Meet Hello Eddi: Your New Favorite K-Pop Enthusiast
For those who are unfamiliar, Hello Eddi is a K-Pop extraordinaire new to the K-Pop community scene, with an affinity for creating his own K-Pop cover music videos. At this year’s KCON NY, he participated in New York’s first LGBTQ+ panel. Read on to our interview with him to learn a bit more about who Eddi is and what he does!
Q: For our readers who are getting the chance to know you for the first time, can you please give a little introduction about yourself?
A: My name is Edward and I go by Eddi amongst Korean people because it is easier to pronounce. So, the nickname that I have now is Hello Eddi. I recently started doing YouTube and I make lots of videos about Korea and also Korean-American culture here in the USA. So, Koreatown, exploring them and things like that. I also make dance videos, but my number one thing that I like to do is make music videos like my own cover style and I call myself the “가짜 (Gajja)” idol which is fake idol in Korean.
Q: How did you get into K-Pop? Which groups have you been listening to a lot lately?
A: I got into K-Pop about 10 years ago in 2008 and I stumbled upon Super Junior’s “Cooking? Cooking!” and at first, I thought it was weird or interesting, but still cute. But when I heard Wonder Girls’s “Tell Me,” I was totally hooked and addicted. I was like this is me, this is the style that I am looking for, so I was to be a part of this and I grew into it from there. My ultimate group first was KARA then after they disbanded, it was Girl’s Day. I watched both of them since debut, so I know them very well and thoroughly. But, my most recent listens are a lot of nugu (unknown) groups, but some of them disbanded, so I can’t even name them anymore. They are like gone in the wind! Recently, it has been Vividiva’s “Service” that I like.
Q: Is this your first KCON? If so, what are your impressions of KCON now that you are here, experiencing it for the first time?
A: It is not my first KCON, it is my fourth. To give professional standpoint or experience of how it is, I appreciate the changes that they did. I feel like they brought more business here for people to experience that don’t have a lot of Korean resources to them. They try to make it more similar to LA’s convention which is really appreciative because New York really had to grow. CJ really had to work on their budget in order to enhance our experience here. I do like the outdoor feeling and I do like the Prudential Center rather than being indoors all day. I like a lot of the outdoor stages that they are able to provide and I think this year they really picked up on the food.
Q: You are also participating in KCON New York’s first LGBT+ panel, were you excited or nervous? What kinds of things did you want to be talked about in the panel?
A: I was definitely excited, never nervous. Nervous energy can always be turned into something positive. If you do feel nervous, I always encourage people to use the conscious power to drive forward with that. What I really wanted to talk about in the LGBT panel is a lot of the negativity that can be found in Koreans on the LGBT community because they really wanted to centralize and focus on the positivity. So people can see that there is an open arms and welcoming community in Korea and if it is true, I still think you should be aware of the bads, the cons that are out there, so you can be safe and know what to be aware of and how to blend in the community better. So not everything is always perfect rainbows and K-Pop music videos as much as I want it to be. I wanted to touch upon the more raw, real culture that you can experience in Korea right now that what I try to do in the videos that I have now and I contact a lot of my friends in Korea who are straight, who are LGBTQ, or who are drag queens who do run a lot of the pride events in Korea. I just ask them for as much thorough information as possible so I can present it in an American platform as easily as possible.
Q: In regards to your YouTube channel, what made you decide to start your channel? Are there any other YouTubers that you would like to collaborate with?
A: I started because I used to work under a lot of Korean companies. I still do, but I work under a lot of ones like… Korean platforms like Allkpop. They are a company but they aren’t like JYP. I work for a lot of media and news outlets and platforms. I wanted to use their platform as a way to promote what ideals I have for Korea and myself as a personality for Korea. I realized that they have different values or they weren’t willing to do it or they weren’t committed to stepping into the video field just yet. So I realized I have to do it by myself and I was really lazy about it for a few years. I just want to do it for fun and have people enjoy the things that I put out there. I really just want to be a big dancer, that’s my number one goal. If I could collaborate with anybody, I just really love whitneybae, I see her all of the time. To do like a video with her would be delightful. Another person would be Miles Jai because he is really LGBTQ oriented, but he loves K-Pop. He is not like my ying-yang, but like my mirrored self. He is like the more LGBTQ culture, but he loves K-Pop and I love K-Pop, but LGBTQ culture. So, Miles Jai, please read this!
Q: If you collaborate with any K-Pop group or artist on a video for your channel, who would it be and what kind of video would you create together?
A: This is hard because I have always imagined what K-Pop group I would be in, it would only be a girl group. I always saw myself as being in DalShabet because I feel like personally only one singer is really good which is Subin and the others are like aesthetic or dancing and that’s me. I’m not even a singer, so I can just stand there and look good or just add some heat to the song. I really want to be in Bestie because Bestie is filled with great singers, but their dances are amazing, their concepts are amazing like they really exhibit the flare that I want in K-Pop, so I would love to be with either of those groups and create a cool music video with them. I think I would want to just do a hang out day, something like SISTAR’s “I Swear” where we are just running around and enjoying the beach, in a hotel and mostly just us enjoying our company.
Q: Is there any advice that you’d like to give to readers and fans out there who are interested in starting their own YouTube channel or wanting to pursue something in media regarding K-Pop and the Hallyu Wave?
A: So, if you want to start a YouTube channel and you want to do it for fun, that’s all you need. The only formula you need is just how to enjoy yourself and do what you like. If you want to do it for business or promoting yourself then you need to think more thoroughly and consider the number one rule of marketing, you have to spend money to make money. So, buy yourself a good video editor, that’s what I did and it was $80 and I love that thing. It has made my videos like experience such a quality boost, so I would recommend that. For anyone that wants to get into K-Media, writing is a very essential step, you can start with photography or anything that is media oriented and try contacting some people or some outlets to see what you can do to work with them or what you could provide, so that way you can just get your name out there.
Q: Last question, are there any updates, information or future plans that you would like to tell readers to look forward to in the coming future?
A: YES! I will be making a lot more YouTube videos and I am trying to make about two a week. I try to promote twice a week. I already filmed two music videos that I already made, so they will be coming up very soon. One is a summer concept and the other is a sexy concept, so that is going to be the little surprise. Look for all of the music videos! Give me ideas, I always tell my fans, tell me what you want me to do or even wear costumes. I love costumes, so if you have a recommendation, I will totally do my best to get it.
Be sure to check out Eddie on social media and check out his first K-Pop music video cover!