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.