Your first solo concert was in 2016, and now you’ve just had your second one. How do you feel?
It’s been a while since I had my last solo concert, so I was both nervous and looking forward to it this time. I devoted a lot to this concert, and I am satisfied with the result. I finally slept like a log after the concert. [Laughs]
It took no more than a minute until tickets were sold out, which is truly impressive. What do you hope fans took away from the show?
I didn’t feel entirely ready to have a second solo concert. But through this concert, I tried to deliver something more than music; a message. I hope people who came to my concert got my message to their heart and think of it as a gift from me.
Special guests like Zico, Penomeco, Sik-K, and CIFIKA accompanied you on stage. Did you enjoy working with them?
We -- Zico, Penomeco, Sik-K and I -- don’t just do music together, but are like soulmates. They were happy to help, and they gave me the feeling that they are really enjoying the process. Other musicians liked our collaboration too. All the positive reactions remain as a good motivation to me.
Your music is not just one genre -- it crosses boundaries of different ones. When you write your songs, where do your inspirations come from? And is there any style of music you want to try?
Most of the time, inspiration comes from my experiences. These days, I try to get new ideas from books, movies, and through different media. Recently, I [have been] listening to gospel music a lot. One day, I would like to try blend that message in my music.
You said during the concert that you are “attached to analog sensibility." Do you mean your music is closer to "old sensibility," like LPs, as opposed to digital music?
Well, I am not trying to categorize myself. Although I am influenced by old music, I am living in today’s society. I just want to do music I love.
So far, you’ve worked with many artists. Do you have anyone in mind for next year?
I personally like PJ Morton. Not long ago, I went to his concert in Korea. We kept in touch, and have already talked about doing a collaboration. I can’t wait for it to happen.
How has it been touring in foreign countries?
When I was having a concert abroad, people seemed to be really focused on enjoying the music. It was amazing.
You surprised people with the news that you are working with producer Fernando Garibay, who has worked with stars like Shakira and Lady Gaga. What was it like working with him on "Lay Your Head on Me?"
With support from the MU:CON collaboration project of Korea Creative Contents Agency (aka KCCA), I worked with Garibay in his studio in L.A. He was open-minded and gave me good advice. It was a memorable experience.
Now, starting from Toronto, you have your first North America tour coming up.
Beginning with Toronto on Nov. 21, I will be touring New York, Dallas, Chicago, L.A., San Jose, and Seattle. "Lay Your Head on Me" is like a preview of this tour.
Recently, you were mentoring idol trainees in a new audition program called Under Nineteen. What do you want to say to young dreamers out there?
Don’t be afraid to follow your dream in your own way. In the end, you will find yourself resembling who you dreamed of becoming.
The last time you were asked what music means to you, you said it’s like your girlfriend. Would you give a different answer in 2018?
My answer could seem careless and arrogant, but I want to say that music means "life" to me. When I am making music, I am not doing it because it’s my job, but because everything I do is meaningful to me in some way. My life itself is absorbed in my music. Lastly, I came far in this industry as "Crush," but I still have a lot to show you.