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Interview: Pumashock

If you listen to K-pop music, or have spent any time surfing youtube at all,  you should already know about this talented young lady. Natalie White, better known as Pumashock, has been remixing some of the top Korean pop songs and posting them up on youtube for the better part of a year now.  Her talent and creativity not only earned her scores of fans across the globe as a youtube sensation; but also landed her an appearance on South Korea’s “Star King” variety show after her remix of the insanely popular Girl’s Generation song “Gee” was viewed by over 1 million people in less than a day. How’s that for record setting? Ever since, she’s been super busy with vlogging, and blogging, maintaining her website, creating original songs and of course posting hot remix after remix on her youtube channel.

After the jump, Pumashock answers a few questions for me about her youtube fame, what inspires her remixing, future career plans, and the one thing you should NOT ask her…no matter how much you want to.

Tiffny: Since last year, you’ve gained alarge fan base practically overnight with your remix of SNDS’s ‘Gee’, Hyori’s U Go Girl!, and other Korean pop hits. Does it weird you out knowing how many people follow you and your music?

Pumashock: Yes, it’s pretty wild.  Especially when I’ve been so isolated in my office doing all this, it’s bizarre to think how many people may have stumbled upon one of my vids.  The internet is freaky like that.

Tiffny: Speaking of your remixes, you currently released a remix of T-ara’s Bo Peep, which has gained much favor. When you’re remixing a song, what is your inspiration? And, how do you go about choosing which songs to remix?

Pumashock: I like to remix songs that are extreme.  It can’t just be a happy song, for example; it has to be super sugar bubbly overload (like “Gee”).  A song like that rockets across my brain and ricochets in a completely different direction.  Also, I have to truly love the song.  That way, I’ll ad lib the tune around the house and eventually a totally new track pops up behind it.  I never go into it thinking, “I can make this song better.”  I’m actually paying homage to the songs I really enjoy.  It’s all love.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRPnA5v4kOo]

[download this song (and others) for free at Pumashock’s site]

T: Along with the Kpop remixes you also create original music. Do you find that it’s more of a creative process when starting from scratch or do you go about it the same way?

P: It goes both ways, I think.  It’s more creative when there’s a blank slate, but sometimes the possibilities alone can be overwhelming.  When you choose to rework a song, the foundation is already set.  Actually, the day I started filming myself singing kpop, I was experiencing intense writers’ block for this exact reason.  I had so many ideas piling up, I couldn’t single one out clearly.  So I sang  May Doni to relax…

T:  You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you were learning Korean, and also writing lyrics in Korean for your upcoming album. Will you be giving any previews of your original Korean language songs on your site, or will we just have to wait for the album?

P: I am working on a Korean lang. original tune.  When it’s finished, I’ll most likely release it as a digital single via my website.  I’ll have to let my Korean friends preview it first, though, to make sure it makes sense.  I’ll try to avoid an “If You Wanna Pretty” situation.

T: Once everything is finished, do you plan on going on tour or doing any live performances?

P: Right now, I have to focus on generating content.  Once I have a reasonable collection of original songs, I’d like to do more live performances.  It may not seem so, but lately I get a little freaked out on stage.  I have to regain my comfort with live performances, and the only way to do that is practice.

T: Let’s say you had the opportunity to go on tour with anyone of your choice in the world of Kpop. Who would you choose and why?

P: BoA.  She’s the coolest.  She’s a seasoned performer and she has some serious all-around talent.  Plus, I’m a big fan.  I imagine it would be fun and educational for me to be around her.

Also, I’d choose Taeyang.  Just Taeyang….and me.  Alone.

T: Now let’s say you were invited to go on tour with anyone outside the world of Kpop. Who would you hope that invitation came from and why?

P: That’s a dangerous question to ask a musician, because the list would be endless!  I suppose Bjork would be my #1 pick, no matter what.  She’s been my greatest musical inspiration and has been for over a decade.

T: You’re obviously a very talented singer, but it’s evident from your remixes that you also excel as a producer. Have you ever thought of producing some tracks for some of the artists you’ve remixed (as well as ones you haven’t), officially?

P: I do enjoy singing very much, but I mainly sing because I have to, in order to showcase my production.  The writing, the arranging, the producing – that really comes first for me.

If I received an offer to produce for any of the kpop acts I’ve remixed (or any others on the scene), I wouldn’t hesitate.  Right now, I make all my music with the bare minimum equipment; if a kpop management co. entrusted me with an artist(s) and a full studio, I’m confident I could dish out some hot material.  No doubt.

T: Is there anyone in particular that you would like to work with on the production end in the future?

P: I really admire Missy Elliott’s career.  I’d like to build something similar for myself – producing unique artists and then occasionally dropping a hot solo record.  I like her style.  I’m also a disciple of Nellee Hooper.  THAT collab would be the ultimate awesome.  I’d also love to make music for video game developers (for RPGs/MMOs), like Square-Enix and BioWare.

T: Now, this may or may not be jumping way ahead in the future, but do you plan on starting your own label and producing your own artists?

P: You read my mind.  It is my full intention to build a music label.  I want to discover and nurture musical talent worldwide.  Creating and sharing music cross-culturally is especially important to me.

T: You wrote on your site that your dreams are often like SNL skits. Have you considered acting as a career possibility–or possibly even auditioning for SNL?

P: Haha, I wish that were possible.  I would totally audition for SNL if given the chance.  Maybe I’ll anonymously submit a few of my dreams as sketch pitches.

T: Speaking of your website, you showcase not only your musical talents, but your fashion skills as well, with knitting and crocheting how-tos. Did you ever have aspirations to work in the fashion industry?

P: Most definitely.  Right now, I’m sketching and writing patterns for my original knit/crochet designs  that I’ll either sell via pumashock.com or publish as a booklet.  I also create knit/crochet accessories and I sew as well.  I’ll offer my creations when I launch my online store.  It’s a lot of work to do with only two hands….maybe I can teach my feet to knit.

T: Random Question: What’s the one thing you DO NOT want people to say to you if they were to meet you on the street?

P: That’s easy – “Can you tell me how to get on Star King??”   For the last time, I have no clue.

T: And lastly, what’s the one thing you’d like to say to your fans?

P: I’m incredibly humbled by all the support!  Some days are rough, and reading all your nice messages is exactly the nudge that keeps me working hard.  So thank you.  I’m honored that you can watch me grow and share my journey!

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And we’re equally grateful you’ve decided to share your journey with us! Thanks again to Pumashock, for the interview, and if you want to know more about, Pumashock and her upcoming projects then, look no further:

Website | Twitter | Youtube | Facebook

Written By: Tiffny

Tiffny: NOUN, FORMAL. /ˈtɪfnɪ/ .PLURAL: -nys Definition: Creative, artistic and headstrong woman. Often found blogging, crafting, or shopping. She loves music, fashion, hair and makeup. Spreader of love, and has no time for bullshit. Believer of Karma.

Comments: 3

  • Tiffology

    April 11, 20109:02 pm

    Great interview, Tiff! She seems like a cool girl all around. I laughed at the “Just Taeyang… and me. Alone.” portion of her response to going on tour with anyone. She’s doing a lot too – producing, remixing, wanting to create her own label, knitting, etc. Awesome.

    • crayonbeats

      April 12, 20102:41 pm

      :) Thanks! Yeah, that was one of my favorite answers too. lol
      –Tiffny

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