In 2012, sentimental pop-rocker Roy Kim was crowned the winner of the South Korean star search competition show Superstar K4 and saw success early on with songs like “Love Love Love” and “Bom Bom Bom.” Over the years, he’s lived a dual life while pursuing a degree at Georgetown even as he’s simultaneously released music in South Korea. He recently returned to the top of the charts with his expressive single “Only Then” in February, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Korea Hot 100 chart.
While in Los Angeles for a performance at KCON 2018 LA, Kim sat down with Billboard to talk about his music and some new projects.
When it comes to songwriting, Kim says he draws on his personal experience, but eventually each song becomes more than just his own. “It starts from my own life, and as I write it kind of gets twisted and molded into other people’s lives too.”
For Kim, the best kind of songs are ones that impact listeners on an emotional level. “If somebody listens to a song and just could not connect to it but the melody’s fine, then I don’t think that song last forever,” he says.
According to Kim, the success of his latest single shifted his view of other people’s relationships. “I always imagined that everybody else’s love life would be happily ever after,” reflects Kim. “But now that I released ‘Only Then’ and since it was a hit, I believe that most people go through hardships and most people have aches in their love lives.”
Kim also revealed that he’s working on a new album and recently started a YouTube channel, on which he’s shared covers of Billy Joel and Labrinth.
Watch the entire interview above.