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Mixmag Asia Radio: Beijo Bae's 'spiritual house' attitude is what Asia needs more of

The 'Seoulful' house scene ambassador kicks off her mix with Erykah Badu

  • Charles Budd
  • 21 September 2022
Mixmag Asia Radio: Beijo Bae's 'spiritual house' attitude is what Asia needs more of

Inspired in the mid-2000s by the deep and soulful house culture that Real Jam Music instilled in Korea, Beijo Bae is a househead through and through.

She’s made trips around the world to see her musical heroes in the flesh, catching Louie Vega, Timmy Regisford, Jihad Muhammad, Joe Claussell and plenty more on her travels to New York. Her belief is that of a house music purist, that sub music culture exists for everyone — that led her from being a record collector to being one that plays plenty of them.

Beijo regards herself as an ambassador for Korea’s ‘Seoulful’ house scene and has been taking her love for Afro-influenced music to new heights in her home city. Her recent sets at Seoul Community Radio’s Hajodaze beach party and The Air House Festival have jolted her presence as an artist, which has allowed her to open new gateways to the house music gospel for Korea’s avid clubbers.

Dynamic and loaded with fervour, Beijo Bae is here to keep the fire burning.

Where are you based and how did you get there?

I was born and raised mostly in Seoul, Korea.

What’s your favourite thing about the music scene there?

Seoul is full of energy. The city never sleeps, and hard-working DJs keep the scene diverse and trendy. Especially, I love my studio, where my buddy DJs randomly stop by.

In five words, what do your DJ sets sound like?

Spiritually uplifting, calling for ancestors

And in three words, how would you describe yourself?

Free-spirited househead

What recent trends in music have you been paying attention to? Have you caught onto them?

I am into the African music scene these days. Afro-house, deep house and amapiano there. They are navigating my path.

Are there any producers and DJs in Asia that have recently caught your attention?

I also focus a lot onto ethnic based electronic music, so a label called Tonal Unity caught my heart. The owner Akimbo is a pioneer who is using Korean traditional elements into his leftfield style creation. In the same field, there seem to be many musicians in Japan making tradition based downtempo, I especially like music from Chari Chari. Check his album ‘We hear the last decades dreaming’.

Lastly, I highly value the Korean label Eastern Standard Sounds. They always make high quality sounds combining world music with our own Korean elements. ‘Puye’ from NST & The Soul Sauce is witty singing the hazy reality and environment based on Afro-beats.

From pre to post pandemic, what has changed & what hasn’t changed about your life in the music world?

Before the pandemic, I detected a trend of increasing record bars and it was amplified through the pandemic. Although it was not my original plan to become a record player in the near future, since I’ve been a record collector for a long time, a lot of chances were given to me to play my collection. So, being a record player came true faster.

And through the pandemic, a lot of my hero DJs did live streaming on Twitch. I was really excited to meet them in my room!

Tell us about the inspiration behind this mix- what drove your thoughts and emotions, and how did you curate your selection?

This mix reflects my journey to Suncebeat and Defected Croatia festivals this past summer. After saying goodbye to my crazily busy days in Seoul, the town of Tisno gave me so much more than I expected. I still don't understand how it worked like that, I felt like the universe was throwing away gifts constantly. People I met there were diverse and all very friendly, one connection opened me up to another road and it became like a spider web. So much happened that astonished me; the cosmic sounds when floating on the Adriatic Sea, the feeling of being one with the universe under the shooting stars, and most of all, sounds of the best DJs and my heart dancing hard to them.

This set is afro-house, but like many of my sets, it could be tricky in the beginning. I don’t like boring sets; for me, a mixtape or set is always like a movie, so please listen from the beginning till the end!

What equipment did you record this mix on?

Master Sounds radius 4, Pioneer CDJ 2000-nexus, Pioneer RMX-1000

Where can we hear you playing next?

I play actively at various venues in Korea, please follow me on Instagram to come hear me play!

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