however, there’s really not that much difference in the work I did then and now, just that the workload is the same.
HHP: Your results of last year?
AC: When talking about our results of last year, we’re very excited and feeling confident with the return of the core of our label as well as the eldest hyungs of our label, Dynamic Duo and their discharge from the military. I’m also happy to see them rewrite history in earning good results from their two albums that they released as well as holding their exhibition in celebrating their 10 year anniversary, despite having the pressure from the title of “The Return of the Kings.” Although the other artists under the label want the system that only Amoeba Culture provides with and is promoting with us as our family members because they like the system, more than anything though they probably have big credibility towards Dynamic Duo. And in a situation where Dynamic Duo had gone to the military, it was a big problem and no matter how connected you are and how hard you work all the while encouraging one another for your dreams, there’s still a limitation in a relationship between an artist and the staff, and Dynamic Duo played a critical role as the middleman for this and it was because of them that Amoeba Culture was able to become more established. Also, we can’t forget Dynamic Duo’s 10 year anniversary albums and their exhibition…with the manpower of such a minor company, this was one of our most grand projects held. Thankfully, we earned good responses from the public without running into any issues. Also, we’re very thankful to Dynamic Duo who worked efficiently without any rest since their discharge because of the set tasks they were set to do already
Secondly, not the Ssam D from Supreme Team, but Simon-D has returned to us. In Amoeba Culture, he played the biggest contributor to the public; there’s no denying that Simon-D takes this title. However, he slowly began transitioning from “Simon-D” to “Ssam D” to the public, creating a situation where we couldn’t necessarily laugh about. Of course in the music market today, both music and variety (basically “broadcasting”) have a symbiotic relationship. The saying “How can a person who pursues in music go on a variety” is old fashioned now. If you don’t emphasize your image and musicianship, then the route of using variety shows to let your music be known is probably the best decision. In showing a side of one’s self that the public normally isn’t aware of in order to be on friendly terms with them is none other than a good gateway in my opinion. In going back on topic, with Simon-D not having promoted as a rapper all that long and his excellent skills not being known so well to the public, more so as just an entertainer, was an unfortunate sight to see. That’s why “Simon-D” released an album to let himself be known as an artist and we gained a satisfactory result. Also, attempts like that will be continued.
Third, genius producer Primary released an album as a producer. Although he’s known as the greatest producer to the manias and the underground scene, he’s someone who’s close to “zero” when it comes to being known to the public. With that said, “Full Already” which was praised by Quincy Jones and the promotions for “Zoo” for Primary and The Messengers were all very meaningful. First off, we were able to emphasize the importance in the role of producers of whom create music for the public. Also, although it’s very known overseas but not in Korea, but we’re very glad that we were able to let the public know that you don’t have to always sing and be a producer to be classified as an adult. Of course, this is just a beginning step as we’re glad that aside from just his music, Primary’s ‘box’ character became known through various broadcast promotions as well with promoting online, completely different from promotions he had underground through solely his music prior to all of this. Art director Yoon Hyub who is popularly known for his sky graffiti gave him the ‘box’ character and in various ways, it’s all very meaningful and fits Primary best. We broke the stereotypes of “only people who sing can be singers” as the whole meaning in creating one album all falls back to the producer, in which we were able to tell the public. Of course, his beginning is still insignificant, but slowly he’ll work harder with time.
HHP: Rhythm Power joined as new members of your family. They qualified in an audition format, but what was their critical factor that allowed them to pass?
AC: When they auditioned at first, their group name was actually “Radioactivity.” However, having qualified from the audition, right when we were at the time of creating a contract with them, the radioactivity in Japan had happened and from tens to hundreds of articles daily related to the ‘radioactivity’ in Japan were all over television and the internet. In this case, the term became an archetype of fear and so we had a meeting in regards to the name “Radioactivity.” Honestly, we wanted to keep this name, but when we searched it up on portal sites, they actually came up about 100 pages later, so we chose the name “Rhythm Power” with it being their representing song and suiting their characters as well. Honestly though, the teams that survived up until the last rounds of auditions held rivaling skills and of course, their talent wasn’t a joke, so even when we did have to choose a final team, it wasn’t easy on Amoeba Culture’s end. At first, we had the surviving two teams re-audition and in the end, the dormant knowledge as well the potential to improve, along with the synergy from the 3 being long term friends, those factors won Rhythm Power. But aside from all of the audition processes, Amoeba Culture was worried if they will be able to settle into our label well and if we could support their music and characters as best as we could. I was able to coincidentally see their performance prior to their audition and they had a humorous and optimistic energy to them and if we are able to direct them correctly along with polishing them up just a little, then we thought that they are completely capable of succeeding. This is off topic, but at the time the performance didn’t do so well and I still remember them in despair after the performance.
HHP: We ask for a detailed introduction of your Jtong joining your label.
AC: First off, it’s the 7th year this year since Amoeba Culture has been established and In the underground scene, there are a lot of people who are talented and hold quality talent. However, for those people, there isn’t a system for them in the music market, not even an article talking about their release of their music. It’s a sad reality seeing that their name can’t even go up by even one line. Trying to let this new type of genre known to the public from their own manpower, yet failing when clashed with reality that their outstanding music won’t be known, it was unfortunate to see them crumble back into their own space. In seeing this, we tried to find ways to help them and we came across this project. In Jtong’s case, he’s a rapper who holds outstanding skills alongside a unique style and musical character in mainstream music, so we wanted to help him music life as even just an artist to the public, even if it means not going into mainstream music. Amoeba Culture knows better than anyone else in having prior experience that if you’ve done music for a long time, it’s almost impossible to make it without the interest of the public, whether that’s in someone’s interest or not. We wish for talented musicians to not give up due to reality being harsh against the music they love to do and in order to prevent it from happening in the future, it’s also another reason as to why we’ve created this system, that they need the helping hand of their seniors who’ve already set foot in reality and know what it’s like out there. Another joy to us is that with our aid is that these skilled musicians will create music that will be joyful to our ears!!
We announced through hiphopplaya about Dynamic Duo also, but the opportunity is open to any artist that has skills and talent, but the catch is that we can’t promote them all at once. We try to have everyone support one team at a time and right now, first up is Jtong. We ask for anticipation for Jtong’s upcoming new album that will be soon released that was created alongside Amoeba Culture. We also hope that in the future, Amoeba Culture can become a bridge for the talented artists to use to reach out to the world and that we promise to complete this task as best as we can.
HHP: Your plans for the New Year?
AC: Because the artists of Amoeba Culture have proclaimed all around that they’ll be coming out with music faster than others, we actually set our overall plans for the year last year. We’ll first start off with Primary. In Primary’s case, we can’t help but call him a genius in knowing his talent yet being able to put out something in a tremendous speed. So we plan on releasing separately something from Primary in his name alone and Primary Skool. Because he has such a broad spectrum in terms of music, it’s hard to just put one color to him and this was the result of that. Next up is Rhythm Power who have set their goal of their debut for around March or April. Already they’ve completed over 80% of their album production and because they have a complete different set of feel and style from Amoeba Culture’s artists, we have a lot of expectations as well as a lot of worries. We’re all trying hard to appeal to the public as best as we can of their team’s color which is overall bright and holds a lot of positive energy.
For Simon D, he is none other than preparing for an album and this upcoming album will be more diverse than the album prior and has a lot of music that is friendly to the ears. Of course, he’s also preparing a surprise album for the original listeners outside of this album. With Dynamic Duo constantly working on their two albums during their granted leaves and year-end leaves each year during their service, they were able to put out two albums in the span of 5 months from their discharge. Of course, this is an amazing set of production, but their cravings for producing and music in general must have been overpowering during their 2 years of military service as they’re currently elaborating on the ideas they’ve created. Also, they won’t be holding one single performance in their step to the American market, but will be holding a U.S. tour in which they’re preparing for. Also, as we said before, we have various support projects between these in releasing other various artists.
HHP: In greeting the New Year, say a word to the fans of hip hop and fans of American hip hop
AC: Thank you for always giving your love and attention to Amoeba Culture. Also, we will try to work harder in taking responsibility for the attention you provide us with. In 2012, we will visit you all in showing a strong transformation for “Amoeba” through various music and performances. Have a happy new year and thank you.