twlv’s Newfound Confidence
twlv opens up about overcoming a creative slump and becoming more comfortable revealing his true self to the world through music.
For those who have never heard your music before, how would you describe it to them? How would you finish the sentence, “twlv is ___” or “twlv’s music is ___”?
I would say “twlv is twlv,” haha.
Why did you choose the stage name twlv? Did you consider using any other stage names first?
It's kind of a wordplay in Korean that is hard to explain in English. I wanted to share my midnight moods.
If someone is new to your music, which song do you recommend they listen to first?
Definitely my new song, “Excuses,” and the other songs from my next EP, Neo Seoul. Before this project, I [was] writing fiction stories, but [starting with] this project, I'm writing only real stories of my life. I finally found who I am and the sound I [have been] looking for.
How has your sound changed over time?
Like I mentioned before, I was looking for this sound [that I have put into Neo Seoul], but I couldn’t make that sound at all [until now]. I think for the past five years, I have tried to find this sound. K.I.S.S and Blueline were a part of that experiment. They sound kind of similar, and I think my new music [has] evolved a lot [since] then.
Is there a specific reason why you tend to release more singles than albums? Do you prefer making singles over making longer projects?
I was so insecure last year. I was tripping, searching for who I am and what I want to do. That's why I only released singles last year. I really wanted to make a [longer] project but had no idea what I wanted to make at that time, so I just released my old songs as singles. But now I’m ready to make albums too.
What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses related to singing and songwriting? Is there anything specific you are working on improving?
I think my strength is [in] the sound itself and my weakness is [in] the lyrics, but when I decided to be honest with everything, my lyrics got [a] soul, so I’m trying to be more honest with myself and my music. Exposing my deepest secrets completes my life and music in a better way.
What is the proudest moment of your music career so far?
I think it’s when I made this album. I never felt proud of my music [throughout] the past five years, but after making [Neo Seoul], I [have kept] listening to it everyday. It’s very special but weird for me.
Is your music inspired by your real experiences, or do you prefer to treat your songs as telling the stories of a persona? In other words, do you see “twlv the singer” as different from “twlv the person”?
I used to differentiate twlv from myself, but now I'm being real with my music. There’s no persona anymore. I'm just telling my real-life secrets.
What collaborations of yours have been the most fun to make?
Working with Paul Blanco was so impressive. He just pulled up to my studio and freestyled. He just went with the flow and it was on fire. Shout out to my bro Paul.
Is there someone you would like to work with in the future that you have not yet?
As of now, I only want to focus on my stories, so my answer is no.
What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
To not focus on numbers or outcomes, and to be more happy and free.
What is next for you? Can you give any spoilers about new music or other projects you are working on currently?
My EP, Neo Seoul, is going to be released in May, and as my life goes on, there will probably be Neo Seoul 2. I'm not sure about it, but I think Neo Seoul 2 will be a rap album.
Lastly, is there anything else you would like to say about your music?
Thank you for loving my music, and I’ll keep doing this, so stay tuned. My new album Neo Seoul is coming soon.
Answers have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.