H1GHR MUSIC’s Artists have been selected as Cover Artists for Billboard Korea Magazine Fifth issue. Since its launch in 2017, Jay Park’s H1GHR MUSIC has focused on expanding the brand and its talent pool, who have appeared on hip-hop-related TV shows such as Dingo is free And Show me the money Constantly dropping new albums.
With their first compilation album H1GHR: the red tape, H1GHR MUSIC is on a journey to become the nation’s mainstream hip-hop brand.
It all starts with the album’s big introductory track highlighted by Golden’s strong vocals.
In-house producers WOOGIE and GroovyRoom teamed up with guest producer BOYCOLD to embrace hip-hop styles popular today, including dirt, electronic music and etching. “Melanin Handsome” and “Check My Bio” feature BK rhythm, best represented by American rapper Pop Smoke, and draw attention to Sik-K’s and pH-1’s musical interpretation of the genre.
“The Closed Case” is a track reminiscent of a West Coast rapper, while “The Purge” is just fun to hear with an arrangement of extreme voices that make you feel like you’re venturing into a wild hole.
And of course, the group brings all of the brand’s rappers together into one album. Woodie Gochild’s catchy, clear pronunciation and strong rhythm can be enjoyed in “DDDD Freestyle”, and HAON’s great music is well presented in “World Domination”. While the rest of the roster showcased their rap music in “How We Rock” and “Teléfono Remix”, new artists such as BIG Naughty and TRADE L showed their presence.
After releasing HIGHR: the red tape, The label is set to drop the second compilation album, HIGHR: the blue stripe On September 16, which showcases a completely different style than the first.
The brains behind this project is Jay Park, who is a leading icon in the Korean hip-hop scene. He widely shares the story about his first compilation album.
BB: What prompted you to make a collection album for H1GHR MUSIC?
Jay ParkKisa: I kept asking myself, “How do we raise our game as a hip-hop brand?” I thought of different ways to project our musical identity while providing opportunities for artists to truly advance in their careers. By putting all of our work together, I believed it would help the new artists gain more recognition. All in all, it was just something we needed to grow as a brand.
I can only imagine the amazing level of synergy as a team.
Completely. Take the TRADE L for example. It’s the newest addition to the list and it wasn’t very popular until the release of their first compilation music video, “How We Rock,” which instantly garnered over a million views. This isn’t a chance the 17-year-old rising rapper could have. Nowadays, there are a lot of rappers and show outlets are limited. So artists turn to putting out more productions and music videos, which can be overwhelming in the public eye. Despite it all, our album started with great responses and I’m grateful for that. It will be a beneficial and stimulating experience for the team.
Two separate albums H1GHR: red stripe (“red”) And H1GHR: blue bar (“blue”) They were released. How are they different?
She asked the artists to submit their work and she got a lot of it. There were so many different genres that we couldn’t fit them all into one album. So we ended up sorting them out with rude and somewhat heavy songs red Light and easy to listen blue. We’ve thought a lot about naming each album. red Kind of symbolizes an angry bull. We wanted to convey somewhat emotional messages of “This is what we are” and “trying to get to know us” through the songs named for this album. red. With blue, Which represents the sky and the sea, we’ve rounded up the most relaxing and spoiled songs with vocal arrangements and R&B sounds.
Songs before the official release before dropping H1GHR: the red tape On September 2nd they receive some great responses.
Because red So strong, I never thought it would appeal to the crowd. But to my surprise, “Reach” and “How We Rock” reached over a million views with very positive reactions. I always believed in “your efforts don’t go unnoticed” and this album has already proven it. I am grateful that people are starting to acknowledge our sincerity and passion. To be honest, it is not easy to put together such a successful work with several participating artists.
How did it feel to work with this large group of artists? Any challenges?
After getting the most experience it made sense to me overseeing the project in general while pH 1 took charge of the music production. He has talent and lots of ideas, and most importantly, he shows consistency in his work. We ended up using a lot of the verses he wrote. Sik-K writes a lot of songs quickly without compromising the quality.
When we were playing with the idea of collecting, I asked all the artists to send in their work and he was the one to send, which helped speed things up. HAON has its own part, and it knows exactly what he’s good at and what he needs to improve. He did an exceptional job with poetry and showed an excellent translation of the song. BIG Naughty and TRADE L, our youngest artist, definitely have this on-going attitude. With a little guidance, they manage to keep up with the rest. When GroovyRoom and WOOGIE put in some H1GHR style tunes, Sik-K, pH-1 and Golden and I added hooks to each. They have completely different styles when it comes to making ringtones, which is really cool because we don’t have similar voices after all. Woodie Gochild can also bring out some unique sounds with a little direction and help. His rap music sounds better especially in the video.
Finally, Golden can take any song to the next level with hook and back vocals. He has a unique talent for making every note and every word sound extra special. It is impressive. I’m sure they all learned from this entire project that nothing beats experience. It doesn’t matter how talented you are. Years of lessons learned and goals achieved could not go unnoticed. This project was more difficult than I expected, but it turned out to be better than I expected.
With each artist being so unique in their own style, I suppose a little clash was inevitable.
I am sure there are things they did not agree with but were able to follow with confidence, which is what I really appreciate. I was listening when they were sharing their thoughts but I also tried to be honest with them. I was still nice about it because they are like my family but when they encounter the real world there, they will have to endure very objective and critical responses. I thought more constructive criticism would benefit them in the long run. This is why it is so important to have the right people around you. They respect and trust you, but at the same time they can tell you directly. We have this mutual trust that has made the whole process so much easier.
Did any artist surprise you?
I’ve known Sik-K and pH-1 for so long that nothing was surprising about them. But for the rest of the team, it was a different story. I had no idea that Golden would create such synergies with the group and write such wonderful melodies and lyrics. Dong Hyun was just sick. Dude is too good for an 18 year old. It is especially good with more melody music. In “The Reach”, TRADE L had his role right before my exclusive and he just did it, which I admit because it’s definitely not an easy thing to do. With Woodie Gochild, I was honestly very disappointed with what happened on Show Me the Money but after seeing so many positive comments on the “Arrival” video, I was very proud.
What do you want people to see with this combined album?
H1GHR MUSIC Artists. They are all great people and have done some great work in my view. Plus, they have so much potential to get better but I hate that I’m the only one who realizes this potential. I don’t know how much help I could give but I just wanted this project to help them get more recognition. It would also be nice to tell people that we pride ourselves on making music under H1GHR MUSIC as H1GHR MUSIC artists, not AOMG subsidiary; We were never a subsidiary of AOMG.
To be honest, I never expected these guys to do this so well. At first, I had my doubts about the Trade L when we were recording together but it turned out great and did a great job. He has a good rhythm and tone and he writes great lyrics and gives a great live performance as well. I can’t believe he’s only 17 years old. But it definitely needs to be more natural with the camera. This is the only time he looks like a beginner. [laughs]
You’ve been way around your entire career being a K-pop idol, b-boying, starting your own label and making TV shows as if there’s no limit to what you can do, and that’s kind of like a daddy person who works hard to support his family. What drives you to push yourself?
In the beginning, it was all just about having fun. I like challenging myself and I want to see if I have what it takes to do well when I try different things. That is why I collaborated a lot with other artists. I also do it for money because I have people to support. I know I have to be in a certain position of fame and influence to be able to help them as I work hard to maintain this position. Now that I have done well, I intend to focus only on what I have to do.
What is that?
If there is something I can do that will open the door for another artist, that is what I will do. I try to be where I am supposed to be – where I can be a positive influence on others. I enjoy working in synergy with someone. I don’t have much vision regarding my musical career anymore because what I’ve accomplished so far is more than enough for me. It would be wrong to want anything more than that.
How do you see the H1GHR MUSIC future? You seem to have a keen interest in doing tours around the world and going global.
The idea of a global market always had on my mind. We’ve actually caught up with a few foreign artists like Souf who recently released his album, and 28AV who did some work with Lil Moussa. We plan to promote the collection album throughout the US as well. I have learned to believe that you should take care of yourself instead of relying on others and expect them to come up with solutions for you. Instead, you should put in the effort and search for your own answers.
That has always been my motto. Opportunities lead to more opportunities. We made the compilation album happen for ourselves and now we’re interviewing us here Billboard Korea And give us another opportunity to promote the album. Instead of settling in, I strive to rise and improve. Whether it’s concerts, tours, costumes, video contents, music charts or not, I am always looking for ways to bring out the best results.