He credits his management agency Drdr AMC for creating an environment conducive to making music that made him change his thinking.
“In the past, (I thought) ‘How could I do only (music)?’ and used to doubt myself. But lately I’ve been thinking that I could make a living doing just music.”
Car, the garden debuted in 2013 as Mayson the Soul, but he soon took on a new name after a friend, who is a member of Hyukoh, Oh Hyuk, suggested he change it.
“I met Hyuk for coffee, and out of nowhere, he said that my name sucked. And I couldn’t really say anything. I didn’t think ‘Mayson the Soul’ was a great name either. Then he wrote ‘Car, the Garden’ for me.”
The name is a direct English translation of his legal name Cha Jung-won, “cha” meaning car, and “jungwon (or jeongwon)” meaning garden.
The look and feel of Car, the garden appealed to the artist, and he decided to go for it.
The name change came right around the time the musician moved to the management company Drdr AMC, about the same time his approach to music changed.
“Now I feel more reassured when I make plans (regarding my music). I used to have to register my own copyright and call the CD pressing plants myself. I also feel like I can draw a bigger picture, when creating music, since the musicians I work with (at Drdr AMC) are doing such diverse and good things,” says the artist. “I shouldn’t ever change my name again.”
When he writes a track, he usually starts with the drums first, but for the upcoming album, Car, the garden started with guitar chords for most of the tracks.
“If I start with the drums, I end up with more upbeat songs. From my songs, ‘6 to 9,’ ‘Pretty Woman,' and 'Holiday’ I started with drums. With guitar, the tempo slows down and the song becomes a bit more sorrowful.”
As for artists he would like to work with in the future, he names Kim Haewon of the duo Kim Sawol x Kim Haewon.
“I listened to a lot of his music. And his guitar playing style and tone, the way he arranges the song, overall, make me think that I would like to be a part of what he's created,” he said.
In addition to the upcoming album, set for release around September, Car, the garden, has plans to work on an indie film soundtrack this year.
By Jenny Suh (firstname.lastname@example.org