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This weeks MuSeoul of the week is Eddy. Eddy is a young guy with so much knowledge and passion for everything Korea. He is currently the editor in chief for A. Zine magazine, a publication that gives us an inside look into Asia’s culture and influence around the world. We love his attitude and wish him all the best! Our paths will definitely cross again in the near future.  Sky’s the limit to where this guy will be in the future!

When and what was the first moment when Korean culture or entertainment impacted your life?

Korean Culture has been a part of my life for a long time, since my elementary school friends were Korean. Back then it was just friends being friends, I never though the culture would play an impact on my life. However, I stumbled upon K-Pop in 2009! I found Super Junior’s “Cooking Cooking” and thought it was strange but unique! It wasn’t until I then saw Wonder Girl’s “Tell Me” that I became a true K-Pop addict. In that moment I realized I wanted to be just like the idols! I wanted to get involved…even becoming more than a fan!

Tell us more about Azine Magazine and what you do.

A.Zine Magazine is actually a great publication that has been around for two years! Originally the Assistant Editor, I am now Editor in Chief and in charge of our content and future style. Originally set on providing the trendiest, breaking news as well as Korean resources in print, we have changed direction and focused more on our online appearance and left print currently. We now focus on working with Korean food in our magazine EATOUTNY and A.Zine’s entertainment content is now geared towards doing more for the media and the artists by becoming a media promotions site rather than just gossip. I myself am working on becoming more of a visual face and making A.Zine a person rather than just a brand. I want to expand in to doing more Youtube videos for A.Zine soon. For now, starting as a panelist for KCON couldn’t be any better!

KCON is this weekend and I’m sure you’ll be there. What will you be doing at KCON16NY and where can the fans meet you?

Fans? Ahaha- I’d love to just call them friends! After all, that is what the K-Pop community is about – Friendliness! For this years KCON not only will I be doing some press coverage but I’m super excited and honored to be a part of the special guest line up and be hosting/speaking at two panels:

LET’S TALK ABOUT CROSS CULTURAL CLASHES IN HALLYU,  and my personal favorite, HOW DO YOU HALLYU.  (Come find me there, please^^!)

Why do I love “How Do You Hallyu?” Simply because it seems to be the panel that really engages the fans to dig deeper into not only their love for Korea but themselves. It isn’t just about the panel’s hosts or K-Pop cliches, it offers a chance to show off why you love Korea and what you do to show your love. From people running their own fan sites, making fandom headbands or even creating fan art, it is all just so magical to see and share! K-Pop truly inspires people!

Do you ever think Kpop will spill into main stream media and how would you feel if it did?

To me, K-Pop already has a dominate presence, it doesn’t need to break any barriers. Its global, it already out beats a majority of other foreign artists on the polls, so I’m content. I think it is similar to American artists who do have global recognition and may be seen touring here and there or their songs played in a random countries’ cafe but their music is predominately played in their promoted country. If K-Pop does persist on breaking into a market for money I truly fear it will lose its edge, image and originality. I like the idea of adopting new cultural styles (the recent hip hop and R&B trends for example) but let us not become a carbon copy. That is why most fans left their countries music aka “American” music.

The fan base for Kpop artist is global.  Why do you think it is so hard for Asian American Artist to achieve that level of support?

I think the reason Asian American Artists may struggle is simply because they are promoting themselves in a country that doesn’t have the manpower (companies like JYP or SM for example) backing them up with killer promotions or audiences boosting them in the right direction. Most Asian American artists are fighting to get big in a country that just doesn’t view Asians that way. I’m not saying they should go to Korea or simply start following their countries’ trends/marketing techniques, what I’m saying is that Asian American artists can only make a name for themselves from the ground up and that is why they struggle. Most American households don’t look to fangirl or remember the name of these actors. Ken Jeong is simply that flamboyant guy from “Hangover” and Steven Yeun is, “That Asian from ‘Walking Dead'” to most people…sadly. Many people can’t even respect the power and art of many dramatic story lines found in anime or animated movies so I’m not surprised.

How can we do a better job of supporting our Asian America Artist ?

More interviews!!! Interviews like these and the ones MuSeoul and myself conduct. Ones that show off variety, ones that show off their culture, ones that highlight the person and don’t simply stop at scratching at the surface! Instead of just having these Asian Americans talk about their movie or singers promoting their songs, get them involved in something fun like Conan’s trip to the Jimjilbang! I hope I can become big enough myself to host a talk show someday or create a media outlet that really welcomes in Asian talent from across the globe! Let it not only cater to their fans here in the states but show interest for the possible new ones!

I’m sure you eat a lot of Korea Food.  What is your top 3 Korean dishes?

You are right to say that I definitely eat a lot of Korean food! I consider my self “The S-Line Food Critic,” simply because I eat and gain no weight – yay! While working for EATOUTKOREA and EATOUTNY magazines, I’ve eaten many foods but my favorites have to be the following in no particular order;

  1. Kimchijeon – this red, sweet and spicy pancake is just so easy but so delicious- especially when it is filled with various things like squid!
  2. Yangnyum Chicken – it’s super sweet but maintains a bit of a tangy spice! The glaze overflowing the chicken paired with the watery, refreshing radish is the perfect marriage!
  3. Donkatsu – I love me a pork cutlet!!!!! It is pork, with katsu sauce, and heaps of rice. What is not to love?

Top 3 Kpop group?

  1. Girl’s Day!!! Minah is my #1 inspiration, actually!
  2. Nine Muses
  3. It used to be KARA but since they left, GOT7 fills the void.

Top 3 Idols

  1. Girl’s Day MINAH!!!! Again, she is the true meaning of idol to me.
  2. Super Junior’s Siwon – Because how can someone be that devilishly handsome
  3. Seo In Young – Her style and flair is quite sexy!

Top 3 Asian American Actors

  1. Ki Hong Lee – His eye smile melts my frail heart
  2. Bae Doona – Her role in “Cloud Atlas” was extraordinary
  3. Eugene Yang of BuzzFeed – Although he isn’t an actor (YET) I just love a lot of things about this man.

Thank you everyone for reading this an watching me grow! I hope this can be the interview I look back upon one day and say “Hey, I remeber this and I’m glad I made it and still keep the same values!” While also adding on newer values and experiences! Keep watching me! Follow me on IG and Twitter if you’d like~

IG – Hello_Eddi

Twitter @HelloEddi