Jung-won Seo (24) is an R&B and pop singer-songwriter signed to The Music Works. Since she was young, she has always dreamt of being a singer, and even pursued this dream while she grew up in California. KISSXS has showcased a variety of styles and themes through her music, and we had the opportunity to ask her about her inspiration for her songs, her previous collaborations, hopes for the future, and more.
What's the story behind your artist name? Could you also elaborate on the reason why you made the name change from KISSES to KISSXS?
I picked my stage name after listening to a random song on the radio. I looked over to see what the song title was, and it was called "kisses"! I just thought it was such a cute name!
How did you start doing music?
Ever since I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a singer! I'm very grateful that I was able to find something I have loved so much from a young age.
24hr Store (편의점) - KISSXS (키세스)
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?
Although I try my best to get work done every single day, it's quite hard to do so! I try to balance out my work life with personal life. Usually it includes yoga, watching movies or even taking some time visiting my family!
What’s your greatest guilty pleasure?
Binge watching Grey's Anatomy!
You mentioned in another interview before that you want to be a “consistent” artist and release music on a steady basis. How do you go about keeping yourself motivated? If and when you experience slumps, how do you get over them?
I believe the hardest part about this career is being consistent. My belief is that this job is something I should be able to do until I die. In order to do so, I need to stay focused and I need to be happy with the process that may seem too slow! I often call my best friends and they hype me up.
Hope You're Ruined (망하길 바랬어) (feat. Sik-K) - KISSXS (키세스)
Many of your tracks like your debut track, “Hope You’re Ruined” (망하길 바랬어), “24hr Store” (편의점), and “Love is Callin” talk about love and heartbreak. The approach you take on each of the tracks are different too. For example, “Hope You’re Ruined” is a sad ballad whereas “24hr Store” has a slight twist of wit and light-heartedness. Are these songs based on your life experiences? What’s your creative process of approaching the same theme from different angles?
I try my best to show different aspects of my music in each track I release, and thankfully my label agrees and supports the different approaches! Not all songs of mine are based on my own experiences, but I like to watch certain movies to help me channel the song better!
Your recent single, “Hands On Me”, featuring Peakboy was very well received. It’s also a bright and cheery song depicting a lovey-dovey relationship. How did this song come about? Are there any behind-the-scene stories you can share with us about the collaboration and work process?
Our labels are great friends! It was our labels that decided on the collaboration, and I had an absolute blast shooting the music video! One little behind-the-scene story is that we started shooting at 2 a.m.
Hands On Me (feat. 픽보이) - KISSXS (키세스)
Are there any other artists you’d like to work with in the future?
I would love for a female collaboration! I've only done features with male artists, but I would love to do a little project with another solo female artist!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
If I could, I would like to give a lot more opportunities to new artists! With COVID it's even harder to promote an album and if there were more concerts or opportunities to invite new and upcoming artists, I think the industry would definitely be more inspiring!
Has your vision of the music industry changed starting from when you entered it and now?
My vision is still the same. I started singing because I loved it, and I'm still loving every second of it!
Is there a specific sphere in the music industry which you feel would need more representation?
Definitely chill K-pop!
Love is Callin - KISSXS (키세스)
Amongst your releases so far, which song is the most important to you or which song would you recommend to new listeners and why?
"Hope You're Ruined" is ultimately my favourite track. Not only was it my debut album, but it was an album that changed my life!
Can you share with us what your upcoming plans are for the rest of the year?
I’ll be releasing another album in the winter! There is a lot of new content that my label has been working on, so please look forward to the new things I'll be stepping into!