Mini-Interview with Flash Flood Darlings

I’m always keen to check out whatever music is promoted by YOUNG,GIFTED&WACK. After being featured on the Sangsang Madang Plugged compilation last year, the real hype for Flash Flood Darlings started some time around December with his first digital single and the announcement of a forthcoming album.

Vorab and Tesoro was released by YOUNG,GIFTED&WACK in the beginning of February and became available on Spotify just a few days later so I gave it a few listens right away. I found it enjoyable enough, but soon moved on to something else. Even so I kept being reminded about the songs and when I finally gave in and listened through the whole album again I ended up playing pretty much nothing else for a week. Fuelled by this new obsession I reached out for an interview to which Jay Song–the producer behind the alias–was very swift in providing the answers.

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What characterizes a Flash Flood Darling?

I am basically Flash Flood Darlings. The name comes from when I was caught in a flash flood with my partner when we were living in Bangkok. We call each other ‘darling’. So I thought it was really cute to have an artist name like that. I’m quite introverted and I hadn’t really thought about sharing my music and my stories in such ways like doing live shows and making an album. I feel a bit embarrassed when I see people writing on social media that my music has resonated with them. At the beginning I felt awkward to tell stories about my own experiences, but I’m grateful that people are enjoying my music. I also want to add that I’m an openly gay person. In Korea it is still difficult to be openly gay, so I want to be as open as possible and show people that it’s ok to be gay.

제가 플래쉬 플러드 달링스에요. 플래시 플러드 달링스 라는 이름은 제가 2009년도 방콕에 살 때 지은 이름엔데, 저랑 제 애인랑 방콕에 살때 홍수(Flash Flood)가 낫었는데 저희에 호칭이 달링이거든요, 그래서 재가 우스깨 소리로 ‘플래시 플러드 안에 달링스가 있네’ 라고 말을 했는데 그개 계속 기억에 남아서 아티스트 이름을 그렇게 지었어요. 저는 내성적이고 제 음악을 사람들에게 들려주고 제 개인적인 이야기를 할 생각을 못 했어요. SNS에 제 음악을 들은 분들이 가끔 음악을 듣고 공감했다고 읽고 조금 부끄러웠어요. 하지만 사람들이 제 음악을 좋아해 주셔서 너무 감사했어요. 그리고 저에 대해서 하나 더 추가할 것은 제가 게이라는 거에요. 제가 일부로 이렇게 말하는 이유는 한국해서는 아직 성 소수자들이 편하게 살 수 없어서예요. 저에 성 정체성을 공개하면 성 소수자도 그냥 너와 나와 같은 평범한 사람이라는걸 보여주고 싶어요.

 
What brought you back to Korea?

I was living in Canberra, Australia with my partner prior to coming to Korea. He was not happy with the work and the quiet lifestyle there, so we decided to come to Korea to experience something different. At the beginning of my stay here, I felt very out of place. I didn’t work or meet anyone for the first six months. That forced me to think hard about what I want to do with my life and I realised that I’m really passionate about music.

한국에 오기 전에 저랑 제 애인은 호주의 캔버라에 살고 있었어요. 제 애인이 직업과 캔버라의 사는 방법에 만족을 못 했어요. 그래서 한국에 와서 새로운 도전을 하기로 했어요. 한국에 처음에 왔을 때 익숙하지 않은 게 많았어요. 제가 일도 안 하고 친구도 없어서 처음 6개월은 집에만 있었는데 그때 내가 정말 하고 싶은 게 뭔가 많이 생각해보니 답은 음악이었어요.

 
Where do you find inspiration for your music?

Inspiration for my music all comes from my experiences and every music that moved me. I think music already exists in the fabric of existence and people just collect those compile them in their own ways. I think nothing is original. The reason why I started to make music was only because I enjoyed the therapeutic nature of making melodies that I want to hear. Each track in the album essentially reflects a feeling that I had at one point in my life. I tried capture those feelings with melodies and soundscapes of each track.

음악을 만드는 영감은 제가 듣고 좋아했던 모든 음악과 제 개인에 경험에서 오는 것 같아요. 제가 생각하기에는 멜로디와 음악은 이미 자연에 다 있고 음악가들은 그냥 그것들을 모아서 수집하는 것 같아요. 독창적인 거는 없는 것 같아요. 멜로디를 만들면서 마음이 치유돼서 음악을 만들기 시작했어요. 앨범에 각 트랙은 제가 살면 느꼈던 감정들을 비쳐요.

 
What story does Vorab and Tesoro tell?

I spent most of my life in Christchurch, New Zealand. It’s a quiet city surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Of course, back then I couldn’t appreciate it and was only affected by how dull and boring I thought Christchurch was. To me Christchurch felt like an asylum far away from the rest of the world. Vorab and Tesoro is a chronological telling of important moments in my life between about 10 to 20 years of age. When I was in primary school (elementary school) my home environment wasn’t so stable and slowly realising that I’m gay made me feel isolated. In the track ‘Byeol’, one lines goes ‘When I was young, the stars were my friends’. I was shy and introverted and didn’t have friends. Whenever I felt lonely I went out to see the stars at night. Seeing the vast Milky Way made me feel so calm. It made me feel so calm to know that myself and my sadness was infinitely small in such an unimaginably vast Universe. In general, this album is about coming of age and finding identity as a loner.

저는 뉴질랜드의 크라이스트처치에서 제일 오래 살았어요. 크라이스트처치는 조용한 도시이고 뉴질랜드의 남섬은 세계에서 제일 아름다운 장소 중 하나로 꼽혀요. 하지만 전 어려서 그런 걸 몰랐어요. 저에게 크라이스트처치는 그냥 아주 재미없는 곳이었어요. ‘Vorab and Tesoro’는 제가 크라 이스트 처치에 살던 예기에요. 제가 뉴질랜드에서 초등학생이었을 때 제 가족 환경이 좋지 않았어요. 그리고 제가 게이라는 걸 점점 느끼면서 더욱더 외딴 느낌이 왔었어요. ‘별’이라는 곡에 ‘어렸을 때 별이 된 내 친구’라는 가사가 있어요. 저는 수줍고 내성적인 아이 어서 친구도 없고 혼자 있는 시간이 많았어요. 외로울 때마다 밤에 혼자 별을 보러 나갔었는데 은하수를 보면 마흔이 너무 안정이 됐었어요. 저의 혼자만의 슬픔은 이 상상을 초월하는 규모의 우주에 비해 너무너무 작다는 게 위로가 많이 됐었어요. 이 앨범을 통틀어서 말하면 외톨이었던 제가 저의 정체를 찾는 이야기에요.

 


I always love an interview that makes already great music seem even more meaningful.

If you happen to be in Korea end of this month you can check out Flash Flood Darlings live as part of WATMM vol. 23 on March 28th. Already this Sunday there’ll be more from Flash Flood Darlings on IROK, meanwhile you can listen on SoundCloud or Bandcamp.

3 Comments Mini-Interview with Flash Flood Darlings

    1. Anna

      Very glad that you liked it!
      Planning to do the same when I come to Korea next time. Until then I’ll keep repeating the album on Spotify :)

  1. Pingback: [MV] Flash Flood Darlings – 별 Byeol | 영기획YOUNG,GIFTED&WACK

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