[November 2016 – Marie Claire] Nada – Interview


Congratulations for being the first runner-up of “Unpretty Rapstar 3”.

It’s the beautiful second place, isn’t it? (laughs) I went for it with the “let’s work hard” mindset. Coming back to my senses after that made it feel like it was over too quick.

I’m curious to hear how you ended up joining this program.

It’s been quite a long time since Wassup, the girlgroup I’m in, has been doing activities. To be honest, Wassup is a group which got briefly the spotlight when it debuted but it didn’t receive much attention. That’s why it’s been almost two years since our last album and we didn’t earn money. For an idol, having no stage to stand on is quite depressing. That’s why it was urgent to get opportunities to get recognition and that’s when “Unpretty Rapstar” contacted me and I thought “this is it”.


What have you been up to during the years you had no activities?

I attended events sometimes. As I worked part-time doing featurings for other projects or CM songs. While we kept saying we’d come back, that we’d release an album, things kept being delayed with no promise. That’s how the idol group system works. You prepare while getting expectations and the opportunities often disappear… Hope is vain. And in a situation like this, my self respect really dropped. And then, not working means getting no money. At that time, I thought to myself that my life couldn’t be only this and I started working hard on my rap. My mixtape “Homework” that I released last February is the outcome of this time of my life. It’s filled with songs expressing the struggle I was going through at that time and my approach. Looking back now, I did struggle back then, but I think it was also a time allowing me to practice and to improve.

I think the talent you built up back then showed in “Unpretty Rapstar 3” because it was even said that you were the biggest beneficiary of the show.

I managed to get four track rings, so I was even called the ring queen. (laughs) “Unpretty Rapstar” was really a reversal opportunity for me. It was a good opportunity to let people know about Nada the rapper as well as the existence of a girlgroup called Wassup.

It seems that you set yourself a new goal as you started this show.

I did. I learned a lot. To be honest, I didn’t even hope to reach the final stage when we started. Even if I were to be eliminated right away, my goal was to go out with a bang. More in a short but hot style than a long and plain style! (laughs) As I got more tracks, I became confident. My certainty about rap and being on stage became stronger.

How did you start music?

I studied art in an arts high school. I’ve always liked hip-hop, so my CDs collection grew. As time went by, my heart went more and more to music. My parents were against it, but I wanted to focus on music, so I quit school and I went down that road. When I’m obsessed with something, I must figure it out completely. It’s something I talk about int the lyrics of the songs “Nasty” and “Nothing” I performed. Like I said in my lyrics, I never regretted taking on the rapper’s path.

From your mixtape to your performances, it seems that you put it in a lot of your personal life stories. Where do you mostly find inspiration for your lyrics?

I usually focus on emotions in my daily life. I write down words to remember these moments and when I get the vibe, I write the lyrics all at once.


Where do you usually hang out? And with whom?

I often have a drink in Hongdae. With my friends who are also hip-hop musicians. When I have time, I enjoy being alone reading a book or going to an exhibit. Of course, I listen to music a lot.

Which song do you often listen to these days?

Bruno Mars’ new single “24K Magic” is on heavy rotation. I also like M.I.A’s music a lot. Dok2’s “Best Time” is a song I’ve been constantly listening to for a long time. It’s a song I listen to before I start working on my rap. It puts my mind at ease.

What do you think is the most important thing when you’re creating a song? I think there are things a rapper can never compromise for.

The most important thing is honesty, sincerity. My focus is on conveying my truest emotions and thoughts.

So everything you said in your lyrics for the diss battle in “Unpretty Rapstar 3” was sincere? The atmosphere was tense.

It was hard to handle. Who would enjoy standing in front of someone and criticizing this person? (laughs) I said I would win against Giant Pink, so I spent a few days spitting my diss rap at people around me in order to practice.

You survived well among strong women, but isn’t now the real start for you?

The road is still long and will probably stretch further, right? I want to do well as a solo rapper and as a Wassup member. Nothing changed because my face is a little bit more known now. I will live as I’ve always lived until now. In the Nada-est way that I can.


Marie Claire
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com


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