By: Hannah Waitt
moonROK Founder and Editor-in-chief
Each week we here at moonROK scour the internet in order to bring you the coolest, most innovative K-pop covers out there on the worldwide web. This week’s K-Pop Cover Star is Ronnie Chu, a young South Korean singer-songwriter/rapper based in the UK.
In her cover shown above, Chu puts a new spin on EXO’s megahit, “Growl.” Using only an acoustic guitar, some impressive beat-boxing, and her voice, Chu brings the song’s R&B roots to the forefront, resulting in a soulful take on the pop song.
Ronny was also nice enough to do a short Q&A with moonROK – check out what she has to say about her covers, K-pop, and her future in music!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What is your personal history, and how did you get involved with music and with K-pop?
I’m Ronny Chu and I’m a female singer-songwriter/rapper from South Korea. I recently finished my BA Honors degree in music at LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) in the UK. I have always loved music, but never really learned any instruments properly or thought about doing it professionally. I was just one of those typical Korean middle school students who loved singing at Karaoke.
Then, I went to an international school in China and everything changed. Because I lived in a school dormitory by myself, I got homesick a lot and started writing songs whenever I felt down. I didn’t really want to apply for any colleges or universities, but my family members and teachers really encouraged me to do so, so I was like, ‘okay, if I have to go to college, I’ll apply for a music course because that’s the only thing that I’m really interested in.’ I only applied for LIPA, and luckily got accepted. Now here I am, in Liverpool, making music.
How would you describe your musical style?
I’d say mainly folk, R&B or rap. I know there’s huge differences among those genres, but I guess it’s probably because of my influences. One of the most famous bloggers in Liverpool, Peter Guy, described my music by saying it “takes sprinklings of R&B, rap and folk, throws it skyward, and makes some tasty tracks,” and I think that could be the best description for my music.
Which artists are your biggest inspirations as a musician?
India Arie, Robin Thicke, Wretch 32, Arco, Yuhki Kuramoto, Hot Potato, Lucid Pool
Who are some of your favorite Korean artists right now (idol groups or otherwise)?
I noticed that your cover of Soyu & Junggigo’s “Some” is actually a sort of mash-up that includes snippets of other songs (“Johnny” by Dynamic Duo and Primary, “Loving You” by SISTAR, etc.), and that you’ve inserted your own rap verses in both “Some” and “Growl” – can you describe your artistic process when arranging your covers?
For the record, I wasn’t really serious about this whole cover thing. I literally just did it for fun, so I was very surprised when so many people loved them. There’s no specific way that I arrange covers. Most of the time, I just try to figure out chords on my guitar, then decide whether to change the structure of the song. Then, I try to come up with some ideas for beats/percussion and write new rap parts I guess.
Any plans for releasing a new K-pop cover any time soon?
I was actually going to cover PSY‘s new single, ‘Hangover.’ Unfortunately though, my microphone is broken and I don’t have a camera or video editing program at the moment. Hopefully, I can cover the song soon.
If you could work with one K-pop singer or idol group, who would it be and why?
G-Dragon! He’s always creative with his music and fashion, and I think it would be super fun to work with him.
What are your future goals for your music? Would you like to pursue it professionally or is it just something you do for fun?
I want people to sing my songs at karaoke. I would be so excited if I actually heard someone singing one of my tunes there. I just want more and more people to listen to my music and communicate with me through it.
Are you considering maybe trying your luck as a musician in Korea as opposed to the UK?
I’ve just graducated from my university, so I’m just waiting for the graduation ceremony in July in Liverpool. After that, I think I’m going back to South Korea and I’ll try to make music there.
moonROK would like to sincerely thank Ronny for taking the time to chat with us, and to also wish her the best in her pursuit of becoming a successful artist in Korea!
Tags: BIGBANG Dynamic Duo EXO G-Dragon Growl Junggigo K-pop Cover Star Primary Some Soyu