Korean Musical Personage SHAUN Gives Exclusive Insight Into 'Closed Ending' And His Wish To Visit India

I heard that India is going through a hard time regarding the COVID-19. I hope everyone gets through this hard time safely.

– SHAUN

If you are someone who loves to enjoy music that offers warmth and comfort while feeling loved, then your playlist definitely hoards tracks by Kim Yun-ho (김윤호) popularly known as SHAUN. Shaun is a South Korean singer-songwriter, music producer, and DJ with a vast grip on music in the industry. Shaun debuted in the year 2010 as a keyboardist and backup singer for an indie Korean group THE KOXX.

He released his solo Ep ‘Take‘ with the lead single ‘Way Back Home‘ on June 27, 2018. ‘Way Back Home’ is a tropical-house dance track, with powerful beats which gets you grooving instantly. The lead single had Shaun top the chart rankings held by the K-Pop groups. Along with the roaring popularity ‘Way Back Home‘ cemented a grand slam on the top three Korean Music Platforms: Olleh, Genie, and Melon. The track is a hot favorite to date, rightfully so.

Post his military service, SHAUN came back with the melodious power-packed EP ‘#0055b7’ which is a dual single project with tracks ‘Blue’ & ‘Closed Ending’. Call him a maestro, virtuoso, or a musical mogul, for us he is an exemplary artist who shared a candid and insightful conversation with KHIGH.

Image credits @shaunthehuman

 

KHIGH: Every artist has a story of how they aspired to become an artist. Can you share with us your story?

SHAUN: I grew up under my parents who love music. I learned to play piano naturally when I was 6-7 years old and when I was 10 years old, I was attracted by a picture of Ozzy Osbourne embracing guitarist Randy Rhoads, and I started to play guitar.

I spent my entire teen years doing music in bands and I watched the movie ‘It’s all gone Pete tong’ at the moment I was about to enter university. I was so attracted to the fact that people are willing to consume their huge amount of energy and get affected to one’s play, and I found myself dragged into electronic music.  Afterward, I joined the band ‘THE KOXX’ and I could amass diverse experiences and meet a lot of people. At the same time, I also played in a number of clubs and festivals building my career as a DJ. I’ve always had a passion for music and with the help of people, whom I met during my activities, I have had a chance to collaborate with fabulous artists. Such works led me to release a solo album, released in June 2019. I became known to people with the sidetrack of the EP ‘Way Back Home’.

 

KHIGH: I am curious to know how the name Kim Yon-ho became Shaun. Is there any special meaning behind choosing your stage name?

SHAUN: When I was young, I was considering using KEI as my stage name but there was already one using the name. While thinking of a good name, I decided to use the name SHAUN after Shaun Ryder, vocal of Happy Mondays, whom I liked at the time.

 

KHIGH: You are a DJ, Producer, singer, and songwriter. Does your artistic approach differ in each of these roles?

SHAUN: They all have one thing in common, they’re all based on my taste. There will be a difference in languages and way of expressions, but I consider the meanings are the same.

 

KHIGH: Other than making music, I heard you are interested in playing different instruments. How many instruments can you play? Have you learned any new instruments recently?

SHAUN: Basically, I can handle all the instruments used in the band and other than that, I am capable of playing many other instruments as well but it’s been a long time since I’ve played others, I need to practice it. Lately, I’m spending a lot of time playing guitar.

Image credits @shaunthehuman

 

KHIGH: “Way back home” released in 2018 is still hot across the globe. How did you feel when you received such an amazing response worldwide?

SHAUN: It was nice to feel the power of a well-made track with a good melody and I felt genuine happiness when I realized it was my track, that made such influence. I still don’t feel real but whenever this pandemic settles down, I’d like to go meet fans face-to-face.

Click here to listen to the Worldwide sensation ‘Way Back Home’

KHIGH: You have worked as a producer for big groups like “EXO“, “SHINEE“, “Epik High“, as well. How do you sketch the process of making a track as a producer? What are the key elements you keep in mind?

SHAUN: As a musician, I assume there’s a little difference between making my own music and producing other’s work. When I work on my own, I make decisions by myself but there are more things to consider when working on others.

Proper formulations and good elements are basically important, but it is also important to add uniqueness and maximize strength. But when you work with all those things in mind, I think it’s really difficult to work on a satisfactory track. This is one of the reasons why I feel genuine happiness when working with artists who have positive energy and who surprise me.

 

KHIGH: Breaking your 2-yr hiatus with your latest dual-single project #0055b7, you paved a new road for your musical journey. Can you tell us the inspiration behind the project and the unique name?

SHAUN: #0055b7 is the dark blue color code. Besides the meaning of color ‘Blue’, it also represents the expression of ‘depressed’ and ‘blue’. With the keyword ‘Breaking up’, I tried to unravel two different tracks, sharing one emotion.

 

KHIGH: Talking about #0055b7, the track ‘Blue’ seems to be leaning more towards R&B while ‘Closed Ending’ has few acoustic arrangements contrary to your signature EDM tracks from previous releases. Are you planning to experiment with more genres in your future projects and what kind? 

SHAUN: When making tracks, I try hard to set boundaries of proper hybrid. For instance, Blue may sound like an R&B track when listening to vocal, but I wanted to add soft rock vibes by forming a guitar-centered stage. The keyboard instrument called ‘Mellotron’ I added in the middle of the track is also a very traditional instrument used by rock bands, Beatles and Led Zeppelin.

I would like to continue working on combining rock elements with current trendy tracks. You may find out from my further releases. I’m open to collaboration with other artists, and it would be even better if the artist has his own color and creative ability.

Click here to explore the emotions of blues in ‘Blue’

KHIGH: The track ‘Closed Ending’ offers a fictional character in the MV, which seems to be a celestial being. That got me curious, how did you choose the theme for this particular album? What is the process for visual creatives regarding your work?

SHAUN: The first plot suggested by the director was that the main character observes the sky waiting for something to pass. As the plot getting detailed and developed, ‘something’ has characterized and ended up becoming a furry doll. I wanted drama inside the M/V to differentiate this M/V from other M/Vs that I worked on so far, and I’m so glad that an interesting M/V came out.

Check out the emotions piling up all the way to galaxy with ‘Closed Ending’

KHIGH: There are many fans in India who love your music and enjoy it on loop. Is there a message you would like to deliver to your fans?

SHAUN: Hi everyone, this is SHAUN! Thank you so much for your waiting and support for quite a long time. I’m back with double-single #0055b7! I prepared 2 tracks I worked on after my military service and I hope you enjoy listening to it!!

I heard that India is going through a hard time regarding the COVID-19. I hope everyone gets through this hard time safely.

 

KHIGH: Lastly, fans want to know that when the situation gets better, can we expect you in India?

SHAUN: I’d genuinely wish to visit when this pandemic gets better. I hope to see you soon and perform in India, so until then, please stay safe. Thank you!!

 

After the delightful conversation we know one thing for sure, SHAUN has deep affection towards music and its creation.

‘#0055b7’ is bundled with double single tracks ‘Closed Ending’ and ‘Blue’. While ‘Blue’ narrates the pain of an ending, ‘Closed Ending’ undercuts the pain in blues with a hope of a new beginning. ‘Blue’ offers a clear portrait of Shaun’s mature and raspy vocals which takes the listener to a whole new world, the already euphoric track becomes much more blissful with the addition of the youthful voice of Wonstein. ‘Closed Ending ‘ is much deeper yet easy to listen to track. The hope of a fresh and end of the bygone is beautifully expressed in this track.

We wish SHAUN the best for all his future projects and endeavors.

Loved the interview? Do you want to share your thoughts on ‘#0055b7’. Leave us a comment below.

Until next time, stay safe!