A seasoned veteran in the music scene, daybreak first made their presence known back in 2007 with their debut album “Urban Life Style“. They claimed the title of ‘Nation’s Band’ with their 2016 hit ‘Flower Road’, which the quartet also went on to perform at the president’s residence, the Blue House.
Join us at Hallyure as we get to know daybreak, and their music more.
For the people who may not be familiar with you, could you give us a brief introduction?
All) Hello. We’re daybreak, a four-member band from South Korea.
We never thought of limiting our music to a specific genre, but looking back now, we can call it AOR.
Our representative songs are ‘Good’, ‘Love Actually’, ‘Flower Road’, etc.
Recently, we released a single ‘Doesn’t make sense’.
What is the story behind the name ‘daybreak’, and how did all the members come together?
All) Lee Won Seok and Kim Sun Il played together as members of a band called “Brunch” and after the team was disbanded, the current members joined with Kim Sun Il’s introduction.
Before applying for the Melon Rookie Project, we quickly decided on the team name. We thought the lower case of ‘d’ and ‘b’ would be interesting in design, and Yoo Jong got inspired by Lisa Ekdahl‘s song ‘daybreak’, and we chose the team name to be ‘daybreak‘. We loved the meaning of it too.
Could you explain the meaning and inspiration behind your release ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’ ?
All) We have collaborated with other musicians quite some times, but most of those collaborations were limited to music arrangements.
We’ve never collaborated on lyrics and composing at the same time.
This collaboration with Yoon Sang, Kim Eana, and Heize was fantastic.
Yoon Sang is a musician whom we have respected since we were young.
I was very excited and satisfied with the result.
The best lyricist in Korea, Kim Eana, helped us a lot as a fan, and she played a role as the bridge between the four artists in this project, as well as with her in-depth lyrics.
Heize’s voice is the best. If you look at the teaser of this new song, the moment you hear Heize’s voice, everyone in the control room cheers. That’s the power of Heize’s voice.
It was an opportunity to feel and learn many things throughout the work, such as the good energy, passion, and attitude of the best musicians.
How was working with Heize? How did the collaboration come through?
All) The song was meant to be a duet from the start. When We were considering female vocalists we had just come out on “Sugar Man 3”. Kim Eana was the MC, and Heize saw our performance. Kim Eana suggested Heize to us and she gladly accepted the offer.
When we first started working on the song, we approached the song very carefully. There were quite a few attempts to complete the demo melody, and especially the Heize part had a lot of high notes, so we needed to think about balancing the melody of male and female parts. Heize then sent me her demo without the lyrics, and the melody was finally completed. We can still feel the emotion and thrill of the moment.
You performed your hit ‘Flower Road’ in the Blue House in 2016, is there any memory or incident from that night you would like to share with us?
All) We were so happy and honored when we first heard the news that we got casted. We were jittery and nervous during the rehearsal, and it was so amazing to see the ministers from various ministries that we saw on TV during the main performance. We were able to sing in a fun way because they even joked with us during standby. We also received permission for flower performance smoothly.
Which song of yours would you pick for a person listening to your music for the first time?
Won Seok) I recommend our single, ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’. It represents our present.
Yoo Jong) ‘Urban Life Style’ from our first album.
Jang Won) I also recommend ‘Urban Life Style’. I think the balance is great.
Sun Il) I recommend ‘Da Capo’ from our 3rd album.
So far what has been the most enjoyable part of making music?
Won Seok) When I write songs, I imagine a whole lot of people in the concert hall singing the melody with me. It really gives me thrills and goosebumps whenever this dream comes true.
Yoo Jong) When I Imagine the crowd listening to our new music.
Jang Won) I enjoy the process of writing songs together with the band members. It is really enjoyable when they develop my demos.
Sun Il) The most enjoyable part of making music for me is recording my bass for the song.
During an artist’s block, what gets you out of your slump?
Won Seok) I meet my friends and talk about many things. If we work out or chat together, we can look at the problem of the slump more objectively.
Yoo Jong) In the past, I tried it repeatedly until I could work it out and listened to the stories of people who overcame it well. These days, I try to entertain myself because the chemistry that occurs when I am happy seems to have a lot of influence on music.
Sun Il) Light exercise, painting, food, chatting with friends, etc. When I do other things, I think my dull feelings about music come back to life and it becomes fun again. But if I do it for a long time, it could be counterproductive.
Jang Won) I do nothing and just empty my head. I believe it’s time to recharge whenever I’m spaced out.
Have you ever found a difference in opinion amongst yourselves while making music, and if so, how do you solve that?
All) We talk a lot. In the beginning, there were many cases of emotional fights, but now we know each other so well that we can work out our differences well.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
All) We think our sound aims for a good balance. Melody, the message from the lyrics is simple and easy, while the harmony, rhythm, and arrangement are dynamic!
After being in the industry for over a decade, how do you think your sound changed or evolved over time?
Won Seok) At the start, our music had strong influences from popular rock, but over time it evolved into music with a groovy rhythm.
Yoo Jong) 10 years ago, we tried to fill the gaps with many sounds, but now we are focusing more on our own interests.
Sun Il) In the beginning, there were a lot of instrumental tracks when recording the album. There were a lot of vocal tracks too. We put dubbing and a lot of ideas together. So it sounded like our music had a lot going on. As We reduced it little by little, we got good results with the sound. We worked with that in mind from the 4th album when we arranged the song in the beginning. I think it’s a more spacey sound than before.
Jang Won) As we get used to the members’ musical colors and tendencies, I think we can reach an agreement quickly. Our teamwork has improved. As a result, I feel that the details of the music are getting better.
Is there any specific genre you would like to explore more in the future?
Won Seok) I don’t know. I don’t know what kind of music I’ll be doing in the future because my taste changes all the time and I keep trying. I’m into AOR from the 70s and 80s right now.
Sun Il) When I write and arrange songs, I want to express them freely without being assigned to the genre. I like to experiment with multiple genres in one song.
Yoo Jong) I think it’s more important to write more songs, because I want to write songs that I like than I want to do a specific genre.
Jang Won) I want to work with more diverse genres of music. I want to combine Gugak, orchestra, classical music, and folk music elements from other countries with our sound.
What kind of music have you been listening to during the lockdown?
Won Seok) I’ve been listening to 78s, 80s AOR.
Sun Il) I kept listening to a variety through random play. Of course, I love music. I think it’s stressful to look for a specific genre. But I think I listened to Honne‘s latest album a lot.
Yoo Jong) I listen to Vulpeck‘s music a lot. The members’ performances are so good, so I look for their solo albums on YouTube.
Jang Won) To find new music, I listened to a lot of musicians’ music recommended by music apps. Honne, Prep, Robert Glasper, Tom Misch etc.
Are there any lyrics from your songs that make you feel satisfied everytime you sing them?
Won Seok) I like the lyrics of the second verses of our music.
The first verse is the beginning of the song and the overall flow.
In the second verse, I am able to talk about what I want to say in detail.
like in the second verse of ‘Doesn’t make sense,’
“The two people who are in the middle of a bad time to end and have no reason to stay.”
The story that I want to talk about in this song is well contained.
The expression ‘little gap’ was exquisite.
Sun Il) I personally like the lyrics of the song called ‘Calm‘. It comforts me.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Won Seok) I think I would have become an ordinary businessman or studied theology more deeply. Theology was so interesting until the first semester of my first year of college. Since then, I fell into music and my school grades have been messed up.
Sun Il) I guess I may have chosen to sell clothes or make something.
Yoo Jong) I wanted to have a job like an athlete, a robot engineer, or a teacher, but now I think I would have become a house-husband because I like spending time with children and having fun doing housework.
Jang Won) Yoo Jong would be an athlete, Sun Il a designer, Won Seok would be a landlord, and I would be a taxi driver.
Last but not least, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Won Seok) More than anything, I hope you’re healthy and I hope we can smile and sing together on stage someday. Thank you always!!!
Yoo Jong) We’ll always be here, working hard and making music. Please listen to our music whenever you want!
Sun Il) Thank you for always waiting and loving our music. We’ll continue to show you how we’re making music, so please support us and look forward to it. And I hope you have a great time with great music and good health until everyone can meet you with a smile, even though it is hard because of Covid-19. Thank you.
Jang Won) Please show a lot of love for daybreak until we meet in the concert hall.
Connect and listen to daybreak here:
All Credits Belong to Happy Robot Records