With Soundcloud becoming a major platform for emerging artists to showcase their talents, it’s an exciting time to be a young music producer.
Born and raised in South Korea, 25-year-old music industries major Jong Kim, a Soundcloud music producer, started at Cal Poly Pomona last fall.
His Soundcloud profile consists of electronic beats that he has created over the past couple years.
“Darkish trap” is how Kim would describe the music he’s produced.
Some of his songs, like “Forget It,” have more traditional elements of EDM or wrap, while others like “Waiting” are more atmospheric and dulcet while still keeping a strong beat.
“Personally I like the vibe of smooth and emotional. It’s not really like a thunderstorm, but it’s more like a river flowing vibe, but you get hit by a few stones,” Kim said.
Although he’s been producing and mixing beats since 2015, Kim has been playing music since he was in middle school.
“I actually started with playing drums,” said Kim, “because my mom, she put me into lessons, at some random place and I went there and I saw drum teachers playing and I was amazed by him, he was playing techniques and everything.”
As for his artistic process, Kim produces his music using Logic Pro X, a music production software by Apple, which includes various samples, pads and presets.
And like every musician, Kim has his own specific procedure on how he conceptualizes and eventually executes his musical ideas.
When he gets the idea for a melody in his head, he records it on his phone, goes back to his room and re-records the melody on his piano.
Once the melody is recorded on the piano, he adds a drum beat to give it some rhythm and structure.
After forming the basic scaffolding of the song, he tries out different instruments, samples and pads and sees how they stick, adding and removing his way through to a product he likes.
Then comes mastering and mixing to neatly finish off the song.
“One song typically takes like two to four days if it feels good. If it doesn’t, it takes like two months, just for one song,” said Kim.
One of his songs, “Fire Plugin,” took about two weeks to produce.
While his music is more EDM and electronic oriented, his inspirations include a variety of genres.
Kim credits British rock bands like Muse, the Beatles, Oasis and Queen as some of his biggest influencers and inspirations as a musician.
Other major musical influences include Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz, Beyoncé, Rihanna and various others.
As a musician, Kim’s biggest goal is that as many people as possible listen to his music.
“If [my music] makes them feel good then that’s my first success,” said Kim.
As a busy college student, Kim produces the majority of his a music over the summer when he has more free time.
As for future collaborations, he hopes to team up with his friend DJ Yexter as well as collaborate with someone who has a completely different style.
“If I would want to do a collaboration I would hope to have a really, like, opposite artist, to produce together. So we can see what kind of colors of songs could be made.”