What's up Far*East Movement, introduce yourselves to the community of Clubzen.
Yooooo! Thanks so much for having us Clubzen. We've been checking this site out for a while now whenever we need to find out where the party's at! So it's great to get an interview with yall!
How did you guys come together as a group and make the decision to fully pursue music as a career?
Well, we were all friends in high school. We would always mess around with beats and rhymes whenever we had time. Slowly, this turned into writing songs, recording songs, and finally performing wherever we could.
After getting our feet wet doing some shows, we realized that music was something that we wanted to pursue. So we decided to throw our own eventÃ¯Â¿Â½the first of its kind for our hometown, Koreatown, Los Angeles. We called it "Movementality," a live performance by ten different bands with all the proceeds going to a local youth drug rehab center. While we were promoting it we met our manager Catch, who shared the same vision that we did of raising awareness for Asian Americans through music. We decided to combine forces, and things came together piece by piece from there.
FM has been featured in many outlets, has the media showed support or has it been a fight to get noticed?
Every day is a fight to get some type of recognition. People's attention spans are so short these days because there are so many different things to do and see. With the Myspace phenomenon, artists really are a dime a dozen these days. As independent artists, or even artists in general, you really have to go above and beyond for anyone to know you even exist! So we dig into any outlet that we can find to get our music out thereï¿½.from tv, to radio, to the internet, to live shows, to going outside and physically passing out flyers or posting up stickers on the streets. Luckily, we've gotten a few breaks by placing our songs on mainstream films and shows like "The Fast and Furious 3: Tokyo Drift" and "CSI: NY." These placements have definitely helped boost our exposure nationally and worldwide.
Also, opportunities beget opportunities. By keeping yourself out there you can get new contacts and events. For example, a few months ago we went down to Utah because we were invited to perform at the Sundance Film Festival. We met a lot of great people through that show, one who even got us a show in Brazil of all places!
So we're constantly looking for performances and any other way to work with people. If any of yall are interested, hit us up!!!!!
We know that you've toured extensively doing shows around the world, what are some memorable places FM has performed at?
It's interesting performing in different places because the cultures are so different. When we went on our second trip
to Asia a few months ago, we did our first shows in Korea. We realized that the Korean audience is different from the
American ones that we were used to. We had to be a lot more respectful before getting into our show for them to really
hear us out. Once we made a few adjustments though, the crowds started getting into it and we were almost sad to leave
towards the end.
On the flip side, Brazil was a mad house! The fans over there really like high energyï¿½they feed off what the performers
give them. We had a high impact 45 minute set over there and it seemed like we had our hands raised high or we were jumping
for the sky the whole time! We were completely spent and drenched with sweat when we finished, but it was definitely one
of the most memorable shows we've ever had.
If you want to check out how that show went, here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/v/D6OU-tJG4Fk
What's the hip hop scene like out in Asia? Is it a growing market with potential to match the US?
The hip hop scene in Asia is definitely different. The people LOVE the music, but their interpretations of it sometimes
would not fit what we would normally find here. Sonically, the songs in Asia are more melodic and bright than what we've
got in the States right now. Also, some parts of Asia, like Korea and its love for the b-boy culture for instance, emphasize
on different aspects of hip hop than we do in America.
The hip hop market is certainly growing out in Asia and has already grown exponentially from 10 years ago. But how large it
will get is yet to be seen. One place we haven't visited yet is Japan, where the hip hop culture is liveliest in Asia.
We should be out there in a few months though, we'll share some news and insights when we get back!
What about Asian Americans as fans? Should they be more in tune with the artists out there and show their support to create a scene within a scene?
The Asian American music scene has actually grown a lot since we started. It seems like there's a lot more musicians who are
out there seriously trying to make it and more events showcasing Asian American talent. But it's still a growing scene we all
need to nurture.
We understand that it's hard for some people to become fans of Asian American artists. After all, you only accept what you
know, and there haven't been many Asian American musicians in the past (or well publicized artists to be specific) for
people to follow and look up to. So we as the artists have to elevate our game by making even better music and promoting
it into the ears and eyes of our people, which in time will see what we are doing as a legitimate movement.
It's a tough road, but it's necessary to build it. Asian Americans as a whole are a very fractured group, and we need to
foster unity if we want mainstream America to recognize us. Music as a universal language can help speed up this process.
We realize this so one of our main focuses is helping build that bridge. Plus, if you don't have the support of your own
people, you really don't have anything.
Being that the music business is in a state of turmoil right now, how is FM adapting to the climate?
First and foremost, we try to do as many shows as possible. The live show is the one thing technology can't take away.
You can download songs, but you can't download the actual artist and his/her presence. We're also trying to open up new
markets for ourselves other than the traditional routes, like: clothing lines, placing music on shows, and producing music
for other artists. Finally, we try to keep a personal connection going with our fans by talking to them whenever we can
through the Internet. Of course, this is a necessity for any artist of any time, but is even more so today. We feel that
the more people get to know the artist, the more likely they are to support them completely. We keep a blog going at
catchadventures.com so if you want to see what we're doing,
come check us out!
Do you think performing at shows is obligatory for artists to expose themselves?
Absolutely. Shows are the only way that people can really connect with artists and understand what they're about. It's almost like a long distance relationship.talking on the phone or through AIM is great, but nothing beats seeing them in person.
The ABC album from Jin was produced by FM, how did that come about?
We'd been fans of Jin for a long time. When we started making tracks, we thought we were the only Asian Americans doing it.
Then we flipped on the television and saw Jin slaying dudes.it bugged us out! So one of our early goals was to make a song
with him, and we were actually able to make a few through our manager Catch, who had a strong relationship with him.
We both ended up liking the music we made together, and we wanted to take it to the next level. Jin and Catch came up with the idea of doing an album in Jin's native tongue, Cantonese. We all thought it was a great idea and the project
blossomed from there.
Are there other Asian American artists out there you are working with or would like to work with?
It's great that there are so many Asian American artists who are out there these days. We love doing collaborations, and we have already worked with artists like Ken Oak, Paul Datah, Chan, and Monroe Street. In the next few months we're hoping to get a few more done with Tatum Jones and the Native Guns.
What's in the works right now? Any upcoming projects?
We also have a few songs that will be on the film circuit this year. The two we'd like to specifically mention are
"Satisfaction" and "Victory Road." "Satisfaction" is our first single off ANIMAL, and is the end credits song on
Justin Lin's new movie, "Finishing the Game." "Victory Road" will be on Michael Kang's new movie "West 32nd Street"
starring John Cho ("Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle") and Grace Park ("Battlestar Galactica"). We'll also be
producing for some new artists as well so look out for the next generation of artists from our camp!
Of course, we'll be doing shows wherever we can get them. We're really excited about Japan and we're also doing
our first Canada show on June 21st in Vancouver.but we NEED one in New York! That's the one place we still haven't
performed in. NY heads, hit us up!
This is Clubzen, so you know we have to ask about the party scene. What're the most popping cities with a party scene, and what cities need some work?
Everywhere is a lot of fun! Each place has something cool about it; it's just the way you look at it. Different people have fun in different ways.as long as you keep an open mind you will always be entertained.
We're all for the come up of Asians making noise in the industry, so best of luck to you guys, any shout outs?
If you are interested in what we're doing, check us out at: catchadventures.com
That's our blog site plus store for goodies that you want to pick up.
haha.yall get the deal. We got xanga, imeem, alivenotdead, and asianave too! Haha We're always on the computer.
We're also working on an online store that's also a page showcasing different aspects of the Asian American entertainment scene.
From comedy, events, fashion, to music, we want a site that encompasses all. Please check out: dopeusa.com
And finally, thanks to Johnny from the House of Glam for setting up this interview for us!
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