Gloria Kim – Writing, Faith and Music

Gloria Kim

Pop artist Gloria Kim is attempting to climb the Top 40 charts by releasing her music and her brand anywhere it can be posted. Recording in Los Angeles, but currently residing in Nashville, the young Kim has been writing and performing music since she could pick up a pencil. Her first single, “Oh, Honey,” was released earlier this summer on platforms like Sound Cloud, Spotify, iTunes, and soon Apple Music. Her second single, entitled “Pursue Her,” is due out later this month. 

Creative Control: How long have you been in music? 

Gloria Kim: Oh man, I’ve been writing since I was itty bitty. I think the third grade or fourth grade is when I started writing. I started writing poems first, which then started becoming song writing and then my sophomore year of high school; my best friend was like “Show me a song! Show me a song!” and I played her a song and she was like “You need to go out for the talent show!” and so that’s how I started music. I did rock in high school, a lot like Kings of Leon and Paramore type stuff. Then I went to Berkley for a summer and really got into songwriting and then I kind of found the singer-songwriter side of me. And now I just try to mix that into Top-40 stuff. 

CC: Were your early influences bands like Kings of Leon and Paramore?

GK: I think the people that were around me in high school, that could play instruments, were definitely rock influenced so it kind of went that way.

GK: Rock was definitely just a high school phase for me.  I never really wanted to put myself in the genre of pop, but when it comes down to it I want to be on the radio, I want to go on tour. It’s really a popular music. I guess it’s what you make of it.

CC: Is anybody else in your family in music?

GK: Growing up my Mom would always play piano and my Dad is a pretty good singer. He’s also a pastor, so he would sing at church. So I grew up around music a lot for sure, but I never really knew I wanted to do it until my senior year of high school.

CC: How’d you end up with those people in LA?

GK: My manager found me two or three years ago, online after I did a song with someone and my producer, I met my freshman year of college in Oklahoma and then I transferred to Belmont.

CC: So your manager lives out in L.A.?

GK: Yeah that’s where I record all my music. So I travel.

CC: Why not move out there? 

GK: It’s in the works. But I just graduated from Belmont in December and I’ve been working here a little bit, but I’ve been going to LA since October of 2014. So almost a year.

CC: How would you describe your songwriting?

GK: The best way I can describe songwriting for me is that it’s always different. Sometimes it’s me sitting down with an instrument, sometimes I’m out with friends and a lyric or melody pops into my head, sometimes I have chords I really want to use, other times it’s a rush of words in my head that are racing.

CC: What are you doing to differentiate yourself in the pop genre?

GK: I think song writing in general is the number one key. A lot of people these days don’t write their own music. Taylor Swift, she’s a writer on every single one of her songs. I find that to be a true artist that they can be creative and write their own music. It’s like a painting, it’s art. 

CC: You said you want to tour and be on the radio. Is music a career or is it more of a side project 

GK: I would love this to be a career. But if it ends up being that I’m a song writer, I’m fine with that. As long as I have some creative output, I love performing and I will perform for the rest of my life. I will song write for the rest of my life, but whatever God has in store for me honestly, I’m ok with. 

CC: Would you consider yourself a Christian artist? Do you strive to make Christian music? Or are you an artist who is Christian?

GK: Here’s the thing, I love leading worship, I love worship music, I love everything about it. However, sometimes I feel like Christian music can be in a bubble that only Christian people listen to. I want to do worship music, but I also want to reach out to those who may not have the same faith and still have music that’s family friendly. Anyone can listen and it can play on any station without cussing or weird innuendos or anything like that. So that’s my goal.

CC: Do you have anything coming out soon or in the pipeline? 

GK: Oh yeah. I have a single coming out this month. You guys are the first to hear this! It’s called “Pursue Her,” it’s definitely slower and a more songwriter side of me and from now until the end of December, we have about four or five songs lined up.

CC: Will those be just singles or do you have an EP or LP in the works?

GK: We’ll see. I’m gonna try to collab a lot with people. I just did a track with a guy named Jream, he’s a rapper.

CC: So you’ve done a track with Jream. Is there anyone, big or small, you’d like to work with? 

GK: The number one on my list right now is Kevin Garrett. He is phenomenal; I’d really like to work with him.

CC: Anybody else? 

GK: Oh man the list is ongoing. [Laughs] I love collaborations though!

CC: If you did collaborations, how many would you have on an album of 10 songs? Hypothetically of course.

GK: I think it really depends on the album, it depends on the song. I’m not going to restrict myself from working with people because I’m like “Oh these are too many features,” but at the same time I’m not gonna push myself to be like “Hey I need a feature on this song to get more exposure,” or anything like that. It really depends on the song and the album itself. More of the artistic approach.

CC: Your first single “Oh, Honey” is pretty upbeat and your next one “Pursue Her” is more serious. Why did you want to release “Oh, Honey” first? 

GK: It just kinda made more sense to do it that way than the other way around.

CC: “Oh, honey” is never actually said in the song, why is that? 

GK: This is a question I get a lot actually. [Laughs] Initially had the title before the song and I just knew I wanted the song to be called “Oh, Honey.” I wrote the song kind of around that because “Oh, Honey” was kind of like my greeting, like if you think of the song as a letter. I didn’t want to actually put it in the song because one, it sounded really country [Laughs]; and two I don’t always follow the guidelines.

CC: Do you have a preference between live instruments or MIDI?

GK: Live instruments are definitely tactile. Music wouldn’t be there without them. MIDI instruments can also do things live instruments can’t. So they both have their pros and they both have cons. Sometimes it’s fun to do all MIDI, sometimes it’s fun to do all live, sometimes it’s fun to do both, you know mix it up. There are no rules to music.

CC: What’re doing when you’re not working on music?

GK: I’m always working on music.

CC: Always?

GK: Always. Even when I’m working on working. [Laughs] If I’m not recording I’m writing and if I’m not doing that, I’m working on branding and stuff like that. It’s a full time job for sure. Most people don’t see it like that, but it takes a lot to start your artist career. It’s definitely fun and hard all at the same time, but it’s a blessing either way because I get to do what I love.

CC: Do you ever get tired of it?

GK: No. I think it’s in my blood, like I have to do it. If I don’t then I get antsy, I get irritated. I have to write.

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