[K-Indie Musician #2] ‘Goddess of Indie music’? One of a Kind Songwriter, Fromm
The word ‘Indie’ from ‘indie musician’ is short for ‘Independent.’ So the true meaning of indie musician is a musician who is not affiliated to any big entertainment agency and independently makes his/her own music without any pressure or others’ will. This column is to find those hidden musicians who have their unique colors and charms like a gemstone and introduce them to the world.
[by Chloe Yun] The nominees for ‘Korean Music Awards 2014’ were announced on February 6. On the nominee list of ‘Best Pop Album,’ there was one unfamiliar name among Korea’s big singers like Cho Yong Pil and Lim Kim. She was ‘Fromm.’ Who Is she, and where is she fromm?
When I searched her name, her related search keyword ‘Goddess of Hongdae’ popped up first, and then her pretty profile picture was shown as though it answered the question.
Making her debut in 2012 with single digital album ‘Wasn't It Love,’ Fromm is a talented song writer who writes lyrics, composes, and produces her songs by herself.
With long brown hair and chic face, Fromm looked as though she popped out of her profile picture from the web portal site. Her first impression—vintage retro style and boyish voice— was not exactly what I had imagined about her—I’d guessed she would be a pretty, feminine girl in a girly lace one-piece. I got more curious about her.
◆ 22-Year-Old Fromm Meets the Hongdae World
“I always had a big desire for change of life and wanted to focus on my music. That's why I decided to come to Seoul. I wanted to live being surrounded by musicians and artists, and I found Hongdae. In Hongdae you can sing whatever you want, and no one would care."
Hongdae street is the center of indie music where popular musicians like ‘Jang Gi Ha Band’ and ‘10 cm’ started their music career. Young musician Fromm was attracted to the artistic atmosphere and free spirit of Hongdae like a magnet. As working part-time at a coffee shop and going to a singing academy, she started her little musician life. She was 22.
“I was lost and wandering around when I first came to Seoul. I had no idea how music industry works. I just recorded songs by myself. Then I luckily met ‘Peter Pan Complex.’ They've been a big influence on me and my music career. My first official performance was their concert opening. ”
◆ When Did You Start Your Music?
“I liked to make a song and made my friends listen to it since I was very little. My sister and I used to draw a cartoon and make a theme song for it.”
Fromm said she didn't remember either when she started her music or when she started wanting to become a singer. By saying that she made a theme song for her own cartoon while other kids were playing with a toy, she seem to answer the question unconsciously; Singer was her vocation.
◆ Why Did You Choose To Become Indie Singer?
"I think indie music is raw. When saying pop music is a big fish that came out in a fancy package, indie music is a small, natural fish that I caught by myself."
Just like many other trainees do, she once went to a singing academy and entered into a star agency. However, she couldn't restrain herself from singing a given song with a given image and given name. She was too ‘raw’ to be trained by a star agency.
◆ Do You Like Your Title, ‘Goddess of Hongdae’?
“Ugh, I don’t like it. It doesn't fit me, and many people seem annoyed with it (smile). But it has actually helped get people to hear my music, so I’m very thankful.”
She was right. ‘Goddess of Hongdae’ was not the title to describes her. At least she was very different from other Hongdae goddesses who have clean, pure voice that matches their pretty cute face.
◆ First Full-Length Album ‘Arrival’ Arrives at ‘Korea Music Awards’
“I feel dazed. It’s an honor that I was nominated for such a huge award with such big musicians. I’m so happy.”
‘Korea Music Awards’ is a prestigious event in which music critics, music reporters, music radio producer, and other music experts participated as committees. It is neither ‘Rookie of the Year’ nor ‘Popularity awards.’ From, who has just released her first official album, was nominated for ‘The Best Pop Album Award.’ I cannot help but wonder, ‘Who is that girl?’
“I tried to put everything l like. ‘Arrival’ contains many songs that I wrote a few years ago. This album is like my alter ego, and it is so dreamy that it has got such good recognition.”
Released last year, Fromm’s first full-length album ‘Arrival’ is full of romance and thrill of a 22-year-old girl who just arrived at a new city, as well as of a 30-year-old woman who has just embarked on her music career.
Charmingly harmonized with honest lyrics, retro guitar sound, and her charming boyish voice, Fromm music is somehow familiar but fresh. The album somehow reminded me of Canadian songwriter ‘Feist’ singing JAURIM’s song.
◆ How Do You Write Songs?
“I write melodies first and then write lyrics to the song. From my friends’ story to my little imagination that popped up in my head in the morning, I take a note about everything. I don’t even know many music codes; When ideas pop up in my head, I just record them.”
You would understand what she said if you listen to her music. Her lyrics are simple but something. Her songs have some power to make people see things that they couldn't notice in their daily life before.
“Birds walk in the city. They look kind of chic. Everything looks natural except for me. I see myself standing on the street of the strange city under the inflamed night sky of May.” -from Fromm’s ‘Arrival’
◆ Fromm Her 20’S To 30’s
“When I was in my 20’s, I always tried to live busy. I was barely myself under a pressure of success. Now that I entered my 30’s, I feel closer to my ego. I think I just started to know who I truly am and what I am good at.”
Fromm revealed that she had wandered around for a long time to find the true her. Now that her 20’s passed by and 30’s came, she was able to accept the shape of herself, which has been formed and diluted throughout her life.
“I didn't like my low, boyish voice. So I tried to imitate the pure, pretty voice from Disney movies, but it was just not mine. I eventually found my true voice before I knew it.
Fromm’s music is not shockingly innovative or unique, but there is familiar newness in it. The word, ‘Goddess of Hongdae,’ is such a light word to describe Fromm and her high-quality music. If there are still people who search for her music only expecting her pretty face, her new album ‘Arrival’ might be a nice surprise for them as an unexpected discovery . (photo by Mirrorball Music, Fromm’s Facebook, bntnews DB)
Write: 2014-02-07 18:00:00 / Update: 2014-02-07 19:03:40
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