Coffee with Kafei - Hany Lee.

Foreword: With Koko Mag coming to an end I wanted to preserve some of the better parts of the project and push them out a little further. So all of the interviews conducted as part of Koko Mag will serve as blog entries, featuring the original published article (with some nice extra bits thrown in) and the tear sheets from Koko Mag.

This entry features Hany Lee, a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, who at the time had just returned from Seoul recording new music; we sat down to discuss her work in May 2015.

With me today is Hany Lee, who is a musician, and actress - true or false?

True! There is a lot to being a musician obviously - I’m a
singer songwriter, and also a vocal coach as well for other K-Pop artists.

You’ve just come back
from 12 months in South Korea, recording some new music. What was that like?

Yeah I was in Seoul for a year, I went there just to do
training - but basically when I got there I didn’t need training as much as the
other K-Pop artists, so I just went pretty much straight into recording music
and stuff. Basically they just put me in a cell and had me recording music. No,
no, I’m joking! But I just wrote music for a long, long time, and spent pretty
much the whole year in the studio. I also got the opportunity to be vocal
coaches for some other K-Pop artists, which was really, really cool. It was
interesting because for me, coming from a western background, they had no idea
what the word freedom meant, they had no idea what the word improvisation
meant. But it gave me an opportunity to creep into a Korean person’s mind -
which has helped me a lot to sing as a K-Pop artist. In Korea there’s this
thing called ‘Aegyo’, which pretty much translates to acting like a baby. It’s
all cutesy and stuff, so a lot of guys enjoy that from girls, they wouldn’t
like a manly girl.

That’s definitely a
big part of the culture too, and bleeds into what’s expected of gender roles in
Korea.

Yeah and that gets translated into the music. So that was
really interesting, I learned that, and after training and vocal teaching these
kids I also taught myself that way too. So I was doing that, and writing a lot
of music, and dance training as well.

You’ve been doing a
few shows while you’ve been down here, and there’s been a lot of dance routines
in them. Tell us about that experience.

Dance training for me was of course with Negative Motion,
who are amazing. These guys, they have pretty much future K-Pop debut artists
coming to their space, to their school, and they go there just to train. There
are so many amazing dancers, so I would recommend anyone who wants to go to
Korea and do dancing - go to Negative Motion Dance Company. Nice little plug there. NEGATIVE
MOTION. Dance company! But yeah that’s in Seoul, I trained there, and it was
amazing. I just spent my life doing that, and I also filmed all my music
videos!

Great! How many
videos are we to expect?

Two or three, coming up. The first one is going to be
released June or July with the album. I feel like a lot of people are watching
music videos these days, rather than just listening to the song. I feel like
they’d rather look it up on Youtube than listen to it in iTunes. It’s a very
visual era. So hopefully the music videos work. It’s going to be amazing! It’s
super trippy, it’s like a story within a story, within a story!

HanyLeeCeption! What
can you tell us about the album?

 It’s an album that
has a few songs, and each song is done in both English and Korean. To add that
up, there would be around eight tracks. Areia Creations do lots of DJ mixes,
they do a lot of house, EDM, trap, remixes - so they will be remixing my
original songs as well. Be watching out for my debut in June/July!

Will we be getting a
single before then?

It’s really hard to just go debuting with a single, because
it’s just one thing that you’ve shown them. Whereas if you have a few
selections, they might be like ‘yeah, we’ll think about it!’

Yes, there’s
definitely a lot more to judge of you and make a decision upon. Most people in
Australia do however know you for your acting roles through shows like
Neighbours and Wentworth, does acting ever feed into music for you?

Yeah someone asked me this recently, and I actually have
thought a lot about that, it actually does. Like when you’re acting and you’re
saying a line like “I’m happy”, you have to act it while singing,or
you have to smile when singing it, and it will come into the song. Your
emotions will be seen and heard in the song.

It would obviously be
helpful experience as well for music videos, as they’d require a bit more
acting and camera work.

Of course! Especially because the first music video I shot
with Areia Creations in January, there as a lot of acting involved.  So it helped me a lot, I was comfortable.

Were you always into
performing since a young age?

Yeah! It’s because of this speech disorder when I was young.
Mum put me straight into speech therapy, and I just didn’t improve, so the
speech therapist was like “dude, you should just go to singing or acting
classes, ‘cause it’s a mental thing, not a physical thing, so I just think you
need confidence boosting”, which is pretty much like singing and acting.

What inspires you to
create art?

I think for me, there are times throughout my life when I
couldn’t just stay home and sit there, I was going psycho. So I pushed myself
to find things to do. I tried all types of stuff, I tried teaching kids, and
that didn’t feel right. I tried going to uni, and that didn’t feel right
either. I did amateur theatre, and it was like none of this fulfils my wants or
needs. So I’m like, okay I’ll go try stage and tv and music, all the things I’m
doing now, shoots and songs and behind the scenes - that all makes me feel this
is why I’m living. I just defined why I’m alive. So yeah, I think that’s what
it is.

Thinking about other
artists, through any mediums, do you have any particular favourites?

There are so many! Can I just tell you my favourite
directors? Luc Besson, he’s a French director, I just love everything that he’s
done. Everything! His choice of actors as well. Guillermo del Toro, definitely,
because he’s always doing great stuff. James McTeigue. I like Asian movies, I
love Bollywood, I’m a big fan of Bollywood, they’re always fun.

What about other
musicians?

With K-Pop I’ve always had a thing for this guy called
Zion.T, who is really incredible. His voice is really outstanding. I really
love artists who can not only show their characters, like a different
character, but I love people who can gain other artists’ respect. Like Beyonce
for example, Beyonce is now like a trademark, it’s a symbol, that’s Zion.T for
me. I look at him, and he’s got this genre, he’s got this symbol, and that’s
his trademark. I respect him so much with that, I love his art work. I want to
be like that… I do also love my indie rock!

We have some good
memories with The Strokes!


Oh my god! Remember!

How could I forget…. I’m the one who just brought them up!

Our drives, listening to Lana Del Rey and The Strokes.

Blasting it out of the Love Bug, 100kms down the freeway, with those champagne magnums on a boiling hot day…. Remember the time we stopped off at the shady KFC. 

I remember you asking for extras of everything, was there a collectable? 

No I was just asking for extra sauce with my extra nuggets…… but that was on the way back from our Terminator shoot! 

Yes! That’s what I love about working with you Kafei, we always travel to what seems like the other side of the country. 

That was out past Sale, right? 

Yeah, the farm! The haunted place, it was so scary. I didn’t have anywhere to go for the bathroom so I had to pee outside behind the car.

It was a farm, what did you expect! 

We got to see a horse! 

You got to see a spotty cow too. I’ll never forget you losing your shit at the sight of a black and white spotted cow. 

I fricking lost my mind! But I love how we travel far and wide. Like the electricity shoot as well, that was so far!

That was literally a corner away from both of our houses. It only seemed that far because I’d made you go an hour out into the country to get hair and makeup done, because that was the only interested makeup artist I could find!  

Do you have any visual artists you love Hany? I mean, other than myself obviously.

This might sound cliche but I am a huge fan of absurd art, I
love abstract art, absurd and abstract art. I’m a big fan of the sort of stuff,
like Shauny Ben-Natan [whose work featured in Issue One], I love that style. I
love Shauny’s style, it’s very absurd, very abstract, very colourful! Yes, her command of colour is incredible. That’s
what I love, that’s pretty much what I love from visual arts. I love looking at
it, but I can’t do it for shit. I also love @Love.Watts artwork on Instagram,
and I love @tyler_spangler, basically he’s just great! He does amazing stuff. It’s very Pop Art. Very. Also one
artist, who hasn’t done much at all, his name is Grant Haffner. He’s really
outstanding.

He’s got incredible
linework. Instagram is such a great resource for finding visual artists.

I actually got into it much more because of these artists, I
fell in love with Instagram for the visual art. Glenn Marrero is another one
always great for entertainment, ‘cause there’s something I love, about the
simplicity, the colours are just so block.

What’s some advice
you could spare for other creative people pursuing performance?

For me, an artist is someone who can do really well with
holding their own ground. You need to have a character, whether you’re a nerd
or a geek, or going to be some gorgeous primadonna. I don’t care, I think
character is everything, more than talent. Be brave, and be that character.

Lastly, you recently
put out a cover of Sia’s Chandelier, where can we find more of your
performances?

Yes check out my Youtube stuff! There’s a lot of behind the
scenes I’ve been doing over the last few months, the stuff I’ve been doing in
Korea as well. Just type in Hany Lee in search, most of it isn’t my official
channel it’s stuff from everywhere else. So check out Areia Creations Hany Lee!

Where can we see more
of you?

www.facebook.com/hanyleeofficial

twitter @hanyleeofficial

instagram.com/hdl_wannabe or #hanylee

You can actually catch a behind the scenes look at the series ‘HANY X KAFEI’ at the blog here.

Purchase CHERRY issue here.
http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/932638?__r=561574

Purchase FIRE issue here. 
http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/932637


Foreword: With Koko Mag coming to an end I wanted to preserve some of the better parts of the project and push them out a little further. So all of the interviews conducted as part of Koko Mag will serve as blog entries, featuring the original published article (with some nice extra bits thrown in) and the tear sheets from Koko Mag.

This entry features Hany Lee, a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, who at the time had just returned from Seoul recording new music; we sat down to discuss her work in May 2015.

With me today is Hany Lee, who is a musician, and actress - true or false?

True! There is a lot to being a musician obviously - I’m a
singer songwriter, and also a vocal coach as well for other K-Pop artists.

You’ve just come back
from 12 months in South Korea, recording some new music. What was that like?

Yeah I was in Seoul for a year, I went there just to do
training - but basically when I got there I didn’t need training as much as the
other K-Pop artists, so I just went pretty much straight into recording music
and stuff. Basically they just put me in a cell and had me recording music. No,
no, I’m joking! But I just wrote music for a long, long time, and spent pretty
much the whole year in the studio. I also got the opportunity to be vocal
coaches for some other K-Pop artists, which was really, really cool. It was
interesting because for me, coming from a western background, they had no idea
what the word freedom meant, they had no idea what the word improvisation
meant. But it gave me an opportunity to creep into a Korean person’s mind -
which has helped me a lot to sing as a K-Pop artist. In Korea there’s this
thing called ‘Aegyo’, which pretty much translates to acting like a baby. It’s
all cutesy and stuff, so a lot of guys enjoy that from girls, they wouldn’t
like a manly girl.

That’s definitely a
big part of the culture too, and bleeds into what’s expected of gender roles in
Korea.

Yeah and that gets translated into the music. So that was
really interesting, I learned that, and after training and vocal teaching these
kids I also taught myself that way too. So I was doing that, and writing a lot
of music, and dance training as well.

You’ve been doing a
few shows while you’ve been down here, and there’s been a lot of dance routines
in them. Tell us about that experience.

Dance training for me was of course with Negative Motion,
who are amazing. These guys, they have pretty much future K-Pop debut artists
coming to their space, to their school, and they go there just to train. There
are so many amazing dancers, so I would recommend anyone who wants to go to
Korea and do dancing - go to Negative Motion Dance Company. Nice little plug there. NEGATIVE
MOTION. Dance company! But yeah that’s in Seoul, I trained there, and it was
amazing. I just spent my life doing that, and I also filmed all my music
videos!

Great! How many
videos are we to expect?

Two or three, coming up. The first one is going to be
released June or July with the album. I feel like a lot of people are watching
music videos these days, rather than just listening to the song. I feel like
they’d rather look it up on Youtube than listen to it in iTunes. It’s a very
visual era. So hopefully the music videos work. It’s going to be amazing! It’s
super trippy, it’s like a story within a story, within a story!

HanyLeeCeption! What
can you tell us about the album?

 It’s an album that
has a few songs, and each song is done in both English and Korean. To add that
up, there would be around eight tracks. Areia Creations do lots of DJ mixes,
they do a lot of house, EDM, trap, remixes - so they will be remixing my
original songs as well. Be watching out for my debut in June/July!

Will we be getting a
single before then?

It’s really hard to just go debuting with a single, because
it’s just one thing that you’ve shown them. Whereas if you have a few
selections, they might be like ‘yeah, we’ll think about it!’

Yes, there’s
definitely a lot more to judge of you and make a decision upon. Most people in
Australia do however know you for your acting roles through shows like
Neighbours and Wentworth, does acting ever feed into music for you?

Yeah someone asked me this recently, and I actually have
thought a lot about that, it actually does. Like when you’re acting and you’re
saying a line like “I’m happy”, you have to act it while singing,or
you have to smile when singing it, and it will come into the song. Your
emotions will be seen and heard in the song.

It would obviously be
helpful experience as well for music videos, as they’d require a bit more
acting and camera work.

Of course! Especially because the first music video I shot
with Areia Creations in January, there as a lot of acting involved.  So it helped me a lot, I was comfortable.

Were you always into
performing since a young age?

Yeah! It’s because of this speech disorder when I was young.
Mum put me straight into speech therapy, and I just didn’t improve, so the
speech therapist was like “dude, you should just go to singing or acting
classes, ‘cause it’s a mental thing, not a physical thing, so I just think you
need confidence boosting”, which is pretty much like singing and acting.

What inspires you to
create art?

I think for me, there are times throughout my life when I
couldn’t just stay home and sit there, I was going psycho. So I pushed myself
to find things to do. I tried all types of stuff, I tried teaching kids, and
that didn’t feel right. I tried going to uni, and that didn’t feel right
either. I did amateur theatre, and it was like none of this fulfils my wants or
needs. So I’m like, okay I’ll go try stage and tv and music, all the things I’m
doing now, shoots and songs and behind the scenes - that all makes me feel this
is why I’m living. I just defined why I’m alive. So yeah, I think that’s what
it is.

Thinking about other
artists, through any mediums, do you have any particular favourites?

There are so many! Can I just tell you my favourite
directors? Luc Besson, he’s a French director, I just love everything that he’s
done. Everything! His choice of actors as well. Guillermo del Toro, definitely,
because he’s always doing great stuff. James McTeigue. I like Asian movies, I
love Bollywood, I’m a big fan of Bollywood, they’re always fun.

What about other
musicians?

With K-Pop I’ve always had a thing for this guy called
Zion.T, who is really incredible. His voice is really outstanding. I really
love artists who can not only show their characters, like a different
character, but I love people who can gain other artists’ respect. Like Beyonce
for example, Beyonce is now like a trademark, it’s a symbol, that’s Zion.T for
me. I look at him, and he’s got this genre, he’s got this symbol, and that’s
his trademark. I respect him so much with that, I love his art work. I want to
be like that… I do also love my indie rock!

We have some good
memories with The Strokes!


Oh my god! Remember!

How could I forget…. I’m the one who just brought them up!

Our drives, listening to Lana Del Rey and The Strokes.

Blasting it out of the Love Bug, 100kms down the freeway, with those champagne magnums on a boiling hot day…. Remember the time we stopped off at the shady KFC. 

I remember you asking for extras of everything, was there a collectable? 

No I was just asking for extra sauce with my extra nuggets…… but that was on the way back from our Terminator shoot! 

Yes! That’s what I love about working with you Kafei, we always travel to what seems like the other side of the country. 

That was out past Sale, right? Our Terminator inspired shoot. 

Yeah, the farm! The haunted place, it was so scary. I didn’t have anywhere to go for the bathroom so I had to pee outside behind the car.

It was a farm, what did you expect! 

We got to see a horse! 

You got to see a spotty cow too. I’ll never forget you losing your shit at the sight of a black and white spotted cow. 

I fricking lost my mind! But I love how we travel far and wide. Like the electricity shoot as well, that was so far!

That was literally a corner away from both of our houses. It only seemed that far because I’d made you go an hour out into the country to get hair and makeup done, because that was the only interested makeup artist I could find!  

Do you have any visual artists you love Hany? I mean, other than myself obviously.

This might sound cliche but I am a huge fan of absurd art, I
love abstract art, absurd and abstract art. I’m a big fan of the sort of stuff,
like Shauny Ben-Natan [whose work featured in Issue One], I love that style. I
love Shauny’s style, it’s very absurd, very abstract, very colourful! Yes, her command of colour is incredible. That’s
what I love, that’s pretty much what I love from visual arts. I love looking at
it, but I can’t do it for shit. I also love @Love.Watts artwork on Instagram,
and I love @tyler_spangler, basically he’s just great! He does amazing stuff. It’s very Pop Art. Very. Also one
artist, who hasn’t done much at all, his name is Grant Haffner. He’s really
outstanding.

He’s got incredible
linework. Instagram is such a great resource for finding visual artists.

I actually got into it much more because of these artists, I
fell in love with Instagram for the visual art. Glenn Marrero is another one
always great for entertainment, ‘cause there’s something I love, about the
simplicity, the colours are just so block.

What’s some advice
you could spare for other creative people pursuing performance?

For me, an artist is someone who can do really well with
holding their own ground. You need to have a character, whether you’re a nerd
or a geek, or going to be some gorgeous primadonna. I don’t care, I think
character is everything, more than talent. Be brave, and be that character.

Lastly, you recently
put out a cover of Sia’s Chandelier, where can we find more of your
performances?

Yes check out my Youtube stuff! There’s a lot of behind the
scenes I’ve been doing over the last few months, the stuff I’ve been doing in
Korea as well. Just type in Hany Lee in search, most of it isn’t my official
channel it’s stuff from everywhere else. So check out Areia Creations Hany Lee!

Where can we see more
of you?

www.facebook.com/hanyleeofficial

twitter @hanyleeofficial

instagram.com/hdl_wannabe or #hanylee

You can actually catch a behind the scenes look at the series ‘HANY X KAFEI’ at the blog here.

Purchase CHERRY issue here.
http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/932638?__r=561574

Purchase FIRE issue here. 
http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/932637


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