Break The Silence (B.T.S.)

Seoul Train’s next single, “Break The Silence (B.T.S.)”, coming soon, is a response to the silence surrounding the racism and violence against Asians. The silence MUST be broken if we are to move forward.

This year marks the first year after Seoul Train’s previous single “Yellow Peril” dropped. At the time, there was an alarming trend of racism against Asians and he wanted to make a stand.

One year on and this alarming trend has now exploded and escalated into ongoing assaults and murders, yet we still only see the very tip of the iceberg. Many of us have started to rise up and our voices are making their way across the globe. But it is still met with silence. Deafening silence. This must end now.

Please support the existing movements like Stop AAPI Hate, #Washthehate, #iamnotavirus and all the others. We stand united, but we are not united as one yet. Let’s not splinter our efforts, let’s really come together and counter the violence by increasing protection, improving education and even simply watching each other’s backs.

We will rise. We are not going anywhere, get used to us!

Break The Silence (B.T.S.) will be out soon on all major platforms, including Naver, Bugs and Melon in South Korea.

E1-Ten - CCTV - Seoul Train Remix

Seoul Train on his remix of E1-Ten’s “C.C.T.V.”

When E1-Ten (TrackAddicts, Gotcha, Nicotine, LoveFUNK) recorded his latest album “The LoveFUNK”, I visited him in the studio and ended up playing keys on it. However, the track with the only featuring on the album caught my ear.

That track was “C.C.T.V.” featuring veteran MC Brainpower, with backing vocals by Maikal X, addressing issues like the total loss of our privacy, internet trolling and the constant monitoring by the authorities: ‘Who monitors the monitor man, that monitors the monitor’s monitor man?’ Says it all…

So when Ten and I started talking about remixing I immediately chose “C.C.T.V.” because the track spoke to me and I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do with it. I also felt it would be a great send-off and salute to my old MC moniker Shogun, a name that has served me well for so many years but is no longer in line with what I’m doing right now. From now on it will all be Seoul Train, whether it be DJ’ing or MC’ing.

Anyway, after I did the music, the words came almost automatically and so I decided to add a verse and my view on today’s Dystopia: ‘Living in the camera-rich, who’s the perp? The snitch? The victim? The East Wickian witch?’

The UK has the densest network of C.C.T.V. cameras in the world so also from that point of view these are valid concerns. Not even the actual recordings per se, but the ones who have access (as low as Constable level!) and the blanket approach to the recorded data. Bye-bye privacy, hello Big Brother. It might not be the year 1984, but it sure feels like the book. Think about that. Our intellectual property rights, our civil and legal rights, our freedom, our autonomy are all on the chopping block. Are we willingly going to give it all away? The last step is our location data. My GPS is only on when I’m really really lost, I can tell you that.

Show your support by streaming or buying my remix of E1-Ten’s “C.C.T.V.” featuring Brainpower HERE (Wallboomers Music). Walk with us.

For full productions, remixes, collabos, featurings or consultancy please reach out HERE.


Last year, I composed the music for the Hot Hanbok / Cool Glass fashion show at the International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge (Birmingham), UK.

The show was turned into a documentary and it has just won Best Documentary at the Korea International Short Film Festival! Massive congratulations and thanks to everyone involved.

As a Korean adoptee it is incredibly meaningful personally to get accolades from the Motherland and it brings me another step closer to reconnecting with my culture, roots and heritage that were lost the moment I was put on that plane to the Netherlands. It is empowering and a sign that I am on the right path.

Walk with me.


Brain Dump

Hello World / fellow Vagabonds,

When it comes to personal style I have always been into patterns and prints, especially geometric shapes and lines and camo. I also like very specific cuts and fits and I spent a long time figuring out which ones actually look good on me as well, taking advice from my fellow fashionista wife. No shame in that fellas!

My jeans are mostly G-Star and some Evisu (yes, Evisu) – I love the feel of quality selvedge jeans and especially G-Star’s US Red fabric holds a shape unlike many other brands I have worn along the way. Their straight is almost baggy but still classy, a great multi-functional fit that drapes over my customs nicely, rolled up or not.

Lately, I’ve started wearing Uniqlo (?) shirts to gigs. Uniqlo is one of those cheap and cheerful brands but the quality is actually not bad at all. Looking at you Primark, which you will never see me rock, ever. The fit and the prints which are high-turnover, seasonal and lately, very nostalgic, really work for me. Prints include Cookie Monster (come on, who does not love Cookie Monster?), the Hulk (same), PlayStation (PS 4 life!) and Space Invaders (if that is not classic, then what is?). Not only are these nice and playful, I have noticed very positive responses from the crowd as well. When I am DJ’ing, I talk very little if even; I prefer to let the music do that for me. I sometimes dance along, but mostly I am concentrating. Wearing a shirt that reflects a certain mood and my preferred style of DJ’ing, which is free and playful, is making a big difference in the overall experience. I have been rocking a variety of brands like RL, Boss, Lacoste, Bape, YSL and Missoni and my band was sponsored by Wrangler, so it is interesting to me to have landed on Uniqlo, which on paper is a world away from that.
But is it really? Uniqlo actually pairs really well with G-Star because the Japanese cuts and fits are sharp and the colors they use go well together too. In typical Dutch fashion, function over form often works wonders. And, since the similar mindsets of the Dutch and Japanese are reflected in their very long and strong trade history it is no surprise to combine the two.

As a sneakerhead, my mainstay has been the classic and iconic Nike Air Force 1 in many of its forms: Gore-Tex, duck boot, brogue (yes, you read that right), many, many different colorways and of course an increasing selection of customs. I especially love customs as you can get really specific, from stitching and counter-stitching to all the different sections, laces and dubraes. I have rocked and still rock Jordans, Lebrons, Zooms and Dunks; in the past I had NB 1000s, Fila Dunks, Reebok Blacktops, 180s, Air Max 1, 95 and 97 and Force 180s (remember those?), but the AF1 to me is the most versatile and comfortable of them all. My next pair will likely be another custom job, but only time will tell… 😉

My hats, you ask me? 5950. IYKYK. Classic, no frills and fitted. I have always been a hat collector, rocking Kangols, rare university team hats and other kinds of snapbacks, but once I discovered the ’50’ I was hooked. Why I rock mostly Yankees hats? It is an ode to one of my favorite cities: New York City, the birthplace of Hip-Hop music and culture. The city that I fell in love with and that loved me back. From hanging out with M.O.P. at D&D Studios to coming across Nate Dogg and sitting in at U-God’s album listening party at 36 Chambers Studios, my friend DJ Pro-Diggi and I went from one adventure to the next. Upstate New York is also the home of my former production manager for the U.S. and another friend of mine. And on top of all that, we are actual Yankees fans so it’s only right to rep the city, whether we’re in London, Amsterdam or Seoul.

Finally, coats. They need to be waterproof and have a good (storm) hood. No exceptions. In the Netherlands it rains so often, a coat is useless without it. Coats can make or break an outfit, just like shoes. My folks told me years ago: “Don’t skimp on a coat. You can skimp on anything else…” I started out with Helly Hansen but in ’97 I discovered North Face when it was still pretty much a hiking-only brand. Back then, they offered the most extraordinary warranty: life! I figured it was worth the extra money. And they delivered, big time. Almost every coat I ever owned until the 2010s was returned at some point in its life and, sometimes even instantly, replaced with a brand new one, keeping me warm (or cool) and most importantly, dry. The McMurdo series, Free Thinkers and even some Black Labels, as long as they make coats in colors that I feel, I’m with it. Lately though, I feel like their popularity has taken a toll on the quality and that warranty has long since been stripped back to a regular statutory one. Zippers failing and colors fading… Come on TNF, get it together!

So my philosophy is simple. I do not mind owning less clothes, but am not afraid to spend a little more on them. I also feel it is important to know where it is made and by whom. Again, looking at you, Primark. I had a discussion with someone about rocking name-brand clothes. My argument is this: yes, it costs more, but these clothes (usually) last longer, are visibly of higher quality, are cut and styled to complement a body type and they are more often based on moods and feelings. When I shop for clothes I want to feel something, a connection with a print, pattern, colour, cut, shape or even function. Which is also why I avoid some brands like Bally, which are unashamedly racist. No matter how many MCs mention them in their rhymes, I stand by my principles.

So there you have it. My style brain dump.

Walk with me


New single “Never Left” coming soon

Seoul Train’s upcoming single “Never Left” will be released soon via RouteNote.

Known for his work with TrackAddicts (CMG/WeFunk) and E1-Ten (Wallboomers) and no stranger to confront societal injustice, Seoul Train is now candidly sharing more of his own story.

Having had bad eyesight since birth, things went further awry in 2017, rendering him legally blind and unable to hold on to his job. Unwilling to put his life on hold, he went back to uni and got his second Master’s degree – an MMUS in Ethnomusicology from SOAS.

After releasing “Yellow Peril” and the “Pandemic EP” Seoul Train is now back with “Never Left”, showing that no matter how the odds are stacked against him, he faces them head on and ultimately comes out on top.

The beat is a throwback to the early 2000s, an important and formative period for him, inspired by the sights and sounds of New York City.

“Never Left” will be available on all major platforms. Watch this space!

Course Alert

This summer, the Fresh Off the Plane ITB (In The Box) Production courses are restarting using Zoom. These are no ordinary generic courses. They are completely bespoke; they will cover what you want or need. Do you need more advice on the technical side? Or do you just need your drums to ‘slam’ a bit more? Or maybe some help with your arrangements? And what about recording vocals? These are some of the things we can focus on during this 10-week course.

It works like this: We take your strongest track or idea and during the course we will use that to apply the relevant techniques in order to provide relatable examples. Afterwards, you will have a fully mixed and mastered track to industry standards!

No course is exactly the same, but things we will talk about include common concepts, techniques and tools like EQ, compression, FX and transient management but also things like effective arrangement.

For all enquiries, drop us a line HERE. We are looking forward to help you create your dream track!

What IS a Seoul Train??

A Seoul Train is a row of beer glasses with another row of Soju shot glasses on top. When the shot glasses are toppled, the last soju glass is dumped in the remaining beer glass. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a Seoul Train.

When I first came across this phenomenon, I knew I found my new name.

As a Korean adoptee, one of more than 150.000 ‘exported’ babies, I felt an unexplainably strong bond for a country I never set foot in. When I went through the inevitable identity crisis in my twenties, I started my journey to rediscover my roots. Being a musician, the most logical step was to start with the music. I was in luck; the global K-Wave had just started to take off and groups like Big Bang were releasing their first albums. Soon after I dove into Korean Hip-Hop and R&B and discovered Dok2 and Jay Park when they debuted. But as I delved deeper in the history of ‘my’ country, I discovered so much more: even richer musical traditions like P’ungmul and its younger offspring Samulnori. There was also something else. Korean. Drinking. Culture.

Like most, I would be forgiven to think that the Russians would rank the highest when it comes to alcohol consumption. I was wrong. It is actually the Koreans who consume the most alcohol in the world, at problematic levels even. Their main drink of choice? Soju. Soju is a colorless distilled alcoholic drink. It tastes like a lighter, distant cousin of vodka. And very quickly it became one of my favorite drinks. I first encountered the drink at a Sake (!) bar in New York City and drank it with a chaser, but I actually prefer it the way it is supposed to be drunk: straight, from a shot glass.

In 2010 I was reunited with my Korean family. What followed was a joyful two weeks that went by in a Soju-filled haze. Almost every evening we ate dinner with different members of my family (which turns out to be pretty large) and drinking Soju was a big part of the bonding process. Especially my brother and I shared many bottles of Soju (and the bottle of Hennessy that I bought at the airport).

And that is where we come back to my name, because toppling a shot glass of Soju in a glass of beer creates the Soju bomb, or SoMaek as it is called in Korean. So when I found out that the Koreans in LA dubbed a row of Soju bombs a ‘Seoul Train’, it was a wrap. And because it caught on, I decided to make it my MC name too.

A meaningful name is so important for a brand, but for artists the person is the brand. So to me, this name represents so much: the culture I am rediscovering, the city I am from, my favorite drink and the many memories that come with it and also a cultural phenomenon that is connected to but started outside of Korea. Seoul Train out. 🙂

A few words from Seoul Train about his new track “Yellow Peril”

The corona virus has caused racism and xenophobia aimed at (East) Asians to spike, but make no mistake, I have been dealing with this all my life. Like all of us. Not most of us, all of us.

For years I have been trying to put these micro-aggressions aside but now I am again completely fed up.

Long before the days of the China Exclusion Act, Asians have been associated in the West as dirty, submissive, docile, meek, small, ‘exotic’, spineless and the list goes on and on. This ends here and now.

The thing is: now that we are finally speaking up, all of a sudden people want to act like they are the victims. Like all those remarks were a ‘joke’, or we should not take everything ‘so serious’. Well I have news for them: it was never okay. They just thought they could get away with it. Sometimes maybe they did; that still does not make it okay.

But I remember one fateful day in high school. Some older kids were spraying Swastikas on the wall and hurling the usual racist remarks at me when I happened to walk by. I do not know exactly what they were thinking but here is what I was thinking: “I am not putting up with this any longer. I am going put an end to this once and for all!” So I picked up a metal pipe and threw it at them with all the pent-up frustration and cold rage. It flew straight and true. Fortunately for both of us it missed one of the kids by a hair. Literally.

I want to say that I snapped. I want to say that my eyes became blood shot red and that I was not in my right mind. But I can not; I was fully aware of my actions. I deliberately threw the pipe with the intention to do harm. It was calculated. Simply because at that point, I decided I had to fight back. Nobody was going to help me, I was on my own. And I figured if I was going down, I was going to take at least one of them down with me. After that, I was finally left alone but it was too late. Something had already died in me that day. Of course I regret my actions,

Even today, the way I felt inside that day scares me. It was a warm day, but I was ice cold. And every now and then, a situation arises that takes me back. I always try and tell myself how people are still as ignorant as ever, but wounds like this never get a chance to heal. How can they when they are ripped open time and time again? How did it even get to that point? All I can say is that I never ever wanted to feel that way. All I wanted was to be left in peace, to just live my life and do my thing. That has not changed. Sadly, the world has not changed much either. Because we still find ourselves in a similar spot.

The corona virus is scary for all of us. It does not discriminate. Anybody can get it. But here is the thing: people are so scared, but how many people died outside of China? Of course any life lost is one too many. However, my point is nobody cares about the death toll in China, but once people start dying on their soil all of a sudden people start to panic and lash out at all Asians? At Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Koreans, Japanese? That is not a spur of the moment thing. That is latent racism, something that was waiting for an excuse to rear its ugly head. Any excuse.

So I am sorry, not sorry. Asia has a long and rich history that has been tainted by invasion from the West. The British in India, Myanmar, Singapore and China, the French in Vietnam and Cambodia, the Americans in Korea (waaaay before the Korean War I might add) and also Vietnam for example. And this is not up for debate. These are facts. And what about bringing diabetes and obesity to Asia? We were doing fine without fast food chains from the West, thank you very much. And radiation diseases and generations of mutant babies from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? And cancers caused by Agent Orange in Vietnam? Again, facts. How is that supposed to make us feel?

The most interesting thing about all this is that a number of times they actually do try to tell me how I am supposed to feel. I am supposed to shut up and turn the other cheek. And apparently I am supposed to abide by their little rulebook based on lies, prejudice and stereotypes. Some people try and convince me to take some sketchy opinion pieces for facts and tell me stories about how they are being treated when they go out to the ‘Orient.’ Well, boo-hoo-hoo. Now they catch a tiny glimpse of how life is on the other side. And then all of a sudden it is an outrage and people yell bloody murder. Nah fam. I am not saying we should stoop to their level, but expect no sympathy from me either.

So here it is. This is why, at this moment, I am not snapping. I am not throwing metal pipes. Today, I am channeling all this negativity around me and in the news into something that will hopefully make a difference. Today my words are my weapon, my sword. And with it, I want to eradicate ignorance with knowledge and awareness. Enter “Yellow Peril”, my new single out 1/3/20.