In the office of his record label, Deepshower sits in a black lounge chair, opening a bottle of aloe vera juice. Save for the hum of the air-conditioner, the only other sound is the crackle of the opening lid.
On this hot Saturday in Hongdae, a youth hub in the South Korean capital Seoul, to see the Korean producer and DJ sitting down in a white shirt is a change.
A more familiar scene is just his silhouette, clad in black, hunched over the DJ decks swaying to the thump of house music. Unsurprisingly then, for most, Deepshower is just the name of a DJ playing alongside his crew, almost90 at clubs like Soap in Itaewon, Seoul’s foreigner district.
And while the image of the 25-year old supplying your night out’s soundtrack isn’t completely wrong, it’s just half the truth. He’s a producer too.
The producer and DJ started making a name for himself after releasing his first EP You, late last year. Then a few months later in November he was opening for British duo HONNE on their three-day stint in Seoul.
Now he’s just released his sophomore EP How I Met You with a feature from long-time JYP trainee and recent H1GHR MUSIC signee, Rnb singer G.Soul. And this is just the beginning.
But going back eight years ago, the Daegu native’s interest in music started with production. The idea of becoming a producer started after he moved from his hometown to Ansan, a city just outside of Seoul.
Initially he produced hip hop music to follow the likes of producer, rapper and Illionaire CEO, The Quiett. But he shifted to electronic music after studying music production simply because it was the only music they learnt about.
And while in his DJ sets you’re almost sure to still catch remnants of his love of hip hop, his own music is house music through and through.
As he came to learn more about producing, he also came to understand that producing alone wasn’t really a viable option in Korea.
Though he says he didn’t start DJing to make a living, he knew it was a necessary outlet to share his music.
“I think it seemed like the best way to expose myself as a producer was to do it as a DJ.
“To be recognised as a real artist instead of a background musician, it’s something that needs to be visually displayed in front of people,” he explains leaning back in his chair.
He says this need to be physically visualised is important in the Korean electronic scene.
“Producers are still just seen as someone who performs a piece of music. They’re not seen as anything more than a composer and they’re not accepted as artists.
“When producers make songs in their own name, the music usually doesn’t have lyrics, so the music can be strange and unfamiliar, which could be hard for audiences to accept,” he says.
He hopes the perception of the producer and DJ as faceless changes, so that Korean electronic musicians can be recognised for their talent soon.
“In terms of making music I think Korean producers are in the same class as those abroad,” he says.
But the problem, he says, is that the infrastructure of the Korean electronic scene isn’t big enough to support them.
Which is why, when he was approached by Korean independent label Irrelevant Music, he joined. He said at the time, there weren’t really any labels specifically interested in Korean electronic music, so he was eager to sign.
Though already someone keen on improving himself, having the support of a label steered him in the right direction to continue his musical journey.
After becoming the first artist to sign to Irrelevant Music in late 2016, he shifted his approach to making music.
“Before this EP, I released You a year ago and last year I just made tracks without any thought, just thinking I need to release anything. But with this EP, I thought more cautiously about my colour and direction making it,” he says.
Another change between EPs were the collaborations. His first EP You featured the collaborations from friends like Korean RnB upcomer Jeebanoff.
And while the latest EP still has room for friends, it also pulls big name Korean RnB singer G.Soul on the first single ‘Found U’.
Talking about the collaboration, Deepshower said he emailed G.Soul the demo. After three months of no reply, G.Soul finally got back to him. G.Soul fancied the track so much, it made it onto his own record Circle.
Deepshower’s speech stops as his phone buzzes. He excuses himself and steps out onto the Irrelevant Music roof top terrace overlooking the urban sprawl of Hongdae. He’s organising his set tonight in Busan, two hours from Seoul.
When he returns inside he sits forward in his lounge chair and says he wants to slow down a bit.
“Now that the album has come out, I’m taking a little break and trying to study more music,” he says.
But for someone booked to DJ every weekend for the next month and plans for even bigger collaborations, the break is likely to be a short one.
Plus, with the ambitions of doing a world tour in five years and to be a trailblazer in the Korean scene, he’s too much of a dreamer to rest for too long.
See Deepshower celebrate the release of his second EP for the second time this Saturday at Soap in Itaewon, Seoul.