Mini interview with Kinzli

Since a couple of weeks back I’m quite fond of Kinzli & the Kilowatts. I liked Kinzli’s music from the start, was happy to find Kim Doo Soo first in the list of her influences, and even happier to find that she likes scientific calculators with the fraction to decimal function. I’ve listened a lot to her sweet and lovely songs since then, and though the album info (see “about me” section at MySpace) offered a generous amount of information I still wanted to ask her a few questions. She kindly returned with answers:

Could you please start by introducing yourself and your music? You’ve got an impressive list of influences on MySpace and Down Up Down shows no lack of imagination. Where does this come from?
My name is Kinzli and I’m a South Korean, female, singer songwriter living in London. I lived in various foster homes and orphanages in Korea, got a very bad case of tuberculosis spreading to both lungs. The orphanage changed my Korean name from Kyung San to Eun Jung to try and get me adopted as quickly as possible as the sister of a girl called Su Jung. The American family that eventually adopted me gave me the name Kinzli.

I went through chemotherapy for a year, maybe more. I still have weak lungs so can’t sing as powerfully as I’d like.

I first started singing in the Korean orphanages. When I came to America I couldn’t speak any English so I would just sing and talk to myself in Korean. I sing because I’m happy and I’m happy because I sing.

I mostly started writing after arriving in the UK. London got my head swelling with so many ideas.

I feel like a mixture of every where I’ve ever been and so the music reflects the diversity of my influences. Despite criticism from the industry I don’t see why I should have to fit into a genre box to make it easier for people to digest/classify the music.

We take in the world around us in a variety of stimuli so why can’t we express ourselves in a variety of senses or a variety of genres. Why does an artist always have to play one genre or have one particular “sound”? How many of us listen to our iPods on shuffle??

My moods are all over the place hence the Down Up Down title so naturally the tracks sound quite different from each other and sometimes within a track itself.

Music is just one form of output from my ever swirling thoughts and emotions.

I understand that you’re planning to have music videos for every song on the new album. What can you tell us about this? How are they coming along?
So far there are three music videos completed for Safe Place For Us, Don’t Shoot and We Walk For Peace. Polis Loizou did the first two and I did the third one. I’m an amateur video editor so the We Walk For Peace video sort of looks that way but that’s part of the charm.

Another four are in progress for The Land of Il, Star Gazing, The Future and Watery Air. Fingers crossed that they’ll all be done by summer of 2011.

With the kiloWatts you have a lot of people supporting you on album. What can be expected from your live shows?
Who knows what will happen. Hopefully there will be drums, bass, guitar, piano/synths, violin and two vocalists to share all of the vocal parts. Hopefully there will also be a visual element to the show.

If I could dance or act or write a play or paint I’d do these as well, but sadly I can’t. My ideal live gig would incorporate music, art, film, dance. A collective of artists representing a common theme.

Are you ever tempted to make songs out of Math & Physics formula & concepts to make it easier for your students to remember things?
Maths and science are always in my head so they tend to come out in music.

I wrote Star Gazing while working on physics notes about the life cycle of stars and the universe. The song The Future was written when i was preparing lessons on nuclear fusion and fission.

Of course you shouldn’t miss watching the videos linked above, but if you have yet to listen to Kinzli & the kiloWatts, I’d also recommend an immediate visit to MySpace. Every song of hers has its own unique charm in melody and structure as well as lyrics – I Read Your Letter with brilliant lines of her efforts to staple her heart together and pickle it in viscous wine; dreamy ukulele tune Oahu providing an escape to beautiful beaches and waves; the gypsy style The Land of Il about mass gymnastics games in North Korea. Check back on Sunday for a chance to download one of my favorites!

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