[Interview] Norazo: “We wanted to do music others didn’t do”
When it comes to K-pop, people usually think about idol bands, synchronized dancing, perfectly looking teen or mid-twenty stars. But K-pop is much more versatile than that and one perfect is example is Norazo, the independent duo known for their charming characters, extraordinary videos and fun music. The members, Jo Bin and Lee Hyuk are experienced entertainers and they make up a well-coordinated team, however unlikely they might look together as a duo. Hellokpop has got a chance to talk to Norazo about their music, career and fun personalities.
You debuted in 2005. Can you tell us how Norazo came to be and how you chose this name?
While we were doing each of our own teams’ activities, we got to use the same practice room and that is how we met. I was attracted by Lee Hyuk’s physique and his singing skills, so later I tricked him saying we should make a ballad team and that is how the two teams joined as one! (laughs)
In Korea there is this word that many people use when they are bored, which is ‘Norajwo’ [play with me] so we chose the name ‘Norazo’ signifying that we want to play!
You have participated in Immortal Songs 2 and showed that both of you are amazing singers. How did you decide to pursue a “different” kind of music, instead of following the “usual” road?
Because there are so many people who make cool music, we thought about being accepted with music that others didn’t do and was fun and exciting and that is how we drastically started! We have never regretted this decision.
Your lyrics are not only funny but I feel somehow they are full of irony, too. Do you intend to hold a mirror to society, or you write these lyrics just for fun? Or perhaps, both?
We like to write about things that people around us can normally relate to. And in there we sometimes include satiric aspects of society. ^^
How do you work on your songs? What is your creative process like? I bet you have a lot of fun during recording!
For the songs there are many times when we come up with the melodies first, and for the lyrics we only think of the topic at first. When we do the guide vocal, we sing not in English or in Japanese, but in an “alien language”. When you add instrument by instrument and finish the melody with the chorus – that excitement is the best! ^^
Norazo is certainly a different color on the palette of Korean music, showing a different side of it to people used to idol music. What do you think about the hallyu wave, and fame outside of Korea?
Even though a lot of people know about us in Korea, in foreign countries, only a few people who like K-pop enjoy special music so the awareness is a bit low. But [we] think that if we keep on working with effort, a lot of people will start to know about us.
Your latest song, Ni Paljaya was picked up by foreign media and surpassed 1.5 million views on Youtube. How do you feel about it? [edit: in the meantime the MV passed 2 million views]
It’s puzzling! Because it’s a number we haven’t experienced yet… ^^ but we hope that “Ni paljaya” becomes an opportunity for a lot of people to get to know us! ^^ Could we achieve the miracle of 1 billion views? ^^
What are your future musical plans?
We are thinking about doing more concerts! We would be really happy if we could perform overseas, as well. We are also thinking about creating a unit that shows a different dimension of music, different from Norazo. Please look forward to it! ^^
Now after all this seriousness, let’s do something fun for our readers, shall we? Please answer the following questions honestly!
1. Tell us one thing about the other member that drives you crazy.
[Lee Hyuk] is a good boy that believes in me and follows me. I like it so much it drives me crazy! ^^
2. Tell us one thing that you love about the other member.
You might think that handsome boys are arrogant and have no manners but he [Lee Hyuk] is very innocent and kind! I love this!
3. Choose three objects you would save if your house was burning!
Family, dog, stage outfit
4. Choose one!
* Curry or Kimchi? Kimchi
* Superman or Batman? Superman
* Meditation or Yoga? Meditation
* Wild Horse or Sales King? Wild Horse
* Pop or Rock? Rock
* Slim women or honest women? Honest women
You can follow Norazo on Facebook.
We would like to thank Norazo Productions for this interview possibility.
Interview: Timea Baksa
Translation: Hyerim Kim