For this series of bloggy interviews I’ve shared questions with young artists and musicians living in New York. This time: vocalist and composer Song Yi Jeon. I’ve met her first while studying at Berklee College of music when we were studying with people like Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Joe Lovano and George Garzone. And I really love where she is taking her music and I encourage you all to check her new album out that was released last month!
* WHERE ARE YOU FROM, WHAT DO YOU MISS ABOUT HOME?
I’m from Republic of Korea, which is known as South Korea. I miss my parents, cheap street food. – Currently I’m visiting Korea, so all fulfilled!
* FAVORITE PLACE IN THE CITY
I have a couple favorite places in New York. Union square, which is the most convenient location to meet people or call people to come. The other one is a coffee shop at my neighborhood, called “Coffee Mob”. Best coffee ever! The last place is the area near Washington Square park. All the jazz clubs, and my (probably not only mine but most of my musician friends) nightlife is there.
* FAVORITE NEW MUSIC
…is more like a new discovery; Charles Mingus and Fred Hersch (duo album with Anat Cohen)
* FAVORITE OLD MUSIC
- Edward Simon’s Impossible question. It’s an album with David Binney.
- Guillermo Klein’s “El Minotauro”
- Byungki Hwang’s “Spring Snow (Chun Seol)” – Korean traditional instrument music
* WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NON-MUSIC THING TO DO
Eating chocolate, drinking coffee (But I have limit, 1 cup a day!) and I love watching complete tv series at once!
* WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON MUSICALLY
I have a concert about Thelonious Monk. I’m trying to arrange his songs which is not easy at all but I’m learning a lot through this process!
* CRAZIEST GIG EXPERIENCE
I had two episodes at one gig. I had an opportunity to play in Qatar with some Arabic musicians as well as Western musicians. We were about to perform and last minute they told me that I cannot wear a dress that shows my knees. So we had to find a long dress, black tie style, like 30 minutes before the show. Few days after when we were leaving at the airport, passport controller was not letting me to leave, looking at me weirdly. The truth was that my entrance visa was saying that I was from North Korea. Oops…
* WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
I honestly don’t know. I was living in NY until last month, and tried to live day by day and perform and surviving in NY as a musician for the next 10 years was my dream. Now I left NY, much earlier than I thought as a matter of fact, but I’m moving to Europe. I cannot picture myself yet how I would be in next 10 years. Probably I would do the same as I did in NY; keep trying to live day by day, writing music, performing and surviving. And hopefully my music gets growing.
* LINK TO A VIDEO OF YOU
It’s a video of a Korean traditional folk song that I arranged. It’s also a last track of my new album “Movement of Lives”
* LINK TO YOUR WEBSITE