[INTERVIEW] What Is Reverse K-Pop? Let SALV Maknae Explain…

For the Hallyu Haywire special on the newly established radio show called, Daebak K-pop with IMMY SALV Maknae of the diverse YouTube channel SALV&FAMILY came on the show to share his experiences in producing, singing, writing and everything in between. The show took place in November for one of the most thankful months out of the year with the concept to interview people who the international fans are thankful for and a chance to get to know them more. What better way to do that than a fun show with K-pop music and giveaways!

The second #HALLYUHAYWIRE show took place on November 13th. The interview is as follows:
IMMY: Even though your YouTube page has so many different aspects, it is page mainly recognized for its English K-pop covers with you and several featured artists. Just from listening we can tell all the hard work that goes into making a cover but walk us through that process. The hard parts, the most fun, everything
SALV: The whole idea behind English covers came from my love of K-pop since 2007, I went from a closeted K-pop fan to making covers. Then at that point in 2012, I didn’t care what people thought about me loving K-pop and started seeing others covering these songs but in English. In January of 2013, I heard Disturbance by BoA and then I thought ‘I need to sing this but I can’t speak Korean’ then I thought ‘what’s stopping me from making an English version?’ I felt that I had bridged a gap between Korean music and what were use to. Sometimes we as K-pop fans forget that the whole point of us being involved in it is that music has no limits.
I: How are you able to get your point across lyrically when writing English lyrics for a K-pop cover or your own music in general?
SV: I learned through a lot of trial and error. Talking about covers, the biggest challenge is trying not to be as exact as the English translation of the original Korean lyrics if you try to be too exact it will sound weird. I try to write the English lyrics in a way people can understand, a way that people get the same vibe and feeling from the original Korean song. Keep the melody and harmonies and progression the same. When I write lyrics I want them to sound natural I grab the idea of what they say without sounding forced but appealing at the same time. Same sound same meaning but not the exact translation.
As for my own music I just recently released a free album in October(2016) called FALL (Finding A Lost Love) based off of past experiences and heartbreak. It’s an album I’m very proud of and a reflection of my music I have been working on for the past eleven years. What people will find most interesting is that it’s Reverse K-pop. Many may ask ‘well what does that mean?’ for example; in K-pop their music is well-known for having English phrases or words in the lyrics that leaves their Korean listeners in curiosity about what the meaning of that word means. So what I call Reverse K-pop is an English song with bits of Korean. Now we know how Koreans feel when they hear a song in their language and then all of a sudden hear an English word in the song and are intrigued by it, I’m doing the same thing with my English lyrics but add a little Korean in there to peak my fans curiosity and take another listen.
I: I know that you are a passionate artist and obviously have a predominant love for Korean music so any desire to venture off into the South Korean music scene or live there?
SV: I’d love to make music in South Korea although it’s not the extent of where I want to be. I’d love to venture out into the Latin music scene as well and become a triple threat in Korean, English, and Spanish maybe even Japanese,who knows.

This interview was paraphrased from the full interview conducted by Immy, a radio DJ on 91.3FM. Tune in every Sunday 4-6pm(EST) for “Daebak K-Pop with IMMY!”

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