Hailing from the Golden-State, Cali-resident Lydia Paek has undergone a tremendous evolution. From humble roots as an aspiring dancer to a high-vibe pop hit-maker, she’s experienced a momentous unfolding of her career.
If her name doesn’t immediately grab you, it’s highly likely that you already know and love her work. Much like a prolific voice or character artist, such as Andy Serkis (face of King Kong, Gollum, and too many more to list), you might not know them until someone tells you their famous personas.
Her discography is adorned with such tracks as “I Love You“ and “Ugly” by 2NE1, “1,2,3,4,” and “Missing U“ off of Lee Hi’s album Seoulite, “OK” by MRSHLL, Park Bom’s “Don’t Cry”, “R.O.D” by G-Dragon, as well as “As If It’s Your Last” and “Hope Not” by Black Pink. Many of which are considered to be modern day classics.
The YG-faithful Lydia Paek joined the premier K-Pop entertainment company after two of her dancer mates, choreographing for Big Bang at the time, mentioned her to one of the label’s star producers Teddy. Since 2011, she split her time between South Korea and Los Angeles, writing songs and working on her own projects.
It takes a discerning ear to not only understand what would be a slam-dunk firecracker of a song, but also a song tailored to a specific performer, highlighting their talents, while also accentuating the company’s signature style. YG ENT is a powerhouse of charismatic hip-hop flavor, and Lydia has helped to make songs that fit like a glove.
Writing and composing with many different artists has given her a good feel for lots of varying styles. But when you hear her music, you very much realize she has her own defined sound. Even her covers of well-known songs don’t just feel like treaded ground, they feel like a first-time listen. Now performing her own songs, she’s bringing her multifaceted talent to a wider, more direct audience.
Much of her musical phyre emanated from dance, b-boying on the stage while bedazzling the audience, the crucial hours spent practicing in dance sessions didn’t go unnoticed. Along her rise to prominence, she made headlines with the internationally acclaimed Quest Crew, and has taken part in numerous dance and choreography projects ever since. Most recently, she was part of the team that helped create the dance/performance for digital-meets-real idol group KDA for the popular video game League of Legends. (Of which she also helped to write the Korean lyrics for the killer rap breakdown!)
When watching Lydia perform, her feel for music seems so effortless, rhythms and beats seem to flow out of her like second nature, whether she’s collaborating with someone else or penning a song for herself.
So keep your eyes open and watch her crush it!
[...and now, the interview]
How much creative control do you have when writing a song, and who gives feedback?
I pretty much have 80 percent of the creative control and for feedback it’s really everybody: the artists, producers, and my boss.
I'm so glad when people go for what they want and it turns out great, it sounds like that’s what happened here. How did it feel when you finally broke through?
It felt surreal. I was extremely grateful. I know that it’s all because of God.
I understand you’ve worked with artists like G-Dragon, Lee Hi, Teddy, 2NE1, and Black Pink, what was it like collaborating with such seasoned artists and producers?
They are all people I know and like as friends, so it’s even more dope because not only are they as individuals incredibly talented, they are such awesome people with good hearts.
It sounds like you discovered music through dance, which is really awesome! I study dance as well, and have just started to choreograph. I wondered how do you know the right step for the right sound?
It’s whatever you enjoy, whatever song that suddenly makes you wanna move without you even trying to. I don’t think there’s a “sound” you need to choose.
Where and how did you learn to write songs? It seems easy but I’m sure it’s super hard.
To be honest, I didn’t, I just started writing because I wanted to and then a song was born.
You're definitely known as a style icon! What's one piece of clothing you can’t live without?
A big sweater! (lol)
You’ve mentioned that you have a passion for R&B. Is there something about the R&B genre that draws you to it?
It has so much soul, and music without soul is boring.
Advice you might give to people carving their own path?
Never judge a book by the chapter you walk in on. Treat everyone equally and love, live, and do with the right intentions.
Any future projects we could be looking out for?
Yeah, my EP.
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