[September 2013 – Cuvism] Soul Dive – Interview

Soul Dive

Soul Dive talks about their “Show Me The Money 2” victory and their experience.

Soul Dive – Nuck, Zito, D.Theo

Hello. Please introduce yourself.

Zito: Hello. I’m Zito of Soul Dive who just released the single “Night is Young”.
Nuck: Hello. I’m Nuck who is the leader of Soul Dive. Nice to meet you.
D.The: Cuvism readers, hello. I’m D.Theo of Sould Dive. Nice to meet you.

How have you been since the end of “Show Me The Money 2”?

Zito: We were busy filming SMTM for 4 months. We rested up to one week since then. We were already preparing our 2nd full album before the filming, so we finished working on that.
D.Theo: We also held an independant concert recently. We’ve been preparing that too.

Let’s start with “SMTM”, I wonder how you ended up filming this show.

Zito: We got to film as different jury members with our other friends. The jury members usually joined through the recommendations of the agency or other big names. We were recommended by Meta-hyung.

Were you open to the idea of filming the show when you first received the offer?

Nuck: Yes. They said our role would be to choose the crew, to help out, so we started with a light heart. It was more about helping out to pick the ones who could be a part of the crew instead of judging others. That’s why it was really fun at the beginning.
D.Theo: That’s right. It was really fun at the beginning. (smiles)

What kind of candidates were you hoping for?

Zito: There’s the fact Meta-hyung is clearly his own boss. He hoped to find special people or talented in a way that had never been seen before.
D.Theo: Meta-hyung’s motto was “hip-hop’s reconstitution”. He wanted people who can adapt to any beat. We received this instruction and we started looking for people like that.

Is there a candidate you particularly remember?

D.Theo: The agency employee. (smiles) Baek Seung Hwa who works at CJ, I even remember his name! To be honest, most of candidates were about showing a charismatic rap, but he actually talked about his life and situations he went through.
Nuck: To be honest, I think he was the one with the best lyrics. No one had a witty sense for lyrics like he did. On the contrary, he had no groove and he didn’t rap in a charismatic way, so unfortunately he couldn’t be accepted.

There were things you didn’t agree with MC Meta while you were preparing the first round performance. How was the situation back then?

Zito: If you want an explanation about the overall situation, Meta-hyung found out later on that he had to drop someone from the team. That’s why he had to create complete 7 beats. Things were hectic for him. He had to create 7 songs in just one week. And the beat didn’t come out in the way that he liked or in the way that we liked. Besides, because it was our first performance, everyone was sensitive and I even thought “aren’t we going to get dropped if we go this way”. I was really sensitive.

How did you feel before your first performance?

Zito: We rehearsed because we finished things at the last minute. It was no better than rehearsing for nearly the first time. We had received the beat the day before. That’s why when we rehearsed for the time, the stage was like a real fight. Meta-hyung even said “I wished you’d show us you’re having fun on stage”.
D.Theo: I think I went on stage with the mindset that it’s more about enjoying the performance than “we must defeat someone”.

The first round theme was “It’s Me”. You sang the song “Happy Birthay”. What’s the meaning of this song?

Zito: It’s an important song of our 2nd full album because it holds every key of our 2nd full album. It was our first stage, so each verse had lyrics about our identity and “Happy Birthday” is about congratulations. It’s also meaningful because it marks the beginning of “SMTM” for us. We made our performance thinking it’d be nice to show this song there, although it was a new song.

Zito said “it was the first time of my life I got the feeling of losing while making music” after the first performance. You sounded bitter and I feel like it’s when you got greedy for victory after that.

Zito: Indeed. I lived the scene when victory and defeat are decided. It’s a scene I hated watching until the end. (smiles) While we were rapping, although I was thinking “I feel like we’re going to win today”, when we went on stage, what I had in mind was “we can loose too”.
D.Theo: We lost during the first round. I stopped watching starting from episode 2. I was too scared to watch. (smiles)
Nuck: I watched. Our group name is long compared to others. So I watched while telling to myself “we had to last long”. (smiles)

You ranked number 1 during the 3rd round. You sang late Kim Kwang Suk’s “Wait For Me”. How did you end up doing this song?

Nuck: Meta-hyung made the suggestion first by saying it was a very cool song.
D.Theo: That day, the concept was “The Bad, The Weird, The Good”. Wutan and us were the bad guys. Zizo and Outsider were the good guys. Mad Clown and Fana were the weird guys. We wanted to show a destructive force because we were the bad guys. Lee Sung Soo-hyungnim really sang well.

I felt that you were one with the audience when you performed “Wait For Me”.

Zito: We’re a group who really enjoys performing on stage. I don’t know if it’s because it was “SMTM”, but the audience is also here to judge instead of just being there to open their heart and watch, so they can slightly shut down. This is the style of this audience that can’t be seen anywhere else. (smiles) However, if you show an overwhelming performance, the feeling is just right there. That day, we had a really strong song and we had the impression of being in harmony with the audience.

If each one of you were to choose a memorable performance?

Zito: I want to choose “One Cup of Coffee” that was our second performance. It was our first winning performance after being defeated.
Nuck: At that time, Meta-hyung gave us a concept that only us could do based on the theme “old school”. That’s why we imitated the old school hip-hop style and it looked ridiculous in the beginning, but the DJ went up there and played the music, and we were up there too, you had the DJs, there were b-boys as backup dancers. We showed it all. And “One Cup of Coffee” was a collaboration with Korean mainstream music to express Korean hip-hop. Once the song was over, I stepped out by myself and did a sampling. I think this performance allowed us to fully show the best hip-hop style because the ending was based on a strong message.

How was your final stage?

Nuck: We had given our all for the semifinal stage “Level O”, so we couldn’t do nothing more. We just enjoyed the stage because we were in a festival performance mindset more than because we wanted to win.
D.Theo: It was a feeling similar to “Happy Birth Day”.
Nuck: We were all interested in the competition, but we made a promise to ourselves. “Let’s enjoy performing!”.

What did you feel when you heard the words “And the winner is Soul Dive”?

Zito: It was a shock. (smiles) We had to do it in two steps. At first, there was a bit of a gap with Zizo at first. I thought to myself “Zizo prepared a strong performance, so he’ll win”. And then, the audience left and made the final vote. Everything stops for Sould Dive. I was like “Uh?”. (smiles) People around me asked me why I wasn’t happy and that wasn’t the case. I was just in shock.
Nuck: Our staff was surprised too, and they started shouting all of sudden. (smiles)
Zito: Wutan hugged me from behind and I think I wouldn’t have realized what was going on if he hadn’t been there. People, it’s not because I wasn’t happy. (smiles)

You recently released the single “Night is Young”. Please introduce it to us.

Zito: It’s a song from our 2nd full album. It’s the first track we reveal. If you translate it in Korea, it’s about how “the night is young”. Most of night songs are about “let’s party tonight”, but the meaning here is the opposite, it’s about “let’s go for our dreams”. It’s about the vision of the night that each of us thinks about.
Nuck: The vibe is “your night is still hot. So don’t sleep and do quickly the things you want to do! It’s the same for us, that’s why we rap!”.
D.Theo: We don’t make them sleep. (smiles)

How are the Soul Dive’s nights these days?

Nuck: Completely short. Because we’re finishing the album.
D.Theo: I don’t sleep. (smiles)
Nuck: I sleep, but I sleep for a very short time. (smiles)

Soul Dive recently held their first independant concert. When did you start preparing?

Zito: We’ve been wanting to do our concert since we released our first full album. We couldn’t do many activities at that time, so we decided we’d do it once we’d be fully prepared. Now that we just finished “SMTM” and we’re about to release our second full album, we wanted to prove ourselves while putting in order everything we did until now.
Nuck: Many people know us because they saw us on TV. We wanted to show them something. There are many things that can be felt only if you directly see the performance.

Your recent concert was a success. How do you feel about it?

Nuck: First of all, we’re very thankful to the people who accepted to be a guest during our concert. We thought that this concert was the occasion to stay in the mindstet that we must keep doing this. We had never hold concerts where we took the lead. This time, it was laying the foundation to show upgraded performances in the future.

I wonder about the music direction Soul Dive will take.

Nuck: I think we’ll keep doing hip-hop, we won’t do lame music. We’ll just do our own music. We’ll try to keep showing the style that is unique to Soul Dive. We’ll keep showing the music only us can do.

The life style of three men who love hip-hop

How do you usally spend your day?

Zito: We usually discuss ideas while drinking a cup of coffee.
Nuck: We don’t have time to relax. Lately, it’s been about the album release and our concert, before that it was the release of stuff we did featuring for. When it’s all over, I want to watch movies and go on a trip.

It seems that you became much more popular after “SMTM”. Is it something you’re aware of?

Zito: I think there are a lot of people who recognize us when we walk down the street. They recognize us because they saw us on TV. Our role on the show gave us the opportunity to make them listen to our music and we had to make them come to our show. This is an important goal for us.

You often communicate with your fans through SNS. Do you remember one interaction in particular?

Zito: I remember a funny picture. (smiles) The Korean translation of our song title is “Night is Young”. And the person edited the picture to express this idea with the night eating us. (smiles)
Nuck: I remember something I uploaded. I was recently on Mnet “Beatles Code” and I didn’t speak much, but my face was big. You know, they edit the image to emphasize your face. (smiles) I uploaded it online and wrote “hello!”. A man must have a big face. (smiles)

You said on Mnet “Beatles Code” that you were actor So Ji Sub’s rap teacher.

D.Theo: He’s a very close hyung of ours.
Nuck: He’s a very handsome and well-built hyung we’re very close with. (smiles)
Zito: So Ji Sub released a digital single early this year. Compositor Kim Gun Woo is a close friend. That’s why we accepted to help him with his rap. While working, we kept talking and we realized how much he loves hip-hop and how he’s just a great person.
Nuck: He monitored us on “SMTM”. We’re thankful that he said we were very charismatic. We tried to monitor him too, but SBS “Master’s Sun” is very scary. (smiles)

So Ji Sub aside, who else are you close with?

Zito: There’s also Younha whom we worked with, Kim Greem. Many people congratulated us for reaching number 1.
D.Theo: Zion.T also congratulated us. We’re all thankful for them.

In 2010, you collaborated with the Japanese Shibuya master F.P.M. You also worked with the domestic brand BrownBreath to release the album.

Nuck: Because we like culture. For BrownBreath, it’s a friend we’ve been seeing since the beginning, so we exchange on a regular basis. At the time, we sold together t-shirts and album jackets. Thankfully, we sold everything.

I know you’re not only interested in music, but you’re interested in many cultural stuff.

Nuck: Yes. We have a lot of interest. We work on a webzine or do cultural stuff. We’re very interested in stuff like this.
D.Theo: If we get the opportunity, we want to work not just with Brownbreath but also with other people.
Nuck: We’re very interested in Korean brands. Our friends who began back in the day with Itaewon TinTin are still working today.

If you were to choose a brand or an artist you like?

Zito: We collaborated with many rappers recently. I want to choose “Buried Alive”. They created the music video for “Bad Tooth” with Hi-Lite Records. Their fashion style is very cool and I really like this brand.
Nuck: I have many that I like. (smiles) In Korea, I really like Lee Sang and Park Nam Joon. They’re ruling my left brain and my right brain. I liked them separately, but after getting to know more about them, Park Nam Joon told he was very influenced by Lee Sang. I was surprised. (smiles) Sadly, it seems that he tends to move to video art overseas recently.

Music aside, is there something all the three of you do together?

Nuck: We often watch movies.
D.Theo: We coudln’t recently?
Nuck: We couldn’t because we were busy.
D.Theo: I woke up in the morning and watched “Snowpiercer” by myself.
Nuck: I watched it too. I also watched “Jobs”.

Which movie left you the biggest impression?

Nuck: Oh! I like this question! (smiles)
D.Theo: For me, “Jerry Maguire” is the best movie because it’s about a man who finds success on his own. And it’s touching too. I like stories with realism about human relationships. This movie is the best for me.
Nuck: For me, it’s “Memories of Murder”. I like director Bong Joon Ho. I think I watched the movie like 8 or 9 times, just in the theater. I think the movie is the best when it comes to portraying the feelings of Korean people. It was my first time being angry while watching a movie. (smiles) I was saying “the culprit must definitely get caught”. The real culprit could have probably laughed while watching this movie. That’s why I like the last scene with the scene when Song Kang Ho stares.
D.Theo: For me, it’s “The Incredibles” that isn’t deep and you can just simply enjoy. It was the funniest.
Nuck: D.Theo! That’s so you? (smiles)
D.Theo: You know all the family members are superheroes. (smiles) Director Na Hong Jin who directed the movie “The Chaser” said it’s his best movie. How does a movie director know that a movie is his best? I think we have the same vision. (smiles)

What does “SMTM” mean to you?

Zito: I think it’s the perfect gifts set. It’s about compensating with hard work. Personally, I’m thankful for “SMTM” itself.
Nuck: In one word, it’s a program that made me find undefined things I had lost. I was ambitious about this broadcast, but it’s also a hip-hop program that is unique in Korea. That’s why it is meaningful to win through fair performances.
D.Theo: I think it’s a character. We don’t like the fact of winning over someone. Still, we won and this character called “victory” was given to us. I’m thankful to “SMTM” because we got to attach “SMTM” to our name.

Please say a few words to our Cuvism readers.

Zito: Thank you for reading our interview. We hope Cuvism will always stay daebak.
Nuck: We really want to show you how to get to know Soul Dive. I hope more people, even if it’s just one person, will come to our concert. Please come see us on stage!
D.Theo: It’s fall. Be careful of catching a cold. Please look for us because we might be doing a lot of activities for our 2nd full album! Thank you!

Cuvism
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com

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