- Published: Thursday, 28 January 2016 14:16
- Written by Ren
Hey Aewen Listeners!
Aewen’s Corner is back for the New Year with a BANG! For this month, we were fortunate enough to interview Tom Kim from NOMTOM&METOO, the Korean American K-Hip-hop duo in Los Angeles!! Check out the interview below to discover more about this amazing artist!
Can you give us a short intro about yourself? (i.e. where you are from, how you got into rapping/singing/performing, etc.)
Hello, my name’s Tom Kim (김영재) and I go by the name of NOMTOM. I’m from Korea/Argentina/United States (long story lol). I started uploading electric guitar covers around the age of 16/17 in Argentina. I used to cover songs from The Strokes and Guns N’ Roses. It was not until I bought a cheap karaoke mic, where I started doing anything Kpop related. These were the days when only 2 or 3 people were doing covers on YouTube. I remember one of the first covers, or whatever you call it, I did was an acoustic guitar tutorial for 2NE1’s I Don’t Care. It was one of those things you look back at and just cringe. After that I started getting into K-pop and started covering songs. I remember covering songs like G-Dragon’s Heartbreaker and B2ST’s Bad Girl. After that I continuously covered popular Kpop songs. After I graduated high school, I moved from Argentina to LA and that was when I bought my first, I guess you can call it, “real microphone” and really started covering songs. I started getting a small following and had a lot of fun uploading covers. One day Joe (METOO) hit me up on YouTube and asked if I wanted to work together him. This is a funny story because we met up, worked on a song and didn’t contact each other for a year. A year later he hit me up wishing me a happy birthday and that’s when we met up again. This was when NOMTOM&METOO started.
How long does it typically take for you to complete a cover of a song and what is the usual process that goes into making it?
On a good day, covering a song can take around 5 hours. There’s a bunch of factors like the complexity of a song, if I have to make the instrumental, doubling, harmonies, etc. Complex songs can take up to 5 days. A typical song requires practicing/memorizing a song, recording, mixing/mastering, shooting the video, editing, uploading, translations, cover art. Recording the song and shooting the video are the most time consuming part of covering a song.
In past interviews, you mentioned that Kendrick Lamar and Zico were your biggest inspirations. In what ways have they inspired you as an artist and a performer?
Kendrick Lamar way of story-telling is just on another level. Something I definitely admire and look up to. For Zico, the songs that he produces are like right in my alley. They are both artists I aspire to.
You have performed on many stages from KCON/626 Night market in SoCal, to K-Pop All Night in Chicago and Asian Night in Texas. In what other states or country would you like to perform in the near future and why?
I would love to perform in New York because I want to experience/interact with the crowds from New York. I kinda consider NY to be the opposite of LA. I’m very comfortable with the LA crowd so that why I want to experience performing in NY to see if it’s different.
What would you say is the biggest struggle you had to overcome to be where you are today?
I think one of the biggest struggles that I had to overcome (still overcoming) is doubting my own abilities. There were countless times where I would make a cover and never release it because I thought it sucked. I truly believe you’re your own worst critic lol. But one of the biggest struggle that I am still facing (ever since I started) would be “being consistent” there was a time a few years ago where I would constantly upload videos on a weekly bases and thats when I gained the most fans and kept a close relationship with my fans. As time went on, I uploaded fewer covers and started losing fans and got less views.
If you can collaborate with any female and male K-Pop artist/band (rapper or singer), who would it be and why?
Ooooo~ female would be CL. I’ve been a fan of her since she debuted. Male would be Zico because he’s an all-around talented rapper. All his songs are fire lol.
Would you ever go on a rap survival show like Show Me the Money? Why or why not?
I would love to but I don’t think I can face the rejection lol. But I recently heard that SMTM is also auditioning in LA so it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
Do you plan on releasing any originals this year and can you name a few originals that you had made in the past?
Yes! 2016 will be focus mainly on originals. I have a few originals that I have planned to release later this year but you guys will just have to wait hehe.
What are your goals for 2016?
My goals for 2016 are to reconnect with fans and focus more on originals.
Any advice for those who want to pursue music?
One of the biggest advices I can give is to just put yourself out there and don’t doubt your abilities and be consistent. Consistency is the key. No matter how good or bad a cover is, I would rather be a fan of someone that constantly uploads songs than someone who uploads sporadically or goes MIA for a year (ahem nomtom lol)
You can check out more of NOMTOM’s covers and follow him on:
Special thanks to Tom Kim for giving us the opportunity to interview him! We wish him the best for this New Year and are looking forward to more of his covers/performances/originals!