South Korean singer-songwriter & producer duo, Lofibaby (로파이베이비), invites you to explore love in different shapes and colors with SAY’s warm vocals and original songwriting combined with ZO’s unique touch as the duo’s music producer.
Nominated for the 2021 Korean Music Awards in the Dance & Electronic category, Lofibaby’s second album, 미술관 (Art Museum), seamlessly share stories and intense emotions of love, both visually and audibly, as if their music is on physical display.
“We were brainstorming and thought an artistic theme for this album would be fun and interesting. That’s why we chose the name for our second album”, says Lofibaby.
Focused on the art museum theme, all the songs in this second album are named after an art form which symbolizes different types of love and emotions experienced in life. Their latest songs and music videos, “Body painting” and “Decalcomanie”, pushes artistic boundaries daringly, matching the song’s portrayal of the moments in love and lust, between the desire of bonding and individuality.
“Being able to pair a daring music video with our songs is actually a great opportunity to express as well. We’re very grateful to be working with different production teams who can make it happen for us”, Lofibaby shares.
“Body painting” is about the feelings and habits when meeting someone new of love interest. The song’s name symbolizes the idea of colors as the different traits/ideals “painted” onto someone new, while the music video uses a darker undertone to hint at the dangers and obsession of idealistic assumptions.
“Decalcomanie” is a more upbeat song which shines light on how we portray and open ourselves up to those who we care for and love. The lyrics journey two people trying to find balance between love and individualism. Although two people may have a lot love for each other, they know themselves well enough to not be willing to sacrifice anything that is true to their individuality. The conflict, yet hopeful curiosity, is mirrored with artistic dances and the splashes of different bright colors in the music video.
SAY has a particular liking to this new song on their second album.
She shares, “I love the chorus style and the story line of this song. You’ll notice in the music video that it encompasses the ambiguous and mysterious connection between two people and I really enjoy that theme as the foundation of the song.”
Growing up together as high school friends has allowed the duo to complement each other in their musical adventures.
Born in Busan and raised in Yangsan, the southern part of South Korea, SAY explored painting for some time as her mother was an art teacher before she eventually found her love for singing. Finally, at the age of 17, SAY moved to Seoul alone in pursuit of a musical education in high school. On the other hand, ZO moved around and had to adjust to new environments frequently although she was born and mostly raised in Seoul. ZO began playing the guitar at the age of 14 and knew an artistic education in high school would suit her best.
Although in different grades (SAY was a junior while ZO was a senior), the two were close friends and remained so after high school. The duo’s first collaboration started when SAY performed her original songs at a small concert at the age of 20. ZO produced all the songs SAY wrote for the performance and the two became an inseparable team since.
As “Lofibaby”, SAY and ZO continues to create and their style of music usually changes to match the song or the mood the duo is trying to convey, including genres such as R&B, pop, and even electronic.
“Many think we make lofi music because of our name, but we actually chose the name after picking and combining a few words and thought ‘Lofibaby’ would be a pretty and cute name for us”, shares the duo.
Both of them have been active as Lofibaby since 2017, but rather than changes to how they write and produce their music, the duo finds changes in their music expression.
“Our first album was much more raw in what we wanted to say and how we produced the sounds, but our second album emphasizes more on finding peace and more towards easy-listening.”
ZO shares that if she had to pick one song to represent themselves the best as Lofibaby, her choice would be a song called “노을아 (Noeul Ah)”. ZO feels the song best captures the duo’s music styles and creative personalities. Check out their amazing live performance of this song where ZO plays multiple instruments which accompany SAY’s beautiful voice:
With the recent pandemic, gathering and performing for a live audience has been rather difficult in consideration of everyone’s health and safety, but both of them hopes to be able to perform live for their fans and listeners as soon as it is safe.
“We just want to express what we thought and felt, and hope the audience can share and feel the same emotions.”
As the duo, Lofibaby, SAY and ZO hope to continue to express themselves and connect with listeners through their music. They are currently working on new demos and are discussing plans to release new songs coming soon.
Looking forward to Lofibaby’s future works! Below are a few song commentaries from Lofibaby themselves. Enjoy!
“수채 (Watercolor)” encompasses SAY’s smooth vocals which was inspired from a watercolor painting. The calm melody laced with the lyrics she wrote portrays a sense of longing.
“When I saw the painting, I questioned whether the painter was satisfied with completing the piece. They must have had some emotions or thoughts through the painting process in order to use the colors they chose. Just like watercolors, in love, we are often times painted in the colors of our lovers and we reflect that ourselves.”
“6 am” is a song about beginnings. Imagine the initial thrill of the time spent with someone you’ve really enjoyed the company of, or even the first time you played with a toy which you’ve been looking forward to purchase.
“‘6 am’ is about waking up to a new day and how everything restarts after a long dark night. Any confusion or hesitation becomes clear whether it’s your goals or desires. That’s why the song is named after the morning hour.”
“수묵(Ink)” symbolizes love growing and spreading, just like calligraphy ink when it touches paper. Unlike pens or pencils, calligraphy ink will fan out and bleed slightly, often times, much like love.
“This song is not about passionate and fiery love, but rather about the deepness that’s nurtured and grown slowly, but steadily through time.”
Lofibaby’s official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lofibaby_official/
(Note/Disclaimer: This interview was conducted in English and Korean. Some content translated from Korean to English may be edited to better explain meaning.)
Big thanks to Lofibaby for spending the time to share their thoughts and music with me!