Music Mondays: Seungju Hwang
In the depths of the ivy-lacking Ivy League music scene, there's one musician that turned his classical viola career into something completely different. Meet Seungju Hwang, part-time songwriter, part-time researcher, and full-time Chelsea fan (Go Blues!).
I sat with Seungju this weekend for his graduation and asked him about something we usually don't talk about: his music.
So, why did you start writing music?
I got tired of singing covers. I wanted to say something, and music was a way for me to say something that people could understand. It lives on physically as a song or those words into melodies yet they're still subjective to interpretations. My expression will always be there but it’s always open to interpretation. Music was the best way for me to express things.
Hwang frequently performs as "Seungju and the Squadettes", performing original songs as well as popular covers.
Photos via Audrey Luo
Who and what are your music inspirations?
You gotta love old school Usher. You gotta love him. I listen to a lot of Usher; I love the way he crafts a story. Well, my inspiration comes from Korean pop music because the way they produce their music is so tight and well done. It makes you move and make you feel like it’s more than just a song. It’s an entire package. I want to deliver more than just music. I want the expression to be there in the song but also perform in many ways. Korean pop music can interestingly do that, and it was comfortable for me. Often melodies or lyrics of mine sound K-Pop. I derive my inspiration from pop and like "in time" pop because that’s what I’m interested in. It can be anything, though.
How would you describe your music?
Pop-y, with Korean influences. It’s subtle. The way I think about things are heavily influenced by Korean pop.
What is your relationship with music?
Music is my outlet. It is my way to release stress; it’s my escape from reality but also my way to face reality.
What's your current favorite song?
Right now, I'm the One by DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Chance is pretty good. I also listen to You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates a lot.
Favorite genre of music?
R&B, because it’s a nice balance of story and lyricism. There’s movement from the rhythm and beats.
What are your plans post-grad for music?
I plan to keep wirting and performing locally and enjoy this hobby I have. It serves as an outlet.
Check out Seungju's Soundcloud:
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