Si-woo Lee (26) is an independent boom-bap rapper, known for his time on Show Me the Money and as the winner of Street Rap Shit 2016. We interviewed him to find out more about his growth as an artist, his inspirations, and his hopes for the future.
Disclaimer: These are very basic questions we ask every artist to get to know more about them in order to write our "Who You" segment on Instagram. All the artists often get similar questions. We would normally not release this as it's not a full-on interview but we thought it might be good to do so.
What does Loxx Punkman mean?
I'm a huge fan of the drama "Breaking Bad". I've watched every season at least 10 times. Among the characters, I really like Jesse Pinkman. His pretentiousness in the drama and his emotional appearance resonated with me a lot. So I got the name Pinkman. Loxx is the name of the hip-hop group "The LOX". I liked how it sounded so I just used that name, too.
When did you start doing music and what got you into music?
I've been fond of music since I was young. When I was in high school, I was in a band. Then I entered university and joined a composition club. So from 20 to 21, my dream was to be a producer. Of course, sometimes rap was like a hobby and I did a lot of freestyle cyphers, but it wasn't entirely serious. Then, when I turned 22, I realised that I was more talented at rapping than at producing, and that's when I officially started to pursue rap.
108 Afflictions (prod. Viann) - Loxx Punkman (록스 펑크맨)
What were your hopes for the future as a child?
Besides music, I think I also wanted to be a child psychotherapist.
What are your thoughts about the current Korean hip-hop scene and the music being released?
Well, I don't know... Actually, I don't feel like I really belong to the Korean hip-hop scene these days. It's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm just trying to keep doing the music I want to do. No matter what happens in the Korean hip-hop scene, I am Loxx Punkman.
What do you want to say or convey through your music?
I wanted to convey perseverance. I like the way humans try to survive because I think they are most beautiful when they try their best to live. My music career has always been unstable and has not received much attention, but I've never quit or tried to rest. I hope that by showing my growth process through music, other people will be able to gain strength and live harder.
What inspires you to write lyrics?
I think it's the life I live. Sometimes inspiration comes to mind unexpectedly in conversations with someone, and sometimes I think of it after watching a movie, which is a hobby of mine. Music is also a part of life, after all. I don't necessarily have to look for inspiration from far away. I think there is always something right next to me.
I'm inspired by artists of all genres. I think lyrics are very important, but each genre has a different style - so I try to listen to as many genres of music as possible. If you only listen to hip-hop it can get repetitive.
How would you describe your personality and what are your interests outside of music these days? These days, I don't know my personality, haha. I feel introverted and extroverted. I think it's unstable. I have a lot of interest in money and the health of my family and friends. The pandemic is of my top concern as well.
What are your biggest challenges as an independent artist?
As an independent artist, every moment is a challenge because I have to do all the planning, production, and marketing myself. The biggest difficulties seem to be money and marketing.
Unbreakable feat. DJ Kendrickx - Loxx Punkman (록스 펑크맨)
Which Korean artists would you like to collaborate with next?
Thankfully many people have helped me so far and I have already collaborated with people such as Khundi Panda, JUSTHIS, Nucksal, and many more. From the top of my head, I'd like to now collaborate with YDG, Swings, Gaeko, Beenzino, CL, IU. But, of course, there are countless other artists I'd love to work with.
What was your first performance like?
Actually, I don't remember it very well. Although the audience was small and none of them really knew me, I think it was exciting just to be able to sing my songs.
21C Keyword - Loxx Punkman (록스 펑크맨)
Is there a song that especially shows your funny lyrics, which you mentioned before?
They're mostly hidden among my more exciting songs and battle rap songs. But since I've borrowed memes from Korean dramas and movies, it might be hard for foreigners to understand...
What makes Loxx Punkman different to other rappers?
I think that's a fun question. It might be funny, but I was on 'Show Me The Money' four months after I first started rapping, and I lost to SUPERBEE. The beginning of my career was a defeat. I messed it up from the start, but I kept playing the linebacker and participated in many events. First impressions don't go away easily, though. Until two years ago, I wasn't known as Loxx Punkman, rather my name was 'The one who lost to SUPERBEE on Show Me The Money, the one who lost to Dbo'. But since I released the album 'THE RED APPLE', people have called me Loxx Punkman. I still don't have much recognition, though. I actually wanted to give up many times, but I've survived until the end. So what I want to say is that I think the difference between me and other rappers is my strong vitality.
Conscious - Loxx Punkman (록스 펑크맨)
What is your biggest goal as a rapper in the short and long term?
Well, I will definitely release one more album this year. My long-term goal is... I'm not really sure. If I'm too intentional then I don't think I'll be able to use my instincts to make the music I want to make. We don't even know what's happening an hour from now. Life doesn't always go as planned. Just living my best life every day is a constant goal of mine. History is a collection of short records, and I want to keep recording my stories and make it into history.
Do you have anything else to tell us about yourself?
First of all, thank you so much for your interest in me. Although the language is different and you may not understand my lyrics, I hope to be a good acquaintance and good artist to you. And to my aunt, uncle and their daughter who live in France: it would be great if they could see this. Please stay safe and healthy. The pandemic may make life hard, but I hope my music can bring a bit of comfort to you.