Kim Tae Woo Talks His Upcoming NYC Show, Career, and More [Interview]

Courtesy of 7000 Miles

Courtesy of 7000 Miles

Two years after his last Night of Soul in New York City, Kim Tae Woo returns to the Big Apple and Washington D.C this July. The K-pop star plans an intimate event filled with jazz and musical collaborations that show another side to his musicality. As a member of the legendary K-pop group g.o.d, Kim’s stirring voice has gathered fans from around the world.

Ahead of his upcoming trip, KultScene spoke to the g.o.d singer about his solo career, his desire to perform in more personal settings, and what fans can expect from him in the year to come. (Hint: there’s an album in the works.)

KultScene: You’ve held several performances over here in the past few years, both on your own and with g.o.d. How does it feel to be returning to NYC?

I always have this excitement when it comes to a show in the U.S. NYC shows especially make me want to take on new challenges and stretch myself out. I would love to reach out to wider audience with my music.

You’re collaborating with Super Session on the Night of Soul. What can we expect from the performance?

I am planning to deliver a more mature style of performance. I want to see my fans become really immersed in the show and sing, dance, and have fun throughout the show.

Both this performance and your past show at Rockwood Music Hall [in NYC] have been with other musicians and are more avant-garde than what some may expect from you as a K-pop singer. What motivates you when putting together this sort of show?

My plan is to perform a show focused more on the listening aspects rather than the visual aspects. Eventually, I would like to make K-pop music of the highest quality appeal to the U.S. audience.

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You’ve held arena shows and played the Prudential Center in 2014 to celebrate g.o.d’s 15th anniversary. Do you prefer those sort of venues or these smaller, more intimate ones?

The success of arena shows are driven by the audience’s reaction and the overall mood of the night. As soon as we hit the stage we can tell how the night will turn out by the response of the crowd. Comparatively, intimate shows are very detail oriented and we are able to see everyone’s faces and can have direct communication with the audience. This real-time feedback and reaction is what makes the smaller stages special.

Do you put together these sort of jazz improv performances when you’re in Korea? (If not, why do them in NYC?)

I have been adding improvisation elements to all of my shows. Each show is different and I am really enjoying it.

What sort of audience do you hope to get at the show in New York?

I expect to meet music lovers and listeners so that both the audience and the performers can enjoy the show together.

You set up Soulshop Entertainment several years ago. What is it like managing yourself versus being managed?

I am very satisfied with my current path. It enables me to keep challenging myself and try out different projects.

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October is the 10th anniversary of your first solo album, “Words I’d Want To Say.” Are you planning to celebrate that with any new music before the year’s end?

At the end of 2016, I will be releasing a single album with 5 songs. This project is named “t-with” and will be a collaborative work featuring outstanding artists.

With your solo career, g.o.d, and numerous OST songs under your belt, what do you do to relax? Any drama or music recommendations for KultScene’s readers?

Nowadays, I find watching basketball to be very fun. I would like to recommend [Yoon] Kye Sang-Hyung’s drama, “Last.” I recently watched it and it was really awesome.

Any final words for our readers?

Thank you very much to all my fans and music lovers. Please stay healthy. As I keep pursuing my career as a vocalist and a producer please support my music and the adventures ahead of me. I look forward to meet everyone soon!

Translation via June Rhee. Text has been edited for clarity.

Kim Tae Woo will be performing in Washington DC at the Howard Theater on July 1 and in New York City at Le Poisson Rouge on July 3. Tickets are on sale now and if you use the code “justforu” there’ll be a nice discount!

What’s your favorite song by Kim Tae Woo? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

g.o.d 15th Anniversary Concert in New Jersey

In 1999, a K-Pop act coming to the United States and holding concerts in two major venues would seem like an impossible act. With the conclusion of the American leg of their 15th anniversary concert tour, g.o.d did just that.

On November 9th, 2014, g.o.d held its second show in the United States at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The g.o.d 15th Anniversary Reunion Concert Tour began in Seoul on July 12th, and its show in New Jersey rounded out the concert series in a big way.

The crowd at the Prudential Center was dominated by a different fanbase than most K-Pop concerts that have been held in New York and New Jersey. g.o.d’s longtime fans came out that night, making an older, more Korean audience than most East Coast shows have typically seen. And it was absolutely fantastic.

g.o.d 15th Anniversary Concert in New Jersey

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The connection between the five men performing on stage and the audience members was almost tangible, as the fanchants were sung and the sky blue balloons bobbed up and down. With few of the typical lightsticks, enterprising audience members used their phone’s flashlights the same way people used to hold lighters at concerts.

Even before the concert began, the fans were excited, itching for the show to begin. This wasn’t just fans waiting for a performance— fans who had waited for the long-promised return of all five members together filled the audience, and g.o.d delivered just that.

The concert began with a photomontage containing clips and images from each year of g.o.d’s fifteen year career, with words indicating the members’ thankfulness towards fans remaining loyal despite the long break in g.o.d’s career. Then, Son Ho Young, Kim Tae Woo, Danny Ahn, Park Joon Hyung, and Yoon Kye Sang appeared on stage and performed The Lone Duckling, their first song released together since 2005.

g.o.d 15th Anniversary Concert in New Jersey

As they performed, fans throughout the stadium stood up, and many didn’t sit down until the concert came to a close. The live band, something missing from many K-Pop concerts, was a nice touch that had fans stomping their feet and chanting “g.o.d, g.o.d” to the tune of We Will Rock You several times throughout the night.

The setlist included all of g.o.d’s most popular songs, ranging from their debut to their most recent comeback. To Mother, One Candle, Saturday Night, Friday Night, 2♡, and many other songs that fans had been waiting for years to hear. g.o.d’s unique colors and years of experience showed as Kim Tae Woo and Son Ho Young showed off their powerful vocals while each of the three rappers (Park Joon Hyung, Yoon Key Sang, and Danny Ahn) provided their own flavor to every song.

g.o.d 15th Anniversary Concert in New Jersey

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The five members kept the crowd, and themselves, moving nonstop. Whenever the singers came to a rest, it looked like they were absolutely exhausted. The members’ age showed (none are younger than 33, with Park Joon Hyung being the eldest at 45), but even as they joked about their aching limbs, g.o.d reassured the audience that they planned on being on stage for many more years to come.

The entire night was powerful, filled with both emotion and energy, highs and lows as both g.o.d and the audience got excited with one song’s powerful beats and then reminiscent with each ballad that brought many memories to the surface. Considering that the crowd and the group interacted throughout the show and every song was well performed, there was really no single highlight moment because the entire show was fantastic. There were some hilarious moments, including when g.o.d tried to teach the audience the dance to Saturday Night and it turned out that Yoon Kae Song wasn’t so great at the dance himself, and some heartbreaking moments, including Danny tearing up over being reunited and performing for the first time in the United States.

g.o.d 15th Anniversary Concert in New Jersey

When it was time to go, the fans shouted out and demanded “Encore, Encore” over again. A slideshow with pictures that Danny had taken throughout the years appeared, with words thanking g.o.d’s fans for always supporting the group. g.o.d returned to stage with three songs, and new energy that had them jumping around stage looking like any other K-Pop act. Son Ho Young played with the crowd, spitting water onto the audience to cool people off, while Danny took numerous pictures on stage using his selca stick –pictures that will undoubtedly appear in another g.o.d slideshow in the future.

g.o.d and their fans have been through a lot over the years, but during the New Jersey show, one thing was apparent: even after 15 years of ups and downs, fans will never abandon the group, and, in return, g.o.d will give fans everything that they can.

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Have you ever seen g.o.d perform live? What’s your favorite g.o.d song? Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.