Nam Tae Hyun has no time to waste.On a fleeting visit to London promoting his latest band ‘South Club’ we managed to squeeze in a quick shoot and interview with him before he was off again to pursue his endless list of incredible achievements.There is more to the quiet Tae Hyun than meets the eyes.The musician, actor, model, has his own label “South Buyers Club” and has no lamentations about his past with Winner, an extremely successful boy band that sky rocketed his career and he has been going from strength to strength since.
WAO: How has your music evolved since WINNER – is the creative process different now that you write solo? How has it been starting again with a new project and what is it like being your own CEO?
Taehyun: I think it became more honest and more challenging at the same time. There’s less money in it, but it’s fun.It was a struggle at first, but I think I’m getting used to it now, i’m always nervous, but it encourages me to push!
Tae Hyun has brought elements of Grunge, Blues, and rock & roll into his new band after leaving Winner, drawing inspiration from bands like Nirvana and channelling the attitude of Kurt Cobain in his dress sense and the way he commands your attention in all their debut videos.The EP ’90’ seamlessly jumps genre’s as is custom in k-pop whilst showcasing Tae Hyun’s songwriting skills.Catchy tracks full of attitude like “Dirty House” are offset with ballads like “Hug Me,” showing a broad range of emotion in what has proven to be an extremely successful debut.
WAO: Has changing your music style brought up any barriers in the writing process?How have you tackled them now that you are on your own, and how is writing SOUTH CLUB tracks different to the sentimental/ballad type songs you were writing in WINNER? Are you happier with this new direction?
TH: I don’t think I try to change the style on purpose.It is MYSELF whether it is from WINNER or South Club. I want to reach a broader audience.It’s true that i’m stubborn, but I know how to compromise.
WAO: Have you had more freedom with being your own boss/CEO and creating SOUTH CLUB?Do you feel as though you have been released from the controlling aspect of being part of a big agency crafting your image, what music to create and daily life in general?
TH: It is more freeing but it definitely brought more responsibilities.Everything has it’s pros and cons.
Tae Hyun professes he doesn’t have any favourite artists or influences.He instead draws inspiration from films and visuals.He tells us that he loves London, and says that he would live here if he could.He tells us how he finds everything in London inspiring, “everything on the street has impact,” which led him to start his European tour here, leaking that there will be English songs in the next South Club album.
WAO: With WINNER there were stylists and agencies dictating how you were presented on screen and on the stage.How has the sudden change evolved your style/image?
TH: My style got more relaxed and rougher.My style influences are Tom Ford, Raf Simons, Vetement, and Balenciaga, and i’m currently interested in Fonts on clothing.I’m quite masculine with my outfits, but I think that masculinity mixed with femininity is beautiful.
WAO: What can we expect from SOUTH CLUB in 2018?
TH: There will be a change in terms of musical direction.
This has already been shown to us this month in his latest video release “Star,” a more nordic dream pop experience deep in sentiment, maybe a nod to his electronic music past as a DJ.In the video he moves through a shaft of light, in a highly stylised editorial looking music video.
Like the video, Tae Hyun leaves us with his entourage as quickly as he came, off to showcase his latest creative release to Europe and the world moving from one shaft of light to another.He leaves with us a lasting feeling of someone with more experience than his years.It’s safe to say that we love “South Club,” and the direction that he is heading, and look forward to whatever Nam Tae Hyun has to share with us next.