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[Herald Interview] Kisum gets ready to make her ‘Musik’ heard

24-year-old rapper voices herself, slow and steady

Hip-hop artist Cho Hye-ryung, better known by her stage name Kisum, released her second EP “Musik” at midnight on Wednesday.

“Musik,” which is Kisum spelled backwards, consists of five tracks – the two lead tracks “No Jam (Boring)” and “Ocktabbang (Rooftop house),” “2 Beer,” “Freedom”  and “Cover Up.” She wrote all the lyrics while collaborating on the music, marking the first time she participated in composing.

Rapper Kisum (Mapps Entertainment)
Rapper Kisum (Mapps Entertainment)

It was not as a musician that she first gained public attention.

The artist first appeared on G-Bus TV’s “Blue flag, White flag” in July 2013, which was broadcast on the screens on buses operating in Gyeonggi Province. She introduced herself as rapper Kisum then.

As she had never been seen before on the indie scene, the pretty rookie rapper evoked people’s curiosity.

“It was a golden opportunity,” Kisum said in an interview with The Korea Herald on Wednesday, adding that this happened at a time after she had  once given up on a music career following four years of training.

Rapper Kisum (Mapps Entertainment)
Rapper Kisum (Mapps Entertainment)

She has since presented herself as a multifaceted musician, appearing as a contestant on season three of Mnet’s hip-hop competition show “Show Me the Money” in 2014 and the first season of Mnet’s “Unpretty Rapstar” in 2015.

“The two competition shows are the cornerstones of my career as a musician,” said the artist. If she had not gone through the battles, it would have taken much longer for her to grow as a musician, she added.

Along with the TV shows, she has released numerous collaborative singles, starting with “First Love” in December 2013, and her first EP “Like It” in August 2014.
“I always wanted to present my own, ‘Kisum-ic’ music,” she explained. As such, she appears to be deeply attached to her new EP.

Since previous singles were given to her and her first EP consisted mostly of previously released tracks, Kisum expressed high hopes for the new EP, saying she participated in the album production from songwriting to music videos and photo shoots.

She hesitated at first to pick a favorite track, but then settled on the lead track “Ocktabbang (Rooftop house)” saying, “I’m especially deeply in love with it, since it gave me a starting point for telling my own story in the album.”

Kisum said she has been spending a lot of time in her rooftop home, writing songs and lyrics, and considers rooftop home as representing her identity as a musician. 

Rapper Kisum (Mapps Entertainment)
Rapper Kisum (Mapps Entertainment)

“People still call me ‘daughter of Gyeonggi Province’ due to the G-Bus appearance, which I appreciate since it gave me the chance of a lifetime,” said the artist. “But now I want to be called ‘musician.’”

With the new EP, Kisum has taken another step forward in building a name for herself, slowly presenting her voice to the public.

“Someday I want to have a fully self-produced album and show everyone, to the world, how much I grew up as a musician,” Kisum said with excitement in her voice.

By Jung Eun-jin (
Korea Herald Youtube