min.a talks about the making of her latest EP, cultural identity, her time on South Korean reality TV, & much more

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Sounds like an intense experience

So intense. I was a freshman in high school; I didn’t know much about the world or much about myself. I was a little chubbier then & being on a show in a culture where being thin is the classic expectation of beauty was a little too much for me, và it has unfortunately manifested in different sorts of trauma and like insecurities that I have now. It’s a lot khổng lồ take in being so young.

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How did you find the transition into min.a, và being fully in control of all aspects?

So, I’m a current student at NYU Tisch’s Clive Davis Institute. I had been learning about production before I went khổng lồ college; I started producing sophomore year of high school, và through the experience of college I had more and more practice và guidance. My major is recorded music so it’s an umbrella term for everything: the creative side of learning how khổng lồ perform, how to lớn sing, và how lớn produce. But, it’s also the music business side, figuring out how to brand yourself and what your identity as an artist is. Through that push I realized I still wanted to be connected to my identity as a Korean-American, even if that didn’t translate directly to my music. I’ll try & will continue lớn try lớn write lyrics in Korean, but I think the first thing I thought about was that my Korean name is Minah, & I want that khổng lồ be central to my roles as an artist. Being in college, I think that’s when it all came into play. Being told you have khổng lồ figure out what you want your story to lớn be, who you want to lớn be, & learning how lớn take control of that. Especially as a woman you know, it’s difficult to lớn maintain control of that. I think once you are taught how to be completely independent và how to lớn take control of your narrative, it’s an empowering thing lớn be able lớn say, ‘I have this knowledge và I’m not going lớn let you tell me what khổng lồ do.’

Do you feel like your gender influences how you’re seen as a producer?

Yeah definitely, because I vày identify as she/her, & even though I’m not hyperfeminine I would say according khổng lồ stereotypical gender norms, I still identify as a female. There’s a lot of privilege within that & I get to follow more traditional rules when it comes to that aspect of my career, but I guess because of that privilege it’s not something that I necessarily think about too much.

The immediate question to any sort of female artist is ‘Oh, who’s your producer?’ I know that it’s not directly meant lớn be demeaning, it’s just the automatic assumption of ‘You’re a woman so you don’t produce.’ It’s a little frustrating and I feel like I have this intense inner urge khổng lồ prove myself to lớn people.

What did the creative process for Hi-Fi look like, and were there any particular inspirations behind it?

I was studying abroad in Berlin and that’s when I started this EP. I didn’t start it having planned to make an EP, it was just like, being in music school you vày what a music student does and you make music. It just so happened that I had 4 songs that sounded kind of cohesive together and I hadn’t released a full toàn thân of work for a while. But I think with it being the epicenter of clubbing và electronic music, you can hear the influence of Berlin. I was taking a music production class that dealt a lot with harsher sounding electronic music; my first EP was a lot more about harsher sounding things, but with Hi-Fi I wanted it lớn be a cohesive phối of softer pop delving into the more manipulating electronic music.

Your production itself is very distinct. Vì you have a particular method in regards to lớn producing that lead you to this sound?

It’s kind of just shits and giggles . Like, I’ll buy a pack of samples or get drum samples from a friend. I think I was heavily influenced by Billie Eilish’s new album while making Hi-Fi. With her và her brother, it’s so interesting và inspiring khổng lồ know they created a Grammy-winning fucking award album in their bedroom. & that’s what I do. I don’t have a fancy studio. It’s literally just me at my desk in my apartment with a mic making music on my computer & recording. So I think it was more lượt thích I just wanted lớn get a system down in Berlin; I couldn’t make the same quantity of music so I wanted to lớn make higher chất lượng music. I don’t know, it’s really nice lớn think that people find my production style chất lượng because you can’t help but think ‘I’m doing what everyone else is doing’ or that it isn’t good enough và people won’t want to lớn listen. But, I don’t know if I necessarily have a set system with production if that makes sense.

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Are there any takeaways you want Hi-Fi’s listeners to lớn have?

I guess the biggest thing is that I want them to lượt thích it. I hope they see some sort of growth in my music if they have been listening since glitch. I don’t know, I mainly put this EP out lớn get music out because I have been sitting on these songs since like October and it was like, if I don’t put these out they will literally just sit on my máy tính xách tay forever. But I want them to lớn take something from it as I hope it means something khổng lồ them; that they lượt thích the music enough khổng lồ listen khổng lồ it more than once. It’s crazy that people I don’t know have been like, ‘Your music means something to me,’ so I hope they can get that sort of connection to it. But I think the biggest thing is I just want them khổng lồ enjoy it, lớn stick with me & come back.