New hip-hop talent on the block, Hans.
“I go by Hans… I’m a Korean Hip Hop artist from Auckland. Being in the scene for a few years now I’ve been able to do a fair amount of shows. This year especially, with the success of my songs, i’ve been able to open for international acts too”
Tell us a little about yourself Hans, your Korean background and living in Auckland?
I’m the son of Korean immigrants, my parents came to New Zealand in the early 90’s and settled in the Far North. I was born in 97’ so they’d already been here a little while and then when I was 5, we moved to Kerikeri. Rural NZ is very quiet, so it was ‘buzzy’ moving to Auckland when I was around 15 because it was like ‘The Big City’ almost. I’d seen orange orchards most of my life prior so it was a huge culture shift. Everything’s cool now though, I’m pretty well adjusted to it all and comparatively speaking, Auckland is still way more chill than any other major cities in the world which is good.
Regarding my Korean background, I feel like I’ll always have a personal connection to Korea just because that’s where my lineage is, I mean all my extended families are there. At the same time though, I owe a lot of who I am to growing up in New Zealand. It’s funny, when I was younger I always had this identity crisis thing of like ‘Am I Korean? Or am I a Kiwi?’ But now I’m like at peace with it. I call both places home.
“I’d seen orange orchards most of my life prior so it was a huge culture shift.”
How would you describe your music, from when you started to now?
When I first started, I did real Boom-Bap Hip Hop, which is fine, but it just wasn’t that good. My music was bland and samey, it was almost as if I was trying to make the same song over and over again. In hindsight though, I think it’s good not to be good, and know you’re not early on because it helps you develop as an artist.
As I progressed I started diversifying the type of production I’d jump on, the things I’d talk about and I began to sing more. The last few years have been really cool because I’ve been able to try out new things and see what works and doesn’t work for me. Right now the best way to describe my music is probably ‘honest’.
Who influences you / your music and why?
Musically I’ve always had these top three Hip Hop inspirations, which include Mac Miller, Chance the Rapper & Isaiah Rashad. I could relate to a lot of things they spoke about, and the way they’d carved out their own unique lanes in the music game was always really inspiring. Overall though, my music’s always been based on emotion and what I’m going through, so I’d say just everyday life in general influences what I make heavily.
Tell us about your artistic process for a new song and working with Red Bull Studios NZ?
Some people tend to write songs first and then find or make production to match, but for me, it’s always been the other way round. I’ll have the beat first and it’ll make me feel a certain type of way that I can write to. Working with Red Bull Studios was crazy because it was my first time having multiple sessions in a proper studio. I learnt a lot about the importance of mastering in general, which sort of changed my entire view on post-production. I know now to pay way more detail to things beyond just the recording process, there’s really so much more that comes after it.
Can you shed any light on upcoming EPs/shows/projects?
I’ll be playing at Rhythm & Vines on December 30th which will be crazy. I’ve also been invited to perform at SXSW in Austin Texas next March, so I’m super excited about that, it’ll be my first show overseas! Music wise I’m always working on things and will hopefully have some new stuff out in January next year.
If you’re in Auckland go and try No.1 Pancake on Lorne Street, they do Korean-style pancakes like no one else! Also, remember to stay hydrated, that’s super underrated.
"DICK/ES" and the "DICK/ES and Horseshoe Device" marks are registered trademarks of Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company and the use of same herein is undertaken pursuant to a licence from Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company." Licensee will promptly comply with Licensor requests for proper usage and style of Licensor's trademarks used by Licensee on such website and to place additional content on such website for the protections of Licensor's trademarks and other intellectual property.