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K-Pop Crossover: EDM Singer Koko Charli On Moving To Korea And Why Rain Should Collaborate With Her [EXCLUSIVE]

By Tony Sokol | June 30, 2015 05:01 PM EDT


Koko Charli is a singer-songwriter from Honolulu, Hawaii where she says "grew up on a banana farm in a jungle." 

The 22-year-old electronic dance music (EDM) artist taught piano while performing throughout the island of O'ahu with Paradise Star Studio before relocating to the continental US as an adult.

After a year of recording and performing in New York City, Charli's second music video, "Under My Spell," rode the wave of last year's Halloween searches on YouTube and recently prompted her decision to move once again, this time to the Edutainer department of musical theatre company Gyeonggi English Village in Paju, South Korea.

In addition to preparing to relocate to Korea, Charli is also getting ready to release her third music video "When I Let You Go." Amidst this flutter of activity, the EDM vocalist took some time earlier this week to reflect on her imminent major life change and why a collaboration with Rain would make it all worth it in an exclusive KpopStarz interview.

"My Korean adventure will begin as soon as I get my Visa," Charli said. "It's a long process, so we're hoping I get to leave in a month or two. I am excited to join the troupe and collaborate in the creative process as well as perform in a different country."

According to the singer, her affinity for Hallyu has increased over time.

"I have been following K-pop more and more," Charli said. "I think sometimes people forget that there's amazing music outside of their home, waiting to be heard."

Though she can't help but notice a growing number of K-pop artists channeling America's dance music.

"EDM seems to be showing up more and more in K-Pop," Charli said.

So, which Korean performer does she like best?

"2NE1 is my new favorite," she said. "I am especially fascinated with how their music seems to embody a variety of different genres. They don't sing strictly pop music, but moreover embody elements of rock, EDM and even a little bit of reggae...I am a fan of a multitude of different musical styles, so I love when an artist takes on the challenge of bringing different forms together."

The singer pointed to the 2NE1 single "I Am the Best" as having a music video that got her attention.

"Not only is the song itself fantastic, but it is also visually stunning," Charli said. "I believe when you perform, you should become a character, and put on a show."

It's one of the things that drew the EDM performer to the South Korean music scene to begin with.

"In K-pop, we see a lot of dressing up in eye-catching, extravagant costumes and performing awesome choreography,"  Charli said. "I admire how K-pop stars put their all into everything they do," she added.

Charli,who includes choreography in all of her own music videos, expressed interest in stepping up to the mic with a certain solo artist from her soon-to-be home.

"I would love to collaborate with Rain in a sexy EDM or pop duet," she said. "He is a fantastic performer and all of his songs are catchy and fun. I love the choreography in his videos as well as the movie-like quality to some of them."

Considering the music video for her song "Under My Spell" was an homage to classic horror film, Charli believes that as a K-pop star with successful crossover career as a Hollywood actor, Rain could help her explore other cinematic genres in music video.

"In [the Rain song] 'It's Raining,' there is about a one minute-long intro with no music that almost makes it seem like you're watching the beginning of a sci-fi action film," she said. "I appreciate the creativity and think together we could produce a pop-EDM piece that's very eccentric and eye-catching."

Watch the music video for Koko Charli's song "Under Your Spell" RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  koko charli, Rain, 2NE1, EDM, koko charli, K-Pop Crossover


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