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Monday, November 24, 2014

It’s Heating Up: Interview with New Music Group, Aziatix

September 12, 2011  
Filed under Profiles / Interviews

 

Aziatix new hip hop and R&B group

By Annie Suh — When raw talent surfaces, it doesn’t stay hidden for long no matter what the barrier. A new Asian American hip hop/R&B group is proving this point as they take the reins on the global music scene, and they’re getting much love here as well. Aziatix (pronounced “ey-zhee-attics”) released their debut album back in March and hit #4 on the U.S. iTunes R&B/soul chart and #1 on Korea and Taiwan’s music charts with a Facebook following of more than 20,000 in such a short span of time.

Not since Far East Movement topped the charts on Billboard has there been an Asian American group of comparable prowess to fill a void in the American music industry where certain factors such as the perceived low marketability of Asian Americans is often a common hurdle to burst through.  Breaking into the mainstream U.S. music industry has always been a challenge for Asian Americans, but Aziatix is ready to make that possible. “At the end of the day it’s all about the music. The music is what’s going to break all that diversity, transcend all color lines and language barriers,” group member Nicky Lee tells us. The new hip-hop/R&B group consists of three high caliber artists who have had successful solo careers prior to Aziatix, which was founded by well-known Korean-American producer Jae Chong.

The trio is made up of Eddie Shin (the one sporting long, flowy locks), a songwriter from Boston who made his debut in Korea with self-produced album “Just My Way”; Flowsik, a rapper, songwriter and producer from Queens, New York who collaborated with Ice-T to create one of his popular tunes, “Hate”; and Nicky Lee, an LA native who is an actor and famous musician in Taiwan. He also received a “Best Male Singer” in the Mandarin Pop Music Award in 2007.

Aziatix took the time out of their hectic schedule promoting their new album, Nocturnal, and spoke with Collaj about the group’s dynamics, how they formed and what songs they like crooning along with in the shower. Read on to find out what each member has to say in their own words.

{Check out Aziatix’s newly released rock-mix video “Be With You”}

CM: What are your backgrounds? Did you each study something completely different before entering the music biz or wanted to be something else as a child?

Nicky : I got discovered singing in church at the age of 17 right before high school graduation…I grew up in a tough neighborhood so as a child I always wanted to be a police officer so I could protect the kids.

Eddie: Growing up I wanted to be a basketball player but I never had enough talent. I’m proud to say that as a member of AZIATIX we have some talent, and we also have great teamwork.

Flowsik: I was born and raised in New York. My love for music grew ever since I was about 5 years old. I would perform and sing songs in front of family and friends in both English and Korean, and everyone always had a great time. I played the trumpet and the baritone horn in a concert band, jazz band, and a marching band for about 10 years. I studied English Literature in college. Honestly, I always wanted to be an artist throughout my entire life.

CM: Competition in this industry is undoubtedly crazy. What are your thoughts on entering the U.S. market especially as Asian Americans, who are still not truly accepted as mainstream in the music/entertainment industry?

Nicky: At the end of the day its all about the music. The music is what’s going to break all that diversity, transcend all color lines and language barriers.

Eddie: And all we focus on is just trying to do what we do best which is to be ourselves, and to make good music.

Flowsik: I concur with big bro Nicky, gyea!

CM: So what’s the story of how Aziatix formed? Did you each know each other prior to the group?

Nicky: We all met through Jae Chong. We were all doing different things, I had just finished my 5th mandarin album. Flowsik was in Korea doing some tracks with Jae. Jae asked me to sing the hook and the song came out just crazy…I met Eddie few months down the line and there was a song that all three of us got on which came out really cool….one song led to two…two led to three…and now we are gonna conquer the universe!…haha

CM: How did you end up working with Jae Chong? What is the group dynamic like?

Nicky: Jae discovered me singing in church. I’ve been working with big bro Jae since 1997. Very thankful that he gives us the freedom to make the music we wanna make…he’s our mentor and big brother…

Eddie: I actually met Jae Chong and Nicky through Flowsik. We played basketball together.

Flowsik: After big bro Jae and I worked on JYJ’s “The Beginning” album, we’ve realized that our chemistry is flawless.

CM: Describe each member of Aziatix in one adjective.

Nicly: Eddie, chill. Flowsik, smooth.

Eddie: Flowsik, onion-like (lotta layers). Nicky, charismatic.

Flowsik: Eddie, spontaneous. Nicky, funny!

CM: Eddie, we see that you do a lot of the song writing and composing with Jae. How do you begin the process of what you’re going to write and how involved is everyone in the editing and producing process?

Eddie: We all write together. As for me, I try to get really comfortable emotionally. That’s key. I try to really relax when I write because if I try too hard, the song comes out contrived. If I can’t write it in a couple hours, it’s just not your day. I actually come up with a lot of my stuff in the shower, just humming to myself.

CM: Where was the last place you performed and how has your response been with non-Asian fans?

Nicky: LA. Response was amazing….that’s the power of music….doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your background is…music brings the whole world together.

Flowsik: The fans were amazing! Great to see them in Hollywood and we’re looking forward to seeing more of our fans!

CM: What does Aziatix group’s usual day-to-day look like?

Nicky: Depends on what we are doing that day but everyday is an adventure…always cool being in different places of world and singing for all the people.

Eddie: Different everyday. These days, we’re busy promoting and meeting a lot of new people in new places.

Flowsik: If we go inside the studio, we are there throughout the whole day. Having dinner together after a studio session is always a ritual.

CM: Flowsik, Nicky and Eddie: What songs (besides your own) do you like singing to in the shower or singing covers for?

Nicky: Michael Jackson and church hymns.

Eddie: Babyface and old Korean folk songs.

Flowsik: Every morning is a different genre. Katy Perry one morning, then it’s Korean ballads, then Neyo and Usher songs.

CM: Where do you guys like to hang out and what do you like doing on your spare time? Are you always together or disband when “work” is over?

Nicky: Flow and Eddie live in Seoul, and I live in Taipei…So when I’m with the guys
I try to spend as much time with them as possible.

Eddie: We live together, breathe together, die together. Just kidding. But yeah, even when we’re not working we always hang out and have fun.

Flowsik: The Hangang river in Seoul is very chill. I really enjoy being around the waters, very relaxing.

CM: What’s the latest project you’re working on?

AZIATIX: We are still in the middle of promotion for our “Nocturnal” album. But we are always working on new music so keep a look out.

CM: As a group, what do you want your soul message to be to your fans and audience members? What mark do you want to leave for people?

Nicky: I hope our music can spread love and touch souls.

Eddie: I just want people to have fun listening and singing along to our music.

Flowsik: That everyone needs a dream, and striving for your dream is what makes life worth living.

CM: Any advice or message for the readers of Collaj?

AZIATIX: Thank you guys for the love and support. Much love to every single one of you. God bless y’all. Aziatix all day!

Facebook.com/aziatix | Twitter@aziatix | www.aziatix.com | YouTube

Comments

5 Responses to “It’s Heating Up: Interview with New Music Group, Aziatix”
  1. Gold says:

    Nicky never fails to make me laugh in every interview!
    AZIATIX ALL DAY!!!

  2. dina zuniga says:

    …..nice video nice music…AZIATIX ALL DAY!!! LOVE U so much!!!

  3. Beret says:

    Love, love these guys. Eddie has a great voice, the group is just tight. Thank goodness they are not wearing full on makeup, oh, the are a mixed group of different ethnicity not just Korean, plus they are Americans. Great sounds… good luck!!!

  4. Ro1499 says:

    These guys are great. I heard their first song “GO”, and I was hooked. Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to their music, and will always be a fan. Love you guys. Flo, thanks for mentioning JYJ’s “The Beginning”.

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