From busking on the streets of Sydney to singing with f(x)’s Luna on MBC’s Duet Song Festival, Korean artist KOO has been steadily sharing his music with the world. We chatted to KOO about performing with Luna, his advice for buskers and plans for his future in K-Pop. Oh and he shared some secret cooking tips with us!
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you have been up to lately?
Hi! This is KOO. I’m currently a singer-song writer in the K-Pop scene. After I was on “Duet Song Festival” I have been performing more often as a singer-songwriter. On the 21st of May I will have a mini concert, and I’m hoping that the next concert will be even bigger in Summer!
Your duet “For You” with Luna on Duet Song Festival was absolutely beautiful. What was it like being part of the show and working with Luna?
Thank you. The show gave me a nickname “The Singing Chef” (laughs). It was so much fun! People asked me if I felt nervous performing, but I was just happy and comfortable singing with Luna. Before the show when we had to practice I was worried about meeting her because she is such a famous idol, but we were both surprised about how fast we got along. It was very friendly- we were like brother and sister. She is a very humble and gentle person and broke a lot of my stereotypes about idols. The stage was absolutely beautiful as you said and I want say thank you to Sung-je, Hwang the Music Director. He arranged the song beautifully!
If you could perform a duet with any artist who would it be?
There are 3 beautiful ladies in my mind. You could say I am greedy! As you know I did a duet with Luna of f(x) but I would like to sing another song with her. Secondly Dami Im! She’s actually my friend and she’s world famous now. I miss her but it’s hard to meet now. I want to say this to Dami- “You were amazing and beautiful at the Eurovision! I’m so proud of you, Dami!” And finally, Genie! My last wish is – I would love to sing with Ariana Grande. Will she see this? Ariana! I love you 🙂
You also worked in Australia as a Chef and busked? What was your favourite part about living in Australia?
I was actually a chef in Sydney for 5 years at a Japanese restaurant. I wanted to study music but I never really got the chance. I actually decided to study cookery for my family. It was a kind of sacrifice for my family, but in the end it didn’t work. I don’t cook at the moment. But! I would love to cook, if any TV program would like me to cook?
I busked for 3 years, always after work. Life was so tough for a foreign worker. I loved music, but didn’t have enough time and money to spend on it. I almost gave up on music but an audience member on the street taught me the reason why I needed to keep on singing. I saw that my music was touching and healing someone’s heart, she had cried in front of me after my song. She said my music made her feel better, but actually it healed me when she said that and what she felt listening to my music. Music is powerful thing. It heals. I believe it. That’s what I want to be.
I loved everything in Australia, and I miss every part of it. I especially miss having BBQ parties at the beach with friends. My life in Sydney was like just a foreign worker. While I was there I should have traveled to every part of Australia, that’s what I most regret. I really want to have a chance to go back to travel around Australia. God Please~ My favourite place in Sydney is North Head!
Do you have any secret cooking tips for us?
That’s really hard to explain, I wish I could cook for you guys. Some Korean dishes! My mom is the world’s best chef to me. She doesn’t use MSG, she cooks with only natural ingredients. I’m sorry to say this but my secret cooking tip is “always cook the food like you cook for your lover.”
On your YouTube channel you talk about how difficult it was for you to start busking in Australia because of its cultural perspective in Korea. How did you overcome these difficulties and do you have any advice for those who might be too afraid to busk?
Wow… I didn’t expect you to watch it! I’m surprised… Yes it is still hard to understand the cultural differences. That’s why I really miss Sydney. I love my country but some cultures are so old fashioned. I want to say these three things to future buskers:
Firstly, “busking is not one-sided performing. It’s communication. If you feel alone? Communicate with audience. For example ask them ‘what is your favorite music?’ then sing it for them. You are not alone!”
Secondly, “don’t panic! Just do as much as you can. It is getting better and better. Take it slow!”
Thirdly, “Get a permit, if you don’t, you’ll get a fine.” (laughs)
What are your plans for the future of KOO music?
I want to try singing many different genres, I always love trying new things. I’m amongst the K-Pop culture at the moment so I hope to enter the pop scene in few years. I’ll do my best to make a good songs! I also think I need to study more English. I love singing more than writing songs but if someone sings a song that I wrote, and if that song is popular, than I think it will help me to do what I really want to do.
I’m the Singing chef! I’ll try to make delicious music and sing for you with all my heart. Love you all. God bless. Thank you 🙂
Keep up to date on KOO’s music journey: