Wet City are a South Korean art crew, formed by musician, CityNoise, and director, D.Whale. The duo create music and artistic music videos together, inspired by city life. Their motto – When it rains, we’ll swim around your city – is painted through their songs. Previously collaborated with IT’S on their latest song, Hallyure had the chance to talk to the duo about their future plans!
Let’s start it off with an introduction for our readers!
CityNoise: Hello! We’re ‘Wet City’, which is doing creative activities that collaborate with video and music artwork. Our crew consists of ‘CityNoise’ in charge of music and ‘D.whale’ in charge of video. It is an honour to meet you through this interview.
Talk us through your musical journey. What does it mean to you? What are the responsibilities that come with being a producer and singer for your crew, Wet City?
CityNoise: I originally started music with band music. Originally, I had been pursuing more stimulating music, but from some point, I was attracted to the fact that the really detailed small things such as the flashing lights of the street lights at dawn can dig deeper into people. From then on, I started to find and listen to music that could express those things well. For me, I think music is a journey of life and communication with others, in any type of genre.
D.Whale: I think that video and music are inseparable. Just as there is a music video, there is music in a movie. There is a rhythm in editing, and there is a story in music. In this way, I experienced that video and music co-exist, and I became more interested in music. For me, music is what makes the video alive.
CityNoise: Before I would work with just the intention of making a song. I would compose songs from the first inspiration I would get and work until the final mastering was done. But after getting to work with D. Whale in Wet City, we discuss how a song can be expressed visually and how well it can be shown, and then simultaneously the work would proceed. Like this, in Wet City, the song is completely written by me, but D.whale is not only in charge of filming and directing the video but also in charge of the overall vibe of the song.
Speaking of Wet City, how did that form? Do you have any plans to expand that crew?
CityNoise: As mentioned above, each is in charge of music and video. To explain more, nowadays, I feel that there is a limit to revealing all intentions to direct with only one sound track, so I wanted to add video to create a synergy effect that can be felt in both listening and watching, and now each is playing a role.
D.Whale: We have a huge dream, but in reality, the first thing we want to achieve is to brand Wet City itself. we want to materialise and imprint the image when people think of Wet City and create our own brand in various fields using the things that can be brought from that image.
Citynoise is a very compelling stage name. What’s the story behind it?
CityNoise: I wanted to do music that can make people think once again about the parts of everyday life that were not recognised like city noise. And the act of expressing his nickname as noise by a person who plays music seems to make it possible to think of many things, so I felt attractive.
You only started releasing music recently as Wet City with ‘Room’. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected that? Did you feel any hesitation?
CityNoise: The song called ‘4:30 am’ was the first album. I had called D.Whale to listen to the track and made an appointment to just have a cup of coffee. The meeting we met for the purpose of just having a cup of coffee became the happening to create the current Wet City, and the first track ‘Room’ for me as a member of the Wet City crew.
In fact, when working on an album as a musician, not only the soundtrack released online but also the image shown in the actual performance must be considered. But because of COVID-19, it was impossible to do so, and D.Whale works in a direction that fills many parts of the image about the song and the musician in the video.
What do you want to convey through your music? Any concept you wish to try?
CityNoise: When you look at the album ‘4:30 am’, ‘Room’, and ‘Step’, in common, I ponder and sing about my dreams and ego. However, if you listen to my music in the order in which it was released, you will find that space is changing through the contents of the song. If you think about that part in the track and video, you will find the part that was not visible. We wanted to give empathy and support to everyone who is contemplating their dreams and ego through the process and worldview.
D.Whale: There are many genres of concept music that we can express, but we want to keep the tone, mood and concept.
We really enjoyed your recent single, ‘Step (feat. IT’S)’. How was the song-writing and production process? What was the inspiration behind it?
CityNoise: After ‘Room’, we wondered what kind of device could be used to capture the face of CityNoise coming out of the world and struggling with reality. Then, we thought about expressing it with public transportation, especially the subway. It seemed that some interesting parts could be made by giving a time limit to the protagonist who is contemplating the choice between reality and dreams using the existence of the last train. And before the last train, we tried to express the protagonist’s hesitation and anxiety using a step back and a step forward, and naturally, the title of the song was created as a step.
D.Whale: However, due to the COVID-19, the subway could not be rented full-time, and the object itself, called the subway, was exposed a lot, so it could be an obvious factor. So, instead of showing the subway completely directly, it gave a new feeling by expressing it with lighting. (Of course, there are also parts where the subway is directly visible)
We are curious to know, how much artistic freedom does this method allow?
CityNoise: Although there are no big restrictions on our work, we try to keep the line of art that the general public can understand at once without any additional explanation.
D.Whale, the cinematography of your videos is very authentic to the Wet City crew. Using the city as your main set, how do lively cities like Seoul inspire your music?
D.Whale: Of course, because we live in Seoul, it seems to be the main feature of Seoul. However, not only that, but just as each city in the world has its own atmosphere, Seoul has its own atmosphere. In particular, it is suitable for the stage we want to express because the city night view is beautiful and there is also humanism in the busy people.
You collaborated with IT’S in your recent single. How did you two connect? Will we see future collaborations with other artists; as such is there anyone you wish to collaborate with?
CityNoise: IT’S was originally a singer-songwriter who played completely different music. However, in her voice, we found a lot of parts that matched the part we wanted to express, and we made a featuring offer first. As I work in the future, my big dream is to collaborate with not only Korean Kpop musicians, but also foreign artists such as Lauv, Troy Sivan, and many others.
Who would you consider your musical inspirations?
CityNoise: There are so many musicians that I respect and inspire. If I dare choose one, I’ll pick Coldplay, especially Chris Martin. He is a musician who served as a bridge between the music of the band and the music he does now.
Any special moments in your music career you would like to share with our readers?
CityNoise: I was happy to see the fans who understood and sympathised with everything we wanted to express even if we didn’t explain them individually. Including you, of course. I was surprised to see your first article on our album. We really want appreciate it.
(Author’s note: Thank you for enjoying the article!)
Considering that you play quite a few instruments, which one do you consider the main focus of your music? Is there any instrument you want to learn?
CityNoise: Keyboard and mouse! Most of the songs are written using MIDI programs. Of course, the instrument that has been used as the main instrument since then is, of course, the guitar, but in fact, these days I seem to be more attractive and focused on the keyboard sound. It’s an instrument I want to learn more. Well, I used to imagine myself blowing a saxophone like a ‘Masego’, so if I learn a new instrument, wouldn’t that be the next thing?
Congratulations on your single! Thank you for talking to us and we look forward to more music from you. Lastly, would you like to say something to your fans and our newcomers?
CityNoise: Thank you to the readers who enjoyed the interview until the end. Throughout the year 2021, we plan to work with various artists in various ways.
D.Whale: We hope that our work will give you an opportunity to think a lot about ordinary life, and we will do our best to make it. Please stay tune on Wet City’s artwork in 2021. Happy new year!
Thank you for tuning in and reading our interview with Wet City! Check out their YouTube channel for more music in the future. If you’re interested in cinematography, their music videos are for you!
Links to their social media here:
Main | Wet City
Music | CityNoise
Film | D.Whale