Exclusive Interview: Hidden R&B Gem, Sobae
An artist that should be on everyone’s radar is rising star, Sobae. Debuting in 2017, she has released a total of four singles, her latest being “Elevate.” Her latest single has a particular special meaning to the artist, as she recruited the help of her fans to create it.
“Elevate” is an R&B track that is easy going and fun. It’s not only a love song, but also a song that will lift up any negative vibes that fans may be feeling. “Elevate” is a song that fits with any time of year, and it’ll lift up moods immediately thanks to its catchy beat and lyrics.
Who Is Sobae?
Housed under ILZO & Co., Sobae is a Korean-American singer-songwriter who is now based in Seoul. Before she started her career as a singer, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Northwestern University, where she found herself on the path of becoming a new reporter, radio host, as well as a manager for a climate foundation. Stepping into the realm of singing and the music industry was a complete change, but the world was then introduced to Sobae the artist. From being mentored by former Aziatix member Eddie Shin to touring around the United States with hip-hop artists San E and MadClown, Sobae is quickly making a name for herself in the music industry. Her style of music leans towards the R&B and Jazz genres which is complemented by her sweet vocals.
Want to know more about her? Check out our exclusive interview with Sobae below!
Prior to the release of “Elevate,” Sobae reached out to her fans and followers on social media to help her in the creative process of producing her single. Although she does not have a personal YouTube channel, Sobae released a mini-series on YouTube titled Sobae’s Balls where she takes viewers on a journey through the entire process of creating “Elevate.” From the music down to the video production, she listened and took in what her fans said and tried to incorporate as much as she could with this single. It’s not often that artists and their followers collaborate so intimately, but it’s a heartwarming gesture to see.
Sobae’s Balls consists of six short episodes and features Sobae talking about her journey as a solo artist, sometimes while sitting in an inflatable pool filled with balls. For those who are curious to know the exact process she went through while creating “Elevate,” we highly recommend checking out the series and getting to know Sobae even more!
Sobae is an artist that many should be on the lookout for. With four singles already under her belt and her experience with touring around the United States, Sobae is a force to be reckoned with. Definitely check Sobae out and support her by listening to the rest of her music. We look forward to seeing more from Sobae soon!
The Kraze had the wonderful opportunity to interview Sobae, taking a deep dive into her work as an artist!
Q: For those who are discovering you for the first time, please tell us a little about yourself
A: Hello The Kraze Mag readers! I’m Sobae, a singer-songwriter flirting with content creation.
Q: How did you get into music? What made you decide to pursue a career in it?
A: Someone once called my transition into music a “ millennial desk worker’s fantasy.” I had always been passionate about music, but it was a hobby that I pursued in my free time until my current producer reached out to me and asked if I wanted to give it “a real shot.” It was a terrifying decision to leave my stable career behind, but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t take the leap.
Q: Who or which artists inspire you and your music?
A: My inspiration ranges from jazz musicians like Chet Baker to R&B artists like Jeremih. Right now though, I’ve been closely following and enjoying the works of music groups including AOMG, DPR, and 88Rising—not only for their music, but for the unique niche they represent. I frequently try to explore themes of blurred Eastern and Western boundaries and the rise of a new contemporary Asian-American culture, and the aforementioned labels seem to be pioneering the way.
Q: Please tell us about your latest release. What was the inspiration behind this particular single?
A: Leading up to my new release, I invited followers to join the creative journey of building my next track in the web series Sobae’s Balls. We tried to apply Korean game show style editing, lots of self-deprecating humor, and an overall fully transparent and honest look into what it’s like to be a “struggling independent artist.” While speaking with many fans, some common recurring themes included identity and self-confidence. People were asking how they could feel better about themselves, and my answer lies in my new track. I feel we all often need a simple reminder that, in the words of one of my fans, “I am enough… that I deserve to be loved exactly for who I am.” So I wanted to let them know exactly that, and that I want to “elevate” them in turn.
Q: Part of the creative process for your fourth single included having your fans and followers help you, can you tell us more about this experience?
A: I received so many heartfelt comments and messages about people's ideas, triumphs, concerns, stories and more, which is why this song is probably the most meaningful one I’ve released so far. I was truly inspired by all of it, and tried to incorporate everyone’s feedback into the lyrics, melody, song, title, and even the theme of the music video.
Q: You’ve just recently wrapped up Sobae’s Balls. Is there a season two to look forward to in the future? What kinds of things would you like to show in season two? (i.e., more music production, vlogs, adventures etc.)
A: We have some exciting ideas up our sleeves, and I know it’s a cop out answer, but we can’t wait for you to find out, hopefully soon!
Q: What kind of concept or style of music would you like to do in the future?
A: I feel like I’m finally starting to find my own “musical identity.” But I have always loved something with a foundation in R&B, and think that I will continue to explore different variations of it.
Q: What’s the best part of getting to stand on stage, performing your own music?
A: I would say it's about that one-of-a-kind connection. I'm an analog, in-person person, so to perform right before of hundreds of people is a feeling unlike anything else. During one particular show while I was on tour in the U.S., the crowd started to sing along to the words and melody of my own song, and I still cannot shake off the adrenaline and emotions from that moment.
Q: What music or which artist have you been listening to lately? Any recommendations?
A: In all honesty, I just got into BTS. The more I learn about their story, their chemistry, and each character, the more I respect them (and fangirl over them). I especially enjoy “Outro: Her” from their recent album.
Q: If you could collaborate with any artist or group, who would it be and why?
A: The answer to this changes daily for me, but I think I always come back to Crush. I know he's also a huge fan of jazz, and that bleeds into a lot of his music. But he also has hip-hop bops from his earlier albums, and I think that range is really admirable.
Q: What do you want fans and listeners to take away from your latest release?
A: Good energy!
Q: Is there any special message you would like to give to our readers and your fans who are currently reading this interview?
A: It’s been exactly one year since I made my debut, which is why this interview with Kraze Magazine feels quite special to me. Thank you always for your love and support, I don’t take a single bit of it for granted. And for those of you who I’ve just met, I can’t wait to share all that’s to come! Sending my love across the ocean, wherever you are.