Catching Up with ReacttotheK!
It’s been less than a year since we first spoke with ReacttotheK at 2017’s KCON LA, but we had the opportunity to catch up with team members Umu and Kevin at KCON NY for updates on future plans and their take on the artist lineup!
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?
Umu: So we are ReacttotheK. We are a YouTube channel that is centered around classical music major from Eastman’s School of Music. [We do] Analyzing and reacting to K-Pop music videos and B-sides songs. Basically the end goal, or what I hope to get out of viewers of our channel is to notice new things in music and be like “now I can listen to more of the instrumentals and I can point out what it’s doing.” We hope that your mind is open to a whole new way of enjoying K-Pop music.
Kevin: We like to go deep into theory and sometimes we like to bring out some more underrated artist that we think are more musically interesting. So that another one of our goals.
Q: Now this is the first time ReacttotheK is coming to KCON New York, how does it feel to be here for the first time?
U: I am so excited! Last year when we got invited to KCON LA, it was so last minute because we had just reached 100,000 subscribers. Ever since then we’ve just blown up and then when I got the invite [for this year], I was like “I’m so excited to meet both east coast and west coast people.” I’m really happy!
K: Yeah! This is an interesting venue and I’m glad it hasn’t rained on us yet. But I like the weather today and I think it’s nice and chill. I feel way more prepared this time, coming to KCON NY. I [now] know what it’s like being a guest sort of and I’m ready to meet people and have fun.
Q: As this year offers a brand new lineup of artists for KCON, who are you most excited to see perform during the concert?
K: Stray Kids is going to be great. I’m super excited. Red Velvet is going to be great. I’m a super excited for PENTAGON’s “Shine.” It’s going to be amazing and I’m ready. I think that’s the hit of this summer.
Q: Last year, when we interviewed you during KCON LA (Kevin & Umu), we asked the question: “as you all are classical musicians, you study music and you are able to pinpoint certain elements that fans do not normally recognize; what song have you reacted to, that has left the biggest impression on you and why, in relation from summer 2017 to currently?
U & K: Lee Jin Ah! She’s great! She’s an jazz/pop/R&B solo artist.
K: [She has] a very unique voice that you normally wouldn’t think would works well with jazz but if you can get into her, her overall sound, it’s amazing. Lee Jin Ah is mindblowing.
Q: We are only halfway through 2018 but there have been so many K-Pop releases within the first half, what song and/or which artist has been your favorite release thus far?
K: I can name a couple. I recently got into MOMOLAND and I think “Boom Boom” in an amazing track. It’s a super banger. I like gugudan’s “The Boots” a lot. I [also] really like The Boyz with “Giddy Up.” Let’s not forget PENTAGON’s “Shine.”
U: Of course Stray Kids’ “District 9” and Jonghyun’s “Shine.” Those are a few of my top [favorite]. Then Heize’s “Jenga” and “Mianhe” and I loved Hyukoh Band’s recent album. I know that they aren’t K-Pop.
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?
U: Definitely! So next year I’m adding a dual-degree, so I’m going to have much less free time. So an update that I’m eventually going to upload an update video about is that I’m not going to be filming as much. You’re going to definitely hear a lot of voices behind the camera and those are other Eastman musicians who are into film and are super excited to help me out with the channel. We are just looking forward to continuing our music theory series. My guest series is going to develop more. I’m going to get a guy who that does visual arts for music videos [like editing].
K: The point is, is that there are going to be some changes but it’ll still be the great content that you’ve come to love.
U: No one is leaving the channel next year. No one is graduating, the seniors are going into their fifth year. Another update is that we’re adding a lot of pairs next year. So basically I’m going to have a rotating thing going on, where it isn’t going to be all pairs at once. I’m probably going to stick to five or six different pairs per video but rotate between eight different pairs. If I know that they’re going to like their music, I’m putting them there. If I know that they won’t like the music, they get to rest.
Follow ReacttotheK on social media for updates on their unique perspective of the Hallyu Wave!