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TE.O calls us from his ‘Payphone’

TE.O is a Korean R&B artist who came out with his new single ‘Payphone’ last week. The groovy track is a lot of fun. We were able to ask him some questions about his musical journey. 

What inspired you to make music?

I’ve been interested in music since I was young. I liked singing, too.
There isn’t really a special origin, I just started it because I wanted to do it 🙂
At first, I only sang, but I felt like I needed to express and focus more on my music so I started writing. I thought it made me feel very grown up.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Music inspiration isn’t just in music, it’s also inspired by completely unexpected things like books, movies, dramas. I also get inspiration from my daily life too.

How do you feel like you’ve grown musically since your solo debut in 2018?

As I release my music one by one, I always find the parts that I’m satisfied with and parts that I don’t feel great about. Anyway, I can’t really feel that I’m growing lol.

However, when I release the tracks, I always feel very proud about every single one of them. Somehow I do think I’m growing up, growing as a musician and getting better to make even better music next time.

You’ve created covers of French, Vietnamese and Spanish songs on your Instagram. Should we expect your own original songs in those languages?

I haven’t planned that yet, but I think international fans would really like it. 
I think it’s quite a good option 🙂

You’ve been active in the industry for over almost a decade, since your time with 2MUCH. How do you think the industry has changed over the years?

When I think about 10 years ago and now, many things have changed.
My musical color has become more clear.  I’m still clumsy and lacking, but I think I’m getting more and more flexible.

You write and compose your own songs. What is one message you want to share that you still have to put into a song?

Umm.. Don’t have any special messages haha.
If someone listens to my music and makes him/her feel good. It makes me happy.
Sharing my thoughts with someone who loves my music, there’s nothing better than that.
That’s as good as it’s ever gonna get!

What inspired the story of ‘Payphone’?

My phone broke recently and I had no choice but to use a pay phone.
So I thought it could be a good idea for my music. That little moment is the birth of ‘Payphone’.

What inspired the jazzy sound?

I think that my music style (groovy and rhythmic R&B style) goes well with jazz music. I started working with my producer by referring to jazz and retro music.

How was shooting the music video?

I had a lot of discussions with the director and tried a lot of different things. It was a really good experience. Maybe because we prepared the location and outfits well, the results came out as well as we wanted.

What are some musical goals you’d like to accomplish this year?

I hope my music will become more popular this year. 
Also, I want to get a lot of opportunities to perform at festivals and bigger stages. 
To make it come true, I’m going to work harder 🙂

You can find TE.O on Spotify here.

Ilse Van Den Heede
A writer with a slight coffee addiction and a tendency to find K-Indie gems in the YouTube rabbit hole.