INTERVIEW WITH GOLDEN
To start off with, may I know why you decided to change your name?
It has been quite some time since I’ve wanted to change my name. My previous name, G.Soul, was made for me so I’ve always wanted to gift myself a name.
Why did you change your name to Golden?
There is a song by Jil Scott named Golden that I really like and while listening to it, the word ‘golden’ came in mind. I initially thought of some names but personally, Golden sounded best among them.
What type of person is Golden?
Golden is nice, charismatic, bright, hardworking, talented, and someone who always strives to be better. I think that is why I changed my name to Golden.
I’ve heard from your interview at [You Hee yeol’s Sketchbook] that you enjoy listening to your own voice. Can you talk more about the need of artists to love themselves?
I think that is the most important part. Loving and respecting oneself as an individual. I think it is extremely important to become an artist who creates music that he/she genuinely would want to listen to. That is why I take small details into great consideration when producing music. So that I, and my audience would enjoy listening to it.
What is music to Golden?
Since I’ve stepped into this industry at a very young age, I didn’t have sufficient time to consider other possible career choices. Throughout the years, music has given me great strength. As an artist, I hope to deliver that energy to people who listen to my music. Also, I think music has provided me a platform to express myself in artistic ways.
What is most important to you at the moment?
Maintaining great physical and mental health. Through military service, I truly realized the importance of being healthy. In particular, I learned that I perform better when I’m active and is in good condition. As someone who must continue to sing and create music, I feel like it is essential to take care of my well-being.
What is “passion” to Golden?
It is the most important thing. It is something everyone must have when pursuing their interests. It is also something that differentiates someone who is successful from someone who is not.
What is “fashion” to Golden?
I view fashion as something fun. To this day, fashion is a field I would love to learn more about and develop.
While one’s singing ability is still equally as important, numerous artists now-a-days are recognized for their fashion rather than their music. Are you confident that you can pull-off any given clothing in your own personal style?
I think I try my best to. As you mentioned, I understand how important fashion has become to an artist. It may define or even give an artist a unique identity. For that reason, I try my best to constantly learn from people who work or are interested in the field of fashion.
Do you have a muse or artist that you look up to?
As many might say, David Bowie, Prince, and Michael Jackson are all artists that I look up to and respect. I also admire female artists such as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Like today’s Weeknd and Frank Ocean, I want to become an artist that has a definite yet recognizable style—whether that be fashion or music.
What would you say is your strength?
Being truthful? I try my best to be honest at all times and I hope that is my strength. When dealing with people and also when making music. Sincerity. Honesty. I dislike when people act pretentious so I don’t want to treat others that way.
Are you happy?
I’m happier than ever now that I have discharged from the army. Although it was a great experience, I would not like to relive the moment. Always wearing the same clothes, not being able to leave and having to come back was honestly hard.
What is happiness to Ji Hyun?
It may sound cliche but for me, happiness is a choice. Regardless of how I’m feeling, I have been praying and thanking God for the past 10 years for gifting me another day to live. For quite some time, I’ve been training myself to think positively. This is how I see it. Everything in this world have two sides. Positive and negative. Bright and dark. I’ve personally endured through difficult times where I had numerous depressing thoughts. I never want to and shouldn’t go back to those days. Since I’ve started thinking positively, life has been fun and happy.
What was the hardest part about preparing this album?
Mixing was probably the hardest part. Since music’s overall feeling may differ by the second and there is no right or wrong answer, it was difficult to take my hands off the process. With incoming deadlines, it was stressful but I am satisfied with the result.
How was it like shooting the music video? Would you say you are pleased with your acting?
The local weather in Paris was extremely cold. In terms of acting, initially the music video’s concept was to liaise an actor but unfortunately the arrangement wasn’t made in time. The director suggested that I act instead and I took it in positively and gave it a try. I tried my best but I am aware that I have rooms for improvement.
Why did you choose [Hate Everything] as your title song despite it sounding depressing? Where did you take inspiration from?
I wrote this song while serving in the army during one of the hardest periods. Additionally, I was appointed as a military counselor so I heard various heartbreaking stories on an everyday basis. [Hate Everything] is a song that captures all the emotions I shared with my military mates. I am glad that I’ve turned a depressing-sounding song to a positive product. Other songs listed in the album also share a similar meaning.
Why did you collaborate with artist Chul hwa Kwon for your album cover?
As soon as I toured his exhibition, I felt like all the emotions I thought of were well-represented in his artworks. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to speak to him and gladly he was more than happy to create a painting unique for my album. It is the first time I’ve used art as my album cover.
What type of person do you aspire to be? In Golden’s standpoint and in Ji Hyun’s standpoint.
As an artist, I want to be someone who is true to oneself. Also, I want to create great music and hopefully become a person others could look up to one day. As Ji Hyun, I hope to live a free, happy life doing the things I sincerely love.
Creative Director : Raymond Chae
Videographer : Aaron Park
Photographer : Jieun Jung
Artist : GOLDEN
Editor : Andrew Kim
Stylist : Jin Lim
Hair Artist : HOLY HAIR
Make-up Artist : Yerin Kwak