I covered The Creators Project over the weekend for Chincha (more on that to come) and interviewed Jason Chung, aka LA electronic musician Nosaj Thing, backstage at the event. We chatted about the Project, his music – and a little about K-pop – before he headed off to DJ his widely popular tracks to the Saturday night crowd.
Loren: Have you enjoyed your trip to Korea so far?
Nosaj Thing: Yeah, but it’s been short. I just got here on Thursday night so I’ve been walking around Dongdaemun, Apgujeong, Hongdae, just to trip out, people watch, and buy weird little souvenirs.
Taking part in The Creators Project is a little different from performing at a club night. Why did you want to be involved in this event?
I’m just a fan of The Creators Project. I like all the projects they do and I find it inspiring. I got invited to play the New York Creators Project last year and got to do the visual show that was touring for a bit. The installations that they had there were amazing. I just like what they do.
How much do you think that art, particularly technology-led art, influences you?
The initial idea was just to create more of an overall experience for the show. There are a few shows that I’ve seen that have really stuck with me. One of them was Cornelius, a band from Japan, who performed at the Disney Concert Hall downtown (in LA). Even though the set-up was just on stage, the actual concert hall really made the space memorable to me. That’s just one of the goals that I have, to create a show where the audience is completely immersed in the music, where it’s just like the whole world. You have to be very careful with it because you don’t want the visual experience to take away from the music. There’s a fine line to make it work together.
Radiohead, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Portishead and The XX are just a sample of the incredible artists you’ve been able to remix. Out of all the tracks you’ve worked on, which one has been your favourite?
Just recently I remixed Philip Glass. I felt very honoured to do that because he’s a pioneer of electronic music. To be able to do that this year, in 2012, is something I did not expect. It was hard to do because I wouldn’t want to mess with one of his pieces, but it sounded like a really interesting project. Beck curated it.
Do you know much about Korea’s music scene? I heard that you’ve performed here before.
Yeah, I have. It was a small tour. Honestly, I don’t know if there’s a draw or much of a scene for the type of music I do, but I’m glad to be here today to be able to play to a new crowd, especially playing right before 2NE1 and Drunken Tiger. It’s kind of crazy.
What do you think of 2NE1?
I think they’re dope. I haven’t checked out too many of their songs, just a couple of music videos, but I’m looking forward to their set because I don’t think I’ve ever been to a pop concert before.
Do you hear much about K-pop in the US?
It’s definitely crossing over. I’ve heard 2NE1 on a few music blogs that don’t usually cover K-pop. There’s the whole craze with Psy too, you hear his song on American radio. It’s a trip.
It’s been a few years since you released the Drift Remixed album. Do you have any new releases coming up soon?
Yeah, I just finished my next album. It’ll be out late January. The single’s coming out October 2nd. I’m really excited about it. Two of my favourite tracks from the album will feature Kasu Makino from Blonde Redhead, and Toro Y Moi.
The new single Eclipse Blue Feat. Kasu Makino is out on October 2nd 2012. Listen to it on SoundCloud and pre-order it on Amazon. Home, Nosaj Thing’s next album, is out January 22nd 2013.
Interview by Loren
Photography by Rob Gillespie