In a brand new video from L.A.'s Laco$te, beautiful Korean-American singer Xenia Shin gets trapped in a brightly colored wonderland clearly inspired by K-pop culture, while her bandmates pull the strings from a cyberpunk dungeon.
The song itself is a clanging, glitchy, synth-strewn and sexy number called, well, “Numbers,” and it hails from the band's new, just-out Manimal Vinyl EP, The Paradox of Time.
In honor of the clip's debut here at West Coast Sound, we spoke to Shin about inspiration and her connection to her Korean roots.
West Coast Sound: What was this video's inspiration?
Xenia Shin: Korean pop music videos, '90s cyberpunk, and noise meets pop just like the EP itself. Director Matt Zatkoff and my friends/stylists Margot Padilla and Angie Olsen transform me into K-Pop! Superstar! Princess! The song is about calculating the difference in personal perspectives, as if it has physicality, when they're enmeshed in desire.
[more interview after the video]
Are you of Korean descent? Do you come from a more traditional family?
One hundred percent KoAm. I am fearful because my parents have learned of the internets.
Do you consider your music to be some form of mutated K-pop?
No, we morph what we touch when we try to approach. It gets away from us. The clothes came form the corners of San Gabriel and K-Town. The first time in front of a mirror, Angie put a huge pink bow on my head, and I looked at myself. My friend Anna said, “You know how people dress up their dogs or cats in costumes and they look really bummed? That's what you look like.”
Are you a fan of K-Pop? The music scene over there is pretty fascinating.
Angie and Margot understand the poetry of K-pop. They really feel it. Angie knows, “It's all about crazy Korean culture being expressed through techno music.” Margot reminds us, “How much work the K-pop stars have to do, how they're not allowed to date or use the internet and have a limited social life outside of their music, and spend their whole lives in training to become these stars.” The K-pop part of the video is an homage to how awesome those girls are. When I watch the videos, I feel the dancing in my muscles … I want to break out. Similarly, I <3 BoA. She's not afraid to be aggressive, and not just beautiful.
What other elements of Korean culture that influence you as a performer?
Bonus video — BoA doing “Eat You Up.”