Our Fashion's Night Out event at the Ace Hotel is just around the corner this Thursday, which means that the official kick-off of OC's year of Korea is too! Get pumped for our night of Korean noraebang karaoke, K-pop tunes courtesy of the New York-based DJ duo KILL THE DJS, aka Benjamin Kim and Nak Im. The boys caught our attention with their "K-pop for Lovers" mixtape (below). See what they had to say, get your vocals warmed up for FNO, and stay tuned for their OC-exclusive mixtape––coming soon!
Sofia Cavallo: What is Kill the DJs? Kill the DJs: KTDJs is a DJ/production duo. It consists of two dudes who met while working parties in New York and who then worked at the Turntable Lab store in the East Village. We try to stay current with all kinds of music, and at the moment we're messing with K-pop stuff.
SC: How did you become involved in music, and what was the first record each of you ever bought? Benjamin Kim: I think like most DJs from our generation (the record generation), it all began with starting a record collection, which then led to DJing parties and luckily into paid gigs in clubs. Not sure what the very first record was (probably a Michael Jackson or Led Zeppelin record) but the most relevant for me is the Chaka Khan, What Cha' Gonna Do For Me album for "I Love You, I Live You." Nak Im: I got into DJing because i wanted to learn how to scratch. This proved to be super difficult, and after hours spent in my dorm room with a handful of records, I started veering toward doing house parties and stuff like school events. That was over 10 years ago, and somehow I'm still playing out, which is amazing because the first record I ever bought––if I remember correctly––was a Rockwilder/Primo-produced Rah Digga 12".
SC: Where did each of you grow up and what were you obsessed with as teenagers? NI: I grew up in Seoul until I was in the third grade, then moved to Jakarta, then Connecticut, and Portland, Oregon. As a teenager, i was obsessed with (in chronological order): the WWF, the NBA, church, 80s Playboy and Penthouse issues, soccer, GQ, and playing the guitar. BK: I was born and raised in Los Angeles and spent a little under two years in Seoul at 14. For me, it was all about Downtown Julie Brown, Club MTV, and the on-demand music video channel The Box.
SC: It's OC's year of Korea! Describe Korea today in six words or less. BK: Perfect your craft. NI: Better than "Here comes Honey Boo-Boo."
SC: What are each of your go-to karaoke songs? NI: Anything Shin Hae Chul and "Mr. Brightside." BK: Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
SC: Best place for karaoke? NI: Grand Spotlight in New York City's K-Town. BK: Agreed.
SC:When you're in Seoul, what spots are you sure to always hit up? NI: The huge jjimjimbang spas with food courts and so much more, the Dong Dae Moon shopping district, and Daejun, a city two hours south of Seoul, for its spicy tofu and knife noodles. BK: I'm def more Hong-Dae style as opposed to Gangnam.
SC: Tell us about the "K-Pop for Lovers" mixtape, which we're obsessed with. KTDJs: We wanted to do something with K-pop, then Ben came up with the idea of putting K-pop vocals over other music we were into. K-pop is fun and energetic, but a lot of the songs are not exactly listener-friendly, and we feel that the mixtape provides a different, more laid-back way to enjoy the genre.
SC: What K-pop names do we need to know at the moment, and who are your favorites?
NI: The biggest names at the moment are 2NE1, Big Bang/GD & TOP, Miss A, PSY, JYP, Girl's Generation, Super Junior, and Wonder Girls. My favorites? 2NE1(!!!) and pretty much everyone else on YG Entertainment's roster. Also, Suzy from Miss A, and older names like Seo Taiji (of Taiji Boys) and 015B.
BK: I think Nak pretty much summed up the top charting artists. Seems like YG is always a step ahead. We're also anticipating a lot of great things from producer Kush (formerly of YG). There's also great music coming out of the indie scene in Seoul, like Nell, Glen Check, and teen idol-turned-singer/songwriter Park Ji Yoon.
SC: We're stoked on the Kill the DJs mixtape for OC that's in the works. Can you tell us what's in store? NI: It's going to be newer, bigger tunes mixed with lesser-known stuff. We're not setting any limits; hopefully we can put together something coherent and decent. BK: There's a lot of great music coming out of Seoul that doesnt really see the light of day. We're looking for that stuff.
SC: What's next for Kill the DJs? BK: Providing ways to make people listen to music they normally wouldn't. NI: We want to keep experimenting with K-pop and continue putting out mixtapes. Also, we plan on releasing remixes and eventually original material.
KPOP for Lovers by killthedjsnyc
GD&TOP - High High (Tzechar remix)
GD&TOP - Don't Go Home vs The Glass - Four Four Letter - Black Van remix (KTDJS edit)
GD&TOP - Don't Go Home (Glen Check remix)
2NE1 - Can't Nobody vs Breakbot - Baby I'm Yours (KTDJS edit)
Big Bang - Fantastic vs Lykki Li - I Follow Rivers - The Magician remix (KTDJS edit)
GD&TOP - Oh Yeah vs Sneaky Sound System - When We Were Young - Breakbot remix (KTDJS edit)
2NE1 - I Love You vs Classixx ft. Jeppe - I'll Get You (KTDJS edit)
Brown Eyed Girls - Abracadabra vs Santigold - The Keepers - The Knocks remix (KTDJS edit)
2NE1 - I Hate You vs Ryan Paris - Dolce Vida (KTDJS edit)
Big Bang - What Is Right/Stupid Liar vs The Magician - I Don't Know What To Do (KTDJS edit)
Taeyang ft. Kush - Make Love vs Brandy - Full Moon (KTDJS edit)
Girls Generation - Boys (Love Supreme remix)
GD&TOP - Knock Out (Lam Suet remix)
Wonder Girls - Girlfriend vs Breakbot - Make You Mine (KTDJS edit)
Big Bang - Bad Boy (Epitone & KevinKloud remix)
2NE1 - Lonely vs Sublime - Santeria (KTDJS edit)
Taeyang - Connection vs Justin Timberlake - Senorita (KTDJS edit)
Dynamic Duo x Dumbfoundead x Kero One - Loves Gonna Getcha
Big Bang - Tonight (Love Supreme remix) (KTDJS edit)
Big Bang - Blue (Lam Suet Mature remix)