3 MIN READ
When mentioning the origin stories of most artists within the k hip hop and k rnb scene, it is difficult to ignore the overtones of struggle. You often hear tales of conventional labels constantly falling short. They vow to raise artists up to allow them to showcase their bona fide expression of emotions, but the opposite tends to transpire. The only silver lining to this prevalent narrative is the community that independent artists founded and nurtured over the years that has moulded the scene into what it is today. One label that falls into this category is Wavy Seoul. The creative collective was founded and is currently spearheaded by the veritable visionary and singer-songwriter, Colde.
The CEO made his musical début as one half of OFFONOFF in 2015 together with 0Channel. The duo posted an album through SoundCloud titled ‘mood’ with Colde providing vocals for the group while 0Channel remained a character behind the scenes as a producer. The two artists garnered substantial recognition and later joined YG Entertainment’s sub-label HIGHGRND which was established in 2015 by Tablo of Epik High. The same year, OFFONOFF also joined Club Eskimo; an underground hip hop crew formed by DEAN. After spending four years (2015-2018) signed to HIGHGRND, the duo was forced to question the future when Tablo resigned in 2017, which led to the subsequent closure of the label in early 2018. Although OFFONOFF never officially split, the duo’s discography lay dormant while the credits prove that both members explored the different roles involved in producing music while active together.
In the meantime, the departure from HIGHGRND led Colde to develop the mindset of resistance. At the age of 24 (b. 1994) the artist took matters into his own hands, using the experiences in his past to fuel the new venture. Wasting no time, he released his first single ‘Your Dog Loves You’ featuring Crush on 28 March 2018. Wavy was officially launched in April 2018 via an Instagram post. He then followed up by releasing his first solo EP ‘Wave’ in September of that year and has been building a reputable discography since then, albeit modest. The branding for the label is clean and minimalistic in every sense of the word. Colde has said in the past that he aims to develop Wavy into an approachable label. This sentiment is reflected with the official Instagram account advertising recruitments on occasion, extending opportunities to creatives in the audience. What is even more admirable is the way that the collective not only brings attention to its musicians on the Instagram account’s “highlights” section, but also includes the graphic designer, Honno.
As of January 2022, the label houses 7 solo artists, including Colde himself, along with the self-made band Wave to Earth.
He is constantly challenging stereotypes set for musicians and refuses to settle for a set of genres to amalgamate and make his own. Musicians usually develop their own style and settle down in it while dabbling lightly in other genres but not Colde. The singer contributes heavily towards normalising the evolution of artists with his unconventional approach not only towards his own music, but also the way he has chosen to manage the collective; Wavy not only acts as a home for musicians, but also acts as an agency for artists such as Honno. You feel the solidarity and passion, even as an outsider. In an interview with The Korea Herald the young CEO said that it didn't feel right speaking up only for himself, he continues “that’s how I came to establish the labels. My role would be to build firm ground on which the artists can spread their creativity, with the hopes that their music will be able to influence the public.”. It is safe to say that the completion of his goal is guaranteed.
- Zandri Rossouw