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Q&A: Electronica Musician Flash Flood Darlings

Dares to speak out

The 14th Korean Music Awards took place a few months ago in February. Although it doesn’t attract as much attention as other award ceremonies, the Korean Music Awards is significant because it relies solely on musical talent as the judging criteria, rather than the music’s mainstream popularity and commercial success. The Best Album Award went to E SENS, who is serving time for marijuana usage, and the New Artist Award was given to the indie band, Hyukoh. However, the center of attention was undoubtedly Flash Flood Darlings, who won Best Dance and Electronic Song. Born in Korea, the artist, who has spent much time abroad, spoke Q&A: Electronica Musician Flash Flood Darlings out on behalf of the LGBT community, saying: “I knew from when I was a boy that I was gay, but it was hard because people looked at me strange. I wish somebody would’ve told me then that being gay isn’t weird. So I want to take this chance to tell young queer people, you are all beautiful.” His remarks instantly became the talk of the town.

Who is Flash Flood Darlings?

Flash Flood Darlings started as a project t express my personal experiences and thoughts through music. Ever since I was young, I was interested in music and I started composing songs. While other people used pictures or writing to express their emotions, I realized music was the tool I had for communicating my feelings.

Your remarks at the Korean Music Awards were a hot topic of discussion.
 
I found the attention after the Korean Music Awards a bit overwhelming. Some news articles claimed that I came out, but to put it accurately, I was already out. I’ve never tried to hide or reject my sexual orientation. Every time I performed, it came up naturally. I just wanted to give young kids some words of encouragement.

You lived abroad for a long time. Why did you come back to Korea?

My boyfriend of 10 years suggested we try living in Korea. I moved to New Zealand when I was young and from there moved to Australia, Thailand and other places. Next year, I plan to go to Switzerland, although I will probably visit
Korea often to continue performing

Why did you choose to do electronic music?

I found the DJ compilation album for the Gatecrashers, a famous club in England, and instantly fell in love. The unique piercing sound of the synthesizer and heavy beat was ecstasy. From that point on, I fell in love with the electronic genre.

Where do you find inspiration for your music?

All the songs of Flash Flood Darlings are my personal stories. My first album, Vorab and Tesoro (an online ID his boyfriend often uses) is about my teenage years. The song “Byul” (star) is especially close to my heart because
it expresses the feelings I went through while coming out at the time. People often tell me that my music is dark and dreamy, but my next album, which will be released this summer, will hav brighter and cheerier songs.

What else do you enjoy doing in your free time
other than working on your music?

I like watching movies. I recently watched Carol, and it made a deep impression on me. I also like comic books, and Steven Universe is my favorite these days. It’s a classic superhero comic book story, but all the characters are women and there’s a queer theme running through it that makes it a fun read.

What do you think about Seoul’s LGBT scene?

I haven’t lived in Korea for a long time or gone to a gay bar or club here, so I can’t say that I know too much about the LGBT scene. But I know that in every way, variety is necessary. Also, a word to those who are confused about their sexual orientation: If you’re going to do anything, do it your way and walk the path your heart tells you to.

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