SU Introducing: Nukid

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By Social Underground / CultureM Music Journalist

On Saturday May 4th, Social Underground returns to Exit to once more showcase the freshest and best in DJ talent on the Korean peninsula.

Joining Aaron Cho, Sam Gates, and SU regular, Lewis Anthony is Stoned Project head honcho, Nukid. Incheon born and raised, Nukid is no stranger to the underground house scene in the capital. Forming Stoned Project to bring an underground flavor to his hometown, he has also graced the decks at notable underground venues in the nation’s first city.

Social Underground caught up with Nukid ahead of his appearance.

 

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Social Underground: When did you first start DJing?

Nukid: I started out as a bedroom DJ in 2001. My parents were running a record store, and naturally I was influenced by them and started to collect records. As I was exposed to different types of good music, I wanted to share my newfound knowledge with the people around me and this eventually led to me becoming a DJ. At the time, there were no private institutes where you could just go and get DJ lessons so you had to look on different websites like YouTube to find resources.

SU: Not many Korean DJs play deep house. How did you start?

N: Actually, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, and funk were the main genres of music I was playing at the beginning of my career, and even up until 2011 I was playing a lot of tech house. I had a close friend named E-Hyun who was also a DJ and he got me the opportunity to play at lounge club, 50b in Itaewon. As I looked for music that would go down well with the Itaewon crowd, I discovered deep house. I only had to listen to a few tracks before I was completely hooked. Deep house was great because it encompassed many of the qualities of music I enjoy; down tempo, minor chords, grooves, and melodies.

SU: Who do you take inspiration from?

N: No joke, after playing music for a long time, there seems to come a point where I feel emotionally dry, or just not as responsive. Last year, I decided that I should be exposing myself to different genres of music and also to different areas of the arts such as literature, film, dance, and exhibitions to keep myself from becoming dull and desensitized.

SU: How would you describe the underground house music scene in your country?

N: For a while, the underground house music scene seemed to be going through a depression. But in recent years, more and more people have been gaining interest in the underground music scene, and this seems to be a good sign. There are also a lot of great venues popping up everywhere that you can go to simply enjoy music and generally have fun. I consider this shift in perspective a big milestone.

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SU: Who is contributing to the underground house music scene in Korea?

N: There are some pioneers of this era that have led the way for us in their professionalism and willingness to experiment. Also, the clientele at the bars and clubs are the ones who listen to the music we play, and they have been setting the bar higher for us which pushes us into bigger and better things.

Regarding venues, I would say that Platoon, Mute, Mystik, Cakeshop, and Exit have proved quite essential in our events and parties. As for crews, ECI, Less N Less, Silk/Juice, Social Underground, and Bass Attack have given us the chance to experience so many fresh and new things. I am so grateful to know these people and what they have taught me is priceless.

SU: What do you think needs to happen to help the underground house music scene grow in Korea?

N: For a long time, people didn’t take the underground music scene very seriously and this includes a lot of people that were musicians or DJs which I find sad. Mind barriers need to be broken down before any real progress can happen. Marketing and event promotion need to be taken to a whole new level. No more sitting around waiting for crowds to just wander in. Playing good music is no longer enough, we need to be more aggressive in promoting what we have to offer. And maybe this means we also need to be more confident about what we actually have to offer. Like anything new, people need to be coaxed in to dip a toe in before they are willing to give a moment of their time and even more so, their money. I’m not talking about the type of “promotion” in a cheap or sleazy way like some night clubs that hire people to grab you on the street and try to pull you into a dark club, we need to step up our strategies. We need a fresh outlook on things, something new and fun. Sadly, many club owners are constantly trying to cut costs or they just try to get DJs to play for free. God knows we all have bills to pay, but music shouldn’t be seen as something free to give out. There are also a lot of amateur minded DJ’s who are muddying the waters with their short sighted vision and cheapening what I consider an art.

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SU: What is Stoned Project?

N: Incheon is where I grew up, it’s my hometown, and currently where I am living. Even though it’s so close to Seoul, there is little or no underground scene. So I had an idea to throw some block party style events where people can just have fun and listen to great music; picnics, barbecues, and eventually clubs. A lot of my DJ friends in Incheon have been giving me so much support. What started out as an idea has really grown into a project.

Click here and here for more information about Stoned Project.

SU: What can we expect when you play Social Underground?

N: I’m not usually the type to pre-organize set lists, so I honestly don’t even know what will happen. However, I will probably focus my set around deep house. When the time comes, I think it all depends on the interaction between whoever I’ll be hanging out with that night and bouncing off of that. Although I want to have fun with it, I also want my mix to have a story. And if the story is something that can move hearts, even better. I can see it being a fun night with a solid set of great music to keep everyone connected to the vibe I hope to set up.

Click here to join the Facebook Event Page.

Click here for directions to Exit.

Click here for more information about Social Underground.

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