“I won't reveal too much about what the song WIPE Them back is all about. Despite the enigmatic imagery and strange metaphors, it is-just like several another songs about this EP-a very personal song in my experience. The “dirt on my mouth” represents those not-so-clean details in your lifetime that you can choose to either show the world or stick to yourself. Can you wipe it off?”
Korean-American hip-hop artist Kristian J comes with an interesting backstory that draws inspiration from his cultural surroundings. After living in Columbia for two many independently releasing two albums as Joom BaBoom, Kristian is now located in Mexico City, prepared to further his music career in Latin America, while constantly honing his personal brand: sexy, smooth, camp, queer.
“WIPE IT OFF,” produced by BrazyKey$, is the latest single from Kristian J's 'YANG-A-CHI' EP. The track easily glides into soft hip-hop from the backdrop of yankee 2000s R&B. Sonically, in its production and songwriting, the track is a sensual discovery.
We had the opportunity to talk with Kristian J about “WIPE IT OFF,” his artistry, and more.
What was the inspiration behind your single “WIPE IT OFF”?
The song “WIPE IT OFF” is about struggling to decide which secrets you're prepared to show others. All the imagery within the lyrics was inspired by an old Miley Cyrus music video for her song “Dooo It!” Within the video, there's all this slime, paint, and glitter pouring onto Miley's face, and that i thought it was just such a cool video when I first saw it. I decided to turn the imagery into a metaphor for my own lyrics. The chorus goes, “I got some dirt on my mouth and I'm never gonna wipe them back.” In other words, there's some shady stuff happening my entire life, but maybe I should just wear it on my small face for everybody to see.
What genres or artists have inspired your music?
My biggest influence, musically and artistically, has always been Lady Gaga, but like many, I'm inspired with a number of artists and genres, even without realizing it. My personal favorite genres are dance pop, alternative rock, and reggaetón, which days my biggest influences are top artists like Doja Cat, Drake, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, etc. I'm a fan of the commercial stuff.
How does the new single squeeze into your upcoming EP and its title 'YANG-A-CHI'?
I made almost all the songs for this EP using beats that I purchased from producer Amirwave (previously referred to as BrazyKey$), so that's the main thing that ties all the tracks together. “Yang-a-chi” is really a Korean word basically meaning “punk” or “gangster.” It can have numerous connotations, however for me, it's someone who lives life differently from everyone around them. A lot of my songs discuss this theme in a single way or another, and “WIPE IT OFF” especially so.
You asserted the EP incorporates Korean influences. What's it like pulling together a project that fuses your Korean roots with hip-hop sounds?
Korean music has always pulled substantially from rap since the beginning of KPop up to today. It's interesting to see how Koreans have interpreted American hip hop and also have attempted to put their own spin on it. However, I'm not particularly a huge fan of it. Like a Korean American, I grew up with American music, and there's something about K-Pop and K Hip-hop that simply doesn't capture its essence or authenticity. Personally, i try to make music that fits my own taste, and it makes little difference if people want to label that Korean or American or something in between.
As an LGBTQ+ artist, how has music helped you support the LGBTQ+ community and how has the community influenced your music?
It always inspires me to see how queer people around me choose to express themselves and create art. Some are extremely daring and cross boundaries in ways which i normally wouldn't, but appreciating their self-expression helps me to push my very own art in new directions. Within Mexico City, the queer community is very open, which is a completely different experience in the more closeted town of Seoul, where I used to live for a few years. After moving away from Seoul, I possibly could actually feel myself opening up and feeling comfortable pushing my very own boundaries. My perspective on why I'm even creating music also changes a great deal based on my home.
What do you want fans to take away from the single?
Enjoy the song. It is a chiller, darker track and has some sick vocal chops from Amirwave. Should you enjoy it, dig in to the lyrics and find out if you can determine precisely what I'm saying.
Now that the EP is out, how can you feel?
This EP may be the highest-quality body of work that I've released to date. I'm just excited to be out there and share it along with you all!
Stream 'YANG-A-CHI' on all streaming platforms, and its latest single “WIPE Them back.”
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