APOKI Discusses The Allure Of Virtual Artists, Doja Cat’s Influence, And His New Collaboration With E-40: Interview
APOKI, a South Korean virtual K-pop artist, recently released her new single “West Swing,” which features E-40. This is her fourth single and her first entirely in English. It’s a song aimed squarely at the global music scene, with the feel of new jack swing, a popular genre in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It also includes E-40, a legendary rapper who has been active in the scene since the 1990s.
The APOKI project is supported by a partnership between AFUN INTERACTIVE, a Korean technology venture firm, and Sony Music Solutions. AFUN INTERACTIVE CEO DK Kwon expressed his excitement for the collaboration, saying, “The Sony Group isn’t just a manufacturer of state-of-the-art, reliable electronics products, but also a Group with immense strengths around the world in every area of content, such as music, games, and pictures.” “At AFUN INTERACTIVE, we’re pioneering the new genre of virtual entertainment, so we’re looking forward to seeing the various types of synergy we’ll produce with Sony,” he continued. We appreciate Sony’s dependability and the hard work it is putting in to create this new market, and we are doing our part by providing high-quality content and new technologies.” There are hints of Sony in the recently released music video for “West Swing feat. E-40.”
What are your musical ancestors?
K-POP inspired me to start making music, but I soon began listening to and learning about other artists as well. I’m a big fan of Doja Cat and would love to collaborate on a song with her. She releases a wide range of music. I used to upload cover videos to YouTube, and when I covered her song “Say So,” I worked hard to recreate the cute atmosphere of the original. Doja’s vocal expressions and emotional shifts influenced “Coming Back,” my own song. I also enjoy Doja and Naomi Watanabe’s collaboration, “Kiss Me More feat. Naomi Watanabe.” I listen to a lot of new music and keep an eye on trends, but I’m not looking to set trends with my own music. It’s a lot more fun to make music when I’m good at it, when I’m working with genres I enjoy, and when I’m feeling creative.
What are your thoughts on communicating with fans?
When I communicate with fans, I make an effort to show them that I am genuine. I read a lot of the comments submitted in real time during my Instagram and TikTok live streams and give shout outs to my fans. That’s why I wanted to conduct today’s interview via ZOOM rather than email.
What advantages do you see in being a virtual artist?
To begin with, I can do anything we can think of. It’s unfortunate that I can’t put on a show in real life, but there are many things I can do as a virtual artist that compensate for that and more. I also don’t have to worry about losing weight, so I can eat as much as I want (laughs). The way Japanese virtual artists look, their attitudes, the way they talk, everything is adorable. I think I’m cute (laughs), but I don’t think my attitude is.
Being in the entertainment industry can be extremely emotionally taxing. What do you do to maintain a positive mental state?
I enjoy playing video games. When I get really into a game, I forget about my worries, or I feel like I can handle them or that they aren’t such a big deal after all. I’ve recently been playing Odin Sphere!
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