Yoo Soo started hitting and strumming all sorts of musical instruments since he was a kid. At 6 years old, he started with classical piano and has since picked up the guitar, bass, drums, viola, and violin. By 16, he got his first mixer and now produces, mixes, programs, and engineers all of his music.
Yoo Soo also creates music under the moniker , an eclectic pop act. He was previously the singer-songwriter and guitarist for the alt rock band . He and his music have been featured in NPR, Paste Magazine, and Alternative Press. His work has been featured in the Super Bowl, PGA, Toyota, Reese’s, and Dell among others.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have a music background?
I grew up with a lot of Korean music around the house. I lived with my grandparents, and there'd be a lot of old school Korean pop playing. My grandfather played in a folk Korean group, so he'd have people over to practice.
I started piano lessons in kindergarten and joined the school orchestra playing the viola. By high school, I was fascinated by the idea of playing guitar, so I was graciously gifted an acoustic guitar.
My uncle handed me down his old Japanese Stratocaster that I still use to this day. I was best friends with the bassist in orchestra and the drummer in band, so we made our own band. Through that, I picked up the bass and drums by messing around on their instruments after school.
I was always too cheap to rent out studios to record, so I got a mixer and sound card to start recording my own music. By college, I was way more into recording, slowly acquiring gear as I worked some part-time jobs around campus. I worked at a local music venue to become a better sound engineer and understand that world better.
This is exciting, your 1st song release … what inspired it?
This isn't my first release, though it's my first release collaborating with Gerald Eka.
I make songs through Songfinch, and he found me on their YouTube channel. So he sent his backstory with him and his wife, the type of song he was imagining, and I wrote around that.
I have releases going on through my main project, 'good son'. I just put a song out under that project called 'teenage.'
Is there special meaning behind the title, ‘Only One’?
Gerald and his wife seem to have a really special bond. They've been through ups and downs. I identified with that with my own marriage. That stuff can strengthen or break your marriage. After enough highs and lows, you feel like there's only one person you can live this life with.
What was your creative process like?
Gerald sent me his story with him and his wife. He also sent a song he was really into and the style he was imagining. From there, I tried to find a narrative I could build.
I usually start with a bit of production. This one started with getting a solid chord progression and guitar and drum sounds. I like to take breaks when working.it helps me figure out any parts I'm stuck on.
For me, it's going on a walk with my dogs. I was walking them at night, and the chorus came together. I came back home and tried to record that chorus as soon as I could.
Were there any challenging aspects to writing and/or recording the song?
I think Gerald pushed me in an r&b direction, which I don't typically make. I love listening to that style, but I grew up playing a lot of punk, indie, and orchestral music. So that usually comes through more in my songs. It was fun to make something outside of my own typical creative boxes.
Do you have any other plans relating to this release? A video?
Gerald found an animator and put a beautiful video together for it. Other than that, we'll see where this thing goes.
Would you like to perform live?
I perform live, though not as often as I'd like. I'm more of a studio rat, recording and releasing songs more often than performing than live.
Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?
I'm currently really into the 1975. They just do whatever they want musically, and somehow it all fits together. I think 10 or 20 years ago, that would be frowned upon in the music industry. You had to be one genre. But now genres don't really matter as much. It's more about the artist, their stories, and the songs they create.
Is there an instrument which you would like to learn and why?
I know nothing about woodwinds and brass. I just don't know how to arrange either very well and am mystified by how they work. I'd love to learn any instrument in either category. Maybe trumpet or sax.
Would you like to travel to other countries to perform your music? If so, what would be your first stop?
Man, I'll go anywhere to perform outside the US. Hit me up if you want me to play in your country.
Other than fame & fortune, is there something you hope to achieve through music?
It's funny, I used to think fame and fortune was what I wanted. But it really comes at such a cost. It can be isolating. I'm not sure how many famous and rich people are truly happy or joyous. I'm a homebody, I'm married, I've got dogs, and take care of my little cousin. I don't want to lose that.
I want to make music I love and share it with as many people as I can. If fame and fortune come through it, then that's incredible. But I'm okay with not having either.
What is your favorite/best outlet to connect with your followers Instagram, Spotify, FB, Twitter, iTunes? How would you want them to follow?
I'm trying to minimize my social media usage these days honestly. But find me on IG, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube at @iamagoodson or IG at @yoosookim. I'm on Spotify, iTunes, and all other streaming services too.
Are you currently working on any projects we should look out for?
With good son, I'm working on a full length. Other than 'Only One' I just put out a single with good son called 'teenage.' Both love songs. I guess I'm just a sappy dude who enjoys writing love songs.
Is there something you would like to say, that I didn't cover?
Thanks for taking the time to check out my and Gerald's song. Hope you enjoy.