His voice seems to say, It's okay, everything will work out just fine. We chat with rising Korean singer-songwriter Paul Kim, who is known for his soothing, yet powerful vocals, and easy, calming tracks which has garnered him widespread popularity in Korea.
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Everyone Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello.
L'OFFICIEL HOMMES (LH) You spent your middle and high school days in New Zealand. What kind of kid was Paul Kim at that time?
Paul Kim I studied abroad in New Zealand from junior high to senior high school. I stayed in a dormitory or at a homestay. From a long time, my parents recommended studying abroad for me, but I didn't accept it because I didn't want to go alone. Then I left to try it for a year, but when I was there, I didn't even go to university. It was a decision I made, but after that, my study abroad life was lonely and difficult. I think it was more because I wasn't a Westerner. At that time, my personality was more conservative and timid than I am now, so it didn't help with making new foreign friends. I continued to live in groups with friends, so I thought a lot about having my own space. Perhaps because of that, each time I listened to music, I felt like it was my time, and I gradually fell in love with it.
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LH Did you decide to become an singer at that time?
Paul Kim That dream was far behind me. At that time, I didn't even dream of thinking of becoming a singer, and I thought someone had to be born with it. I liked writing songs, but I never thought of singing well. However, I did toy with the idea that I would become a person that was the art field because I liked both music and art. There was also the influence of my mother who majored in classical music, though I majored in business administration at Jeongjak University.
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LH people call Paul Kim 'a long-running singer.' In particular, your song 'Meet You' has been in the top 40 online chart for over a year. Why do you think your music has such a lasting quality about it?
Paul Kim Actually, I'm not sure either. I never expected tha t'Meet You' and 'Every day, every moment' would be loved for so long. Each time I hear of a song's success, it's always amazing to me, and I mutter things to myself like, “People listen to my songs for so long and so much?”
LH It could be because your voice is'a voice that 'gives comfort'. Nowadays, during moments whee I feel tired and want to be comforted, especially in these times, I seems that listening to your songs is able to tell me that everything is okay, everything will work out.
Paul Kim I hear a lot of things like that from my fans who listen to my songs to get through through the difficult times. I am grateful that my song has helped someone, and I am proud of the thought that I did something meaningful. In the past, when things were difficult and lonely, I was comforted by listening to other singers' songs. It was amazing at that time. These people don't know my situation or heart, how can they comfort me? In the end, my becoming a singer seems to have started with the idea that 'I want to give comfort to others like this too.' Isn't that the power of music? I believe in that power.
The interview with Paul Kim and editorial spread is originally found in the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of L'Officiel Hommes Korea.
Creative Director Jeong Yun Kee
Editor Woo Lee Kyung, Bae Jeong Yeon
Photographer Kim Cham
Writer Chung Yun Joo
stylist Jeong Gyeo Woon
hair Jeong Su Hee
makeup Cho Hae Young
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