Baek-sik Jang (25) is an independent R&B singer-songwriter and rapper who debuted in 2020. Since then, he has worked with many other upcoming names in the industry such as EunBii, J.cob, KIMMUSEUM, and producer Truman. We had the opportunity to discuss his beginnings in the music industry, how he conveys emotions in his songs, as well as his rest of his plans for the year.
Many artists use an artist name when doing music but you decided to go with your birth name. Is there a particular reason for that?
I feel that my name is unique and it's difficult to choose a stage name, so I decided to use my real name.
How would you describe your music to other people?
I would describe it as a love song that everyone has experienced at least once.
How did you start doing music?
When I was in middle school, I used to go karaoke with my friends, and I felt a thrill when my friends listened to my songs and said I was good at music.
Different artists have different approaches when it comes to making music. What is your creative process like?
I usually have a lot of thoughts but when I'm in a relationship I think a lot about trivial conversations or the trivial actions of the other person.
I write lyrics about these situations because I can't bear to say my inner feelings.
Wait4you (feat. EunBii) - Baeksik (백식)
What’s a typical day for you? Do you work on your music every day? What other activities or hobbies besides music do you enjoy doing?
I work part-time five days a week and come home in the evening to work and play games. Other than making music, I play a lot of games.
What do you think makes you stand out amongst all the other artists in the scene?
I want to write good lyrics but I'm usually unsure of what words to use, so I use a lot of common words instead. I think it makes people more sympathetic, though. If it's not that, I think it might be the melody line or my voice.
Your debut song, “T.T.W.I.I.” featuring KIMMUSEUM is said to mimic the cry emoticon and the lyrics are also about missing someone. Is this song based on your real life experience? What sort of message did you want to get across?
This song is based on some real experience. When you're in a relationship, someone comes into your daily routine and changes a lot of things. As a result, there are times when it is very difficult but, in the end, after time passes, I am back to where I was. So when I was having a hard time, I said to myself, "It’s okay, I can do that.". It’s a song that says "I just feel that feeling right now".
T.T.W.I.I (feat. KIMMUSEUM) (prod. Truman) - Baeksik (백식)
Your recent releases, like “Donggyo-dong (동교동)”, “Lost in my emotion (감정은 왜 항상 제멋대로야)”, “Pride (자존심)”, have a recurring theme of loving and longing for someone, as well as hints of regret. Is there a storyline that you want to express with this sequence of tracks? Is there a particular reason you revisit this theme?
I am a person who strongly likes things and falls deeply into the various emotions that come from love. I also regret things more than anyone else. Maybe that's why when you like someone and break up with that person, the scenes from loving and breaking up come closer to regret and longing. “Donggyo-dong (동교동)”, “Lost in my emotion (감정은 왜 항상 제멋대로야)”, “Pride (자존심)” - while I was working on these three songs, feelings of longing and regret continually poured in, so I started working on the same theme.
You’ve worked with several other artists like EunBii, J.cob and Truman. How do you go about deciding which artists you want to collaborate with? Are there any artists you dream to work with?
I was originally a person who predominantly sang ballads, but I fell in love with the hip-hop genre because while listening to Giriboy's music. People say that Giriboy is not hip-hop, but I think Giriboy is a musician, leaving the genre of hip-hop. He is still my role model to this day. It is my dream to work with Giriboy at least once.
Donggyo-dong (동교동) - Baeksik (백식)
Your SMTM 10 audition video was recently released. As we all know, this year’s SMTM is extremely competitive and everyone’s looking forward to great competition. What sort of mindset do you have while entering the competition? What can we expect from Baeksik?
It was the first real challenge in my life, and I was surprised and happy that I received so much more attention than I expected. Unfortunately, I didn't receive a notification of acceptance, however, it feels good because it seems to have broken the fear in me that had kept me from applying until now. I want to show you my changes one by one in the future.
From a personal perspective, what is the hardest part about being an artist?
I am ashamed to say that I am a singer now, but I think that, until now, the most difficult part of doing music was when the results did not add up to the amount of work I had put in. I do my best and make a lot of modifications to the music that I created because I have a strong desire for more people to listen to my music, but that only ends in greed. Whenever that happens, I think to myself "Is my music not good?", but recently more and more people are starting to recognise and support my music, so I'm trying to work harder.
What’s next for you? Do you have any plans you can share with us?
Although the plan changes a lot, the current plan is that I am preparing to release a single once a month again. I was going to release one song every month from June to September and take a break in October, but I don't think that's the time yet, and I want to let more people hear my voice. So, the current plan is to release one song every month from November.