HHP: Hello, can you introduce yourself to the readers of Hiphopplaya.
Joosuc: Hello, this is Joosuc. It’s been a while since I’ve greeted you all.
HHP: How have you been doing since your last 5.5 mini album concert?
Joosuc: I’ve spent a lot of time setting up my label. I felt like I was going back to my original feel after a few years so I’ve set aside some time setting up plans here and there, considering that this is a very important time in my life.
HHP: I suppose you can consider March 1st of 2013 as Finest Records’ official date for the label being renewed and we’re curious about the reason for this renewal.
Joosuc: Finest Records was original established in 2005 and our plans were to promote as an independent label despite being under an agency but due to various reasons, those plans were cancelled. It’s always been on my mind to set up the label again and to do music promotions so once my contract had ended with my agency, I went straight into officially announcing the recreation of my label. Also, in wanting to hold meaning to setting up an independent label, I chose March 1st as the official date of the renewal.
[*T/N: March 1st is Korean Independence Day]
HHP: Please give an introduction of your artists Jindo Dog and Mayson the Soul who joined Finest Records.
Joosuc: As many of you may know, Jindo Dog was a friend I met through the program ‘Show Me the Money’ from Mnet of last year. During that time, we were able to spend a lot of time together and I think we ended up on the same boat due to the reason that we simply had a lot of stage performances together. From the start, he didn’t know anything about me, whether it being my music or my image so he didn’t have much thoughts of me. It was through being on the program that we were able to hold some truthful conversations that we saw how alike our personalities and our ways of thinking are as well as seeing similarities in our actions towards music, so we decided to join forces. In the second round of auditions, I already was in awe of Jindo Dog’s rap style and in result, he agreed with my values which made him firm on his decision in joining me. Seeing him made me see myself when I was younger and I liked that he was sure on his thoughts towards music and set music as his core over promoting on broadcasts or in the entertainment industry.
With Mayson the Soul on the other hand, he joined as a peculiar case. There was a point in time when Triump, a rapper from Incheon, was in and out of our studio for a few months and it was through him that I got to know Mayson; we also found out that he took part in Jindo Dog’s first mixtape, “My Life.” The track he took part in wasn’t really my style so I didn’t have great interest in him at first, but I found the musical talent that Mayson held when he walked into my studio with a sample of his mixtape he was preparing at the time, which was when I asked him to join me right then and there. Mayson worked part time at a live pub performing with a guitar or piano while singing and had auditioned for ‘Superstar K’ in the past, as that was his only experience. I can say that in looking at Mayson, his merit is his rare vocals. His music spectrum is fairly broad so beats he makes himself are considered unique and hard to find in Korea as well as his vocals being hard to find in typical R&B tracks, so I consider these as his biggest charming points. The music he claims to strive towards is blue-eyed-soul so you can get a different feel from just straight American music.
HHP: You released your single “One Way Ticket.” What kind of track is it?
Joosuc: “One Way Ticket” is single that’s an introductory track to our label. Like the ticket, there’s no returning ticket and holds the meaning of us going towards our one and only goal. It’s the first track that we’re releasing under the label so after much deliberation, we decided to go for a vacation concept to start things off.
HHP: We heard that you filmed as well as edited the music video for the single yourself. Were there any difficulties?
Joosuc: I had wanted to direct music videos before and with this single having meaning to it, I decided to challenge myself. Having started filming and editing with no prior knowledge and being in various music videos for over ten years, there weren’t any difficulties with camera work as ideas naturally flowed. However, in order to express my ideas into a video, I needed to know the fundamentals of editing programs but due to a time constraint, it was very difficult. This was why we decided to use an outdoors location from the start so that we won’t need to use a lot of video effects. With consideration of low budgeting, outdoor filming and light works, and having not a lot of knowledge in editing, there’s a lot of disappointment in terms of quality and ideas not being properly expressed in the video. Other difficulties included explaining to another musician on the camera angles for filming my part. However, the benefit to it was that the out budget was used for only food and gas. As a producer, I’m proud of how the video turned out, considering it was entry-level and I’ll take this as a practice round for upcoming videos in the future by getting the helps of proper equipment and staff to capture the true qualities.
HHP: We’re curious about Finest Records’ goals for the future.
Joosuc: In June of 2013, Mayson the Soul will release a mini album and around August or September, Joosuc will release an official 6th album. Meanwhile, for Jindo Dog, he’ll release a mini album or an official debut album around October or November. Before the release of each artist’s respective albums, we plan on releasing about one or two singles beforehand.
HHP: Tell us your plans as a musician for the future, Joosuc.
Joosuc: In signing with an agency, I had taken a long hiatus unknowingly so I spent my time in disappointment but now, I’m ready to unveil the second round of the musical aspect in my life, starting with the establishment of Finest Records. Although it’ll be difficult seeing me on broadcasts due to being an independent label, but I’m planning on pursuing the music I want and as the head of the label, I have no need to succumb to pressure of others when making an album and I feel as if I had gone back to the old Joosuc.
HHP: Do you have any words to the fans of hip hop?
Joosuc: Finest Records! We Finest! Anticipate us a lot.
Translated by: Uncharted Sound