After a fairly quiet existence on Korea’s indie scene for over a decade, suddenly this summer everybody were listening to Big Baby Driver. A couple of songs of hers were featured in SBS drama A Gentleman’s Dignity (신사의 품격) making it so far as the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100, and before long her Tumblr was flooded with messages from new international fans sending their regards from all over the world – South East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, South America, Africa, Australia – and even now the messages keep coming. As Big Baby Driver released a digital single together with Kim Mokin a few weeks ago I seized the opportunity to ask her a few questions:
Who is Big Baby Driver and what separates her from Atombook?
Hello, I am a singer-songwriter from Seoul. Big Baby Driver is my moniker, my stage name, and Atombook is my band. Atombook has never been in a stable state so far. I am a founding and only standing member. Furthermore Atombook didn’t do a lot gigs nor musical acts. A couple of years ago, Atombook tried to start over again with new members, but it didn’t turn out well. So I had the idea that I need something new and personal. I thought that if I had a different name people would be aware of the differences. I performed under various names, including Big Baby Driver (which was already used years ago), Dog Drover and Ruby dog. Finally i took the Big Baby Driver. When it comes to music itself, i don’t see much differences between Atombook and Big Baby Driver. But i guess that Atombook is a band so it could be sound like me and other guys.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
Well, i don’t have special inspiration for songs. I don’t usually write down or try to find out something. I may strum my guitar and hum a melody a little. But not write it down. If I can remember melodies or phrases which I played with, I would work on those ideas. And songs happen.
You’ve risen to relative international fame through A Gentleman’s Dignity. What has this meant to you?
As you pointed out, it’s relative. And due to the Korean culture boom and K-drama boom. So it doesn’t mean much to me. But I admit that “A gentleman” gave me a kind of opportunity. And chances don’t come often. So I’m thankful to Mr. Park Sejun (Music Director) and Mr. Kim Minkyu (Electric Muse). And I’m very grateful to all those who enjoyed my songs and their encouraging words.
What’s the story behind the Kim Mokin + Big Baby Driver “사려 깊은 밤”single?
The “사려 깊은 밤” single is a part of artist collabo presented by Electric Muse and Hyundai Card Music. I have no idea why Mr. Kim Minkyu choose me and Kim Mokin as a first of this project. In my opinion, there’s no similar musical taste between Mokin and me. We are very different. Maybe that’s the heart of it.
Kim Mokin is an established artist compared with me. Both practically and technically. I found him kinda professional. At least he communicates with his audience well and even with me well. I told him what I was thinking about when I wrote the song, vaguely. Then he produced fine lyrics to it. He knows the beauty of Korean language.
Let’s hope this new window of opportunity for Big Baby Driver translates into lasting success! The new single is a delightful combination of Big Baby Driver’s and Kim Mokin’s talents and can be found on Electric Muse’s Bandcamp:
Here’s the indie2go video for Big Baby Driver’s “38,000km 너머의 빅베이비”, the lead track off her first full-length album