Hello, my name is V1NO. A 2nd generation Korean-American K-hiphop artist. As an artist I struggled with a lot of doubt and found myself constantly anxious to get things done instead of focusing on myself as an artist first. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t rush the process (music) but that I should trust it instead. On saying that, “V1NO” means wine in Italian, and just like wine my music will only get better with time. The “1” in V1NO represents my mindset to do my best in all things, my acknowledgment that there is 1 God, and the fact that no matter what, you should always try 1 more time.
As a 2nd generation immigrant, I think a lot of us try our best to bear the burden and struggles of our 1st generation immigrant parents. As an immigrant residing in NY, as diverse as it may be, it is still full of the struggles of stereotypes and racism. But the experiences that come with being an immigrant has given me a rollercoaster of emotions (pain, joy, pride, sorrow, etc) and with these experiences it has definitely led me to embody and convey all of this into a Korean-American outlet which is K-HipHop. This exact artform represents who I truly am a Korean-American that shares his experiences of joy, sadness, pain, pride, and more with the world.
I define my identity in my art by embracing my emotions. These emotions can range anywhere from happiness to extreme sadness. Emotions are what fuel me to create genuine music. Every emotion I face, whether it be good or bad, it only inspires me to share that specific experience with the listener.
My last job was actually at an insurance company, but before that I was in school, and I actually didn’t fully start pursuing music until the start of 2019. Back in July of 2016, I received a call from one of my good Hyoung’s by the name of Albert Oh. He was the one to push me to pursue music. He himself, was also someone who experienced a similar crossroad. Albert was someone who gave up a successful position at Goldman Sachs to pursue his dreams of being a filmmaker. He encouraged me to do the same that summer night of 2016.
One of the most rewarding moments in my music career was when listeners and fans from all over the world began to direct message me via instagram telling me about how much they loved my songs as well as memorizing the lyrics. That’s when I knew I was doing something right.
My routine is usually this: I will listen to a background track of an instrumental and if it gives me the right emotion and feeling, only then can I really start to create genuine art.
I think before I began pursuing music my studies were my passion. I am a very goal-oriented person when I have a target to aim for, and so when i was a student my studies were my #1 priority as i studied to excel in my academics, that was until i started pursuing music.
The last time I visited Korea was at 5 years old. I think the most memorable times I had was when I used to spend time in the countryside of my mother side of town. (Jungmun-1 li, Gaeun-eup, Mun-Kyeong, Gyeongsang-bukdo, South Korea)
I am a city person at heart. I love a lot of bright lights and being surrounded by people. It gives me a very cozy feeling.
The artist that really gives me a lot of inspiration would be between dean and Zion-t. The reason being is that these artists make art into a very unique perspective of how they tell their story as well as talking about deeper issues at hand.
If I could collaborate with 1 korean artist it would have to be between DEAN or ZION T. I think they’re both very unique in the way they express themselves and the subjects they talk about is very meaningful. To have a chance to even be a part of their songwriting process would be a good opportunity.
I think the biggest charm to international fans is to connect the bridge of 2 different cultures through the medium of hiphop. My favorite K-hiphop song would probably be “INSTAGRAM” by DEAN. This would be definitely my favorite because of the honest, vulnerable and relatable subjects he talks about in that song.
2020 from March onwards has definitely been a little tough to adjust. My day to day schedule for post covid activities are almost all done indoors. I have been even more strict when it comes to quarantining because I am currently living with my parents and I do not want to expose myself or them to the COVID.
I have a lot of new music coming out very soon! I think, again, I am an artist that is inspired by the impact of my emotions, so therefore with each season I tend to convey different emotions. On saying that, I have some projects for each current and upcoming seasons ( current summer, fall, winter and so on)
My advice to any upcoming/aspiring rappers is to be as authentic and genuine as possible. True followers and listeners will gravitate towards honest artists.
Yes, I put everything into my music. Music is literally my form of therapy. If I feel bad or sad I put it into music and sooner or later something positive comes out of all my negative situations.
I think my biggest dream is for many people to be able to recognize my art and become believers of my music. Everything that comes from that is just a bonus for me.
I would love for them to know that I make music for them. Life is beautiful and sad all at the same time and I would love to share this with my new listeners.