On today’s episode we are joined by a trailblazer in the entertainment industry. Dami Im first came onto our screens in 2013 where she went on to win the entire X FACTOR competition.
Despite her CRAZY talented vocal chords, people felt the need to voice their opinion that she did not deserve to win because she looks Chinese (even though she was actually born in South Korea)
When you think of Asian representation in media, how many can you actually think of? Not many right?
So like most Asians in Western countries, we look to Dami because she’s on the forefront of creation representation in mainstream media.
She has even gone on to having a number ONE single and album as well as earning us our highest placement as runner up on Eurovision, where she was watched by more than 200 million people.
In this week’s IN CONVERSATION, Dami opens up about her childhood and how she was one of four Asian kids in her school. She also talks about the racism she faced and her newfound control over her music career.
We hope you enjoy this chat with Dami!
The full interview and show is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.
****PLEASE NOTE that this was automatically transcribed and it may not be accurate. Please refer to the actual audio file for any quotation or referencing*****
[00:00:00] Well, sometimes it was frustrating because they’d be like, oh, why is the Chinese CEO winning?
[00:00:07] And it’s I wonder, like, at least get the facts right. And yeah. And like, they they were like rumours that, like all the people in her country voted for her. I’m like, no, sorry. I wish they do. But no one cares. Like, expensive.
[00:00:21] And like, I think Koreans, you know, not many Koreans actually voted because they cheat.
[00:00:39] Hello and welcome to LEMON Weekly in Conversation. On today’s episode, we are joined by a trailblazer in the entertainment industry. Tommy in First came to US screens in 2013 where she went on to win the entire X Factor competition despite her crazy, talented vocal cords.
[00:00:56] People felt the need to voice their opinion that she did not deserve to win because she looks Chinese, even though she was actually born in South Korea. When you think of Asian representation in media, how many people can you actually think of? Not many. Right. So like most Asians in Western countries, we look to them because she’s on the forefront of creating representation in mainstream media. She has even gone on to having a number one single and album, as well as earning us our highest placement as runner up on Eurovision. We hope you enjoyed this chat as much as we did.
[00:01:29] So tell us. So what are you been up to? This week, as I know, it’s been a crazy week. You’ve been everywhere looking and radio on TV this week.
[00:01:37] Yes, in my new single came out last Friday. So it’s just been lots of primer. Yeah. Doing interviews and going on TV shows and chatting with people on the radio and things like that. So yeah, mainly that.
[00:01:52] And then, you know, also in the background working on the next one. And you know, it just staff are off. Well no it’s not far off.
[00:02:03] No added.
[00:02:04] It’s coming. It’s going.
[00:02:08] So we ask all of our guests, you know, what are you listening or watching to watching?
[00:02:14] What have I been listening to? I mean.
[00:02:17] I just like these just going on Spotify and like discovering different artists.
[00:02:23] But yeah. Oh, actually. Well, since you guys this is like the Asian thing. Do you know?
[00:02:30] Ok, you got a comeback. I know.
[00:02:33] I really, really thought about that end. Yes, I was just like listening to them. They disappeared for so long. Was she? When I was on a competition as well.
[00:02:41] They were playing with a brother. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is like on the army I think. Yeah, that’s it. And like.
[00:02:48] He’s the brother, Tanya. He’s like he’s a really good songwriter. And, you know, the sisters, obviously, like, she’s she’s amazing singer and, you know, a personality as well, even though the tiny and like young. But, um, yeah. So I’ve just been listened to that on Netflix. This is weird. Like, um, I’ve sort of went off a lot of the Korean stuff culture stuff for a while and then now I’m kind of more back into it. And I started watching this new Korean drama on Netflix. What’s it called? It’s called. It’s a brand new one. I didn’t realize they only have released up to two episodes like.
[00:03:29] And now I got to wait, like I’m a hostage to them.
[00:03:32] It’s cold. It’s the flower. Oh, my gosh. It’s like in Korean, it’s cold out to come back to you. So like this is a one with Kumu Jin, which is like an famous actress and. Yeah. What’s the what’s the show about? It’s like it’s really interesting.
[00:03:49] She’s like a single mom who moves into this, like, tiny old country town and opens a bar. And then, you know, all the things that happen because it’s the like taboo to be a single mom. And then I think she gets murdered in the future. So they quite upset. Kim, I know it’s like oh, like cute and pretty, but then they can kind of hint that she’s going to die. So that’s where it’s at.
[00:04:15] So you’ll like it shows like most famous K-pop fan. What? What band? Well, what new band are you most excited about? Because it’s called quite a few bands I know that you’re into.
[00:04:27] Well, so I’ve been sober.
[00:04:31] This is not a new band, but I’m so obsessed with so many years as well. So she’s one of the girls.
[00:04:38] She’s like the thing.
[00:04:40] Hey, like, incredible. Her songs, her look, her personality.
[00:04:46] Everything about her, I think, is just cycle. And I just love when K-pop artists find their own voice and they start doing things, you know, on their own terms. And you can you can tell. You know, she’s so original and. Yeah. And then, of course, like I’m just like learning about the new ones. And of course, like, everyone loves street kids. And this etsi and. Yeah, I’m just yeah. There’s a lot coming up these days is coming out and then I’m actually going to Korea to do a festival in October. And like some of these guys are gonna be this.
[00:05:22] I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m gonna you know, I’m go this Doley song. I’ll be like fan Girling when I get there.
[00:05:28] And you’re such a huge fan of Bolar as well. Oh, yeah. Yes. Did you ever thought about back in the day that you want to become a K-pop star?
[00:05:35] Well, I think everyone does at some point.
[00:05:39] And, you know, when you get into K-pop or, you know, Asian pop, you like you dream that like only you one day I can be one of them. Yeah. Like in high school, I used to like to learn all his songs, look up all her videos. And it wasn’t like I don’t think UJA was even around, but I used to just on the Internet, like all the different sites, just like download all the videos.
[00:06:05] Anything I can find. And that’s how I started singing by like recording her songs at home on my computer and standing. She sounded really not good. And and I’m also trying to do her choreography, which didn’t go so well. Yeah. She’s like she’s like my first love. And like, she’s real. Like, I had a huge crush.
[00:06:30] What was that like meeting her? Because she’s like a childhood idol. I got to meet her. So was that like.
[00:06:35] That was ah. It still feels like it was a dream or something because I really honestly wasn’t expecting she was gonna be that like I didn’t know I was meeting. It was like a surprise thing that Danny, I’m in Oregon like the Channel 7 team organized for me. And so when when that was when that was happening, I was just like shaking. And I’m like, I don’t even know what I said.
[00:07:00] I think I was like, oh, yeah, can’t believe it. Yeah. You moves from Korea to Brisbane when you’re younger, right? What’s your earliest memory growing up in in Queensland?
[00:07:14] Earliest memory will.
[00:07:16] I think it was really warm here in Selma and I actually thought it was a holiday.
[00:07:27] Yeah. I was there strictly, yes.
[00:07:31] I was only 9 years old. So when I came, it was like, you know, it’s like another holiday and just like swimming. And they took us to the zoo and petting the kangaroo and whatever. And then yeah. And then having to go to school. It was like, what do you mean? I’m gonna go to school. And then, you know, I didn’t speak English. So it was like trying to fudge my way into making friends and blending in.
[00:07:57] And it’s like, you know, growing up in Korea, you know, when you cause when you create everyone around, you looks like you. But then you go to school in a school, in a straight so multicultural, you see all these different faces where you confused as a child, like especially if you don’t speak the language as well.
[00:08:14] Yeah. I was so confused. I was like, you know, I just it just looked so foreign.
[00:08:21] And it obviously I was the foreigner. But I’m like, wow, these people all look so different to me.
[00:08:32] It’s it’s funny, like I don’t remember the details, but but then afterwards, once I got used to it and I go back to Korea now or from time to time. That was when I notice like, oh my gosh, these people look like me.
[00:08:48] You know, everybody sort of looks like me. I blend in and they speak my language.
[00:08:54] Like, that was more weird going back and being like, everyone looks like someone I know because they look they they’ll look Korean. You know?
[00:09:02] Was the school mostly like multicultural or. Moscow was like all Asian. So I always felt like I’ve also majority.
[00:09:09] Did you grow up here? I grew up near Melbourne.
[00:09:11] I grew up in like an Asian suburb. Right. So then everyone in my school was Asian, so I never felt like I was odd one out back. Imagine if you went to like a multicultural school with lots of different races, you wouldn’t feel the same. Was that the case for you?
[00:09:25] My school was. It was a tiny school. We only had one class per year. Level was really small, so small. And I was the only Asian in my class.
[00:09:35] And in the whole school there were about four Asians. My brother was the other one.
[00:09:40] And my two cousins, two guys kind of like you guys like kind of hanging out together.
[00:09:46] We couldn’t really because we were all in different levels. So. Yeah. Like, yeah, we were kind of separated. So I had to just figure my way out.
[00:09:55] And yeah, for me, music helped a lot because I was already you know, I’ve already been learning piano since I was five, so I got to play piano at assembly once. And then that’s when people were like, oh, the piano girl. Oh, she’s good at something, you know? Well, she looked so dumb. You know, that’s what I’m thinking. And I think that’s when I was like, oh, okay, this is what I’m going to do.
[00:10:19] This is, you know, this is how I can make up for all the, you know, times that I look down more than other people.
[00:10:26] I mean, now you’ve made it as Australian superstar and you go back to Korea quite often. Do you find that you resonate more with your Asian culture or your Australian culture?
[00:10:37] I think it’s it’s really for me a bit of both. I know it’s it’s or it’s either if I’m being optimistic, I’m both. If I’m not, I’m neither. You know, and sometimes I think everyone can relate to this, like people with different backgrounds. Like sometimes you just like, I’m not I don’t fit in anyway.
[00:10:57] You know, you just feel a bit excluded because you’re so different.
[00:11:00] You’re like in Australia where you get told that you’re Asian. But then if you go to your like, for example, from Cambodia, I go to Canberra. They like, you know, Cambodian. You speak Cambodian.
[00:11:09] Exactly. You sound funny. Yeah. You know. Yeah. And I think that’s me, like my English, you know, like I feel like I’m still kind of sitting at like 70 percent.
[00:11:21] And I’m like, I still know so many expressions.
[00:11:24] And I’m just like. And then when I speak Korean, I’m I’m fluent. But I thought I was fluent. I thought I was like, perfect, you know. But then I try to do like interviews in Korean. And I sound like a primary school kid. And I’m so aware of that. Like, it’s not like, I don’t know, I’m like crap.
[00:11:42] Like, I sound, like, so uneducated because I am like I wasn’t educated in Korean.
[00:11:49] So yeah, it’s it’s a it’s a weird. Yeah, it is a read one piece when you go to another country we can’t fit in when we’re back at home. We can’t fit in either. It’s we can’t we. Identity crisis a bit of identity. Yeah.
[00:12:00] And I think that’s why I like you know, like you guys were to up subtle Asian traits and that like people connect so much there because we’re like another breed of people where we don’t fit in anywhere.
[00:12:13] It’s like, oh, my God. You two have been trying to fit in everywhere else. Then we finally found a place. We were like, oh, my God. But there’s actually other people like cloth. That’s why I kind of came together. Yeah.
[00:12:23] And I think I love that, you know, I feel like Asian cultures finally finding this voice in the Western culture, you know, with the movie. Crazy rich Asians. And then like, you know, it’s like more coming out since then. I think like for in my opinion, I think we were sort of trying to just ditch Asian culture and blend into this mainstream Western culture until now. We’re like, now, hang on a second. Like we’ve got this. We shouldn’t be ashamed of our own culture using chopsticks and, you know, our parents and like all this different culture, like other other people are proud of their culture.
[00:13:02] So why can’t we and still fit in this society with pride about our own culture.
[00:13:07] So lutely and loves that phenomenon. Exactly. And like you said, the crazy which Asian it’s such a big magnitude that movies, singers like yourself, it’s kind of representing a lot of other people who’s having a bit of an identity crisis. You can’t feel like it like themselves, I guess. And moving forward should be ex-boxer once you want. It’s you that you actually it a lot more people, I think, than you realized. And also when I was watching the show, I had a bit of an inkling. Especially when you won your season, the first person that you think was God. Do you feel that your faith has shaped who you are as a person?
[00:13:40] Yeah, absolutely. Like faith is, you know, really big part of who I am.
[00:13:45] And I guess when I went on The X Factor, I had come from this background where, like, I wasn’t just the, you know, the Korean immigrant, but I also was the Korean church.
[00:14:02] So I like you. Yes.
[00:14:04] Know, I get what I mean is I feel like I came from a really small world where I just mostly hung out with Korean immigrants from my church. And so the rest of the world and the culture are the mainstream culture was just so foreign to me, even though I’m from here, like I didn’t grow up listening to any of the songs that the other people grew up listening to and all the movies or like I was very like in a in a little bubble. And so when I won The X Factor, I was like, you know, I was like, what does this even mean? But I mean, only thing sure that I was holding onto is that, you know, God sent me out for purpose. And, you know, I was always taught from my churched that you’ve got to become influential and go in like be a good witness and everything.
[00:14:54] And I’m trying to figure out what that means. Like, it’s it’s, um, it’s easy to say that when you’re inside the church, but then when you’re when I’m actually outside and among all the mainstream people in the culture, it’s like, what can I actually do? And. And yeah, it’s been a it’s been a wild journey.
[00:15:14] It’s it’s funny how you mentioned that, because I actually came from the opposite spectrum. I went to a public school and then I went to a private Christian school and the world was so different. I went from being so exposed to such a very niche community. And the transition for me was actually quite tricky because the world was so different. Yeah, being a Christian Asian going to church is so different going to somewhere else, right. Do you find that working in media as well? Being a singer songwriter superstar, it sometimes clashes with your faith?
[00:15:45] I guess so. I mean, I I just think it can be tricky to open up and be yourself. And you just don’t know how other people are gonna take it when, you know, like people say or, you know, it’s an inclusive society.
[00:16:05] Like we accept you for who you are.
[00:16:07] But then when you say, oh, I’m Christian, it’s like, yeah, it’s like we become Bitzer Jesus for people and they just kind of take a step back as well. Yeah. And so like you don’t want to preach in people’s faces and I don’t do that.
[00:16:21] But yeah, just like still being proud of the faith and the truth there. I know. But then also being humble and accepting of other people. I think that can be. Yeah, that can be the tricky part.
[00:16:33] You know, your prime example of a son who is displaying your values through your actions, like, you know, just compassion, for example, is such a big part of what you do. So I feel like you’re dealing with what you’re saying. But Christian, you know, being being labelled whatever, being too preachy, I think. Yeah. You’ve done such a great job at doing that. Yes. So it’s hard.
[00:16:53] But I think compassion is a really good example because. Yeah.
[00:16:56] Like, they don’t, you know, try and change people in the way that like they don’t go, oh, you’ve got to be a Christian to receive our help or you’ve got to do this to be part of compassion they’re accepting. But everyone knows that they are doing it in Jesus name. So you know I think. Yeah. Just yeah. Like you said, feel like you’re just doing things with your action rather than just preaching in people’s faces.
[00:17:23] Billy works better. Could you explain a bit more about compassion? Because I know that’s an organization that your very tied to as well. So what does compassion actually do?
[00:17:32] So compassion is a bit like World Vision thing is moral. Know where they are.
[00:17:40] They help children living in poverty by one on one sponsorship. So you can sponsor a child in one of the countries where, you know, the child is living in poverty without any hope. Their parents cannot provide for them.
[00:17:53] And so I’ve been sponsoring through compassion since I was 17. And yeah, I just thought, wow, this is really cool. Like you can actually make a difference without doing anything crazy. You just have to have that relationship with them and, you know, send them a bit of money. Yeah, but then I became the ambassador when I won the X Factor. Cazum Yeah. When I won. No my husband’s like we should, we should you know, make the most of this platform and what can we do. Let’s do something with compassion and compassion. We’re really excited about that. And yeah we’ve been doing it since.
[00:18:32] And went we went to visit our kids in Uganda and India and the Philippines twice, and it’s it’s it’s really good. I just love what they do. So absolutely.
[00:18:45] And it’s quite refreshing to see someone who’s made it in the in the music industry who is publicly giving back as well. And it’s showing that other people can actually do the same. So what you do is actually extremely incredible. How many kids do you have now? You’ve got eight then two.
[00:19:02] Yeah. What are you doing here?
[00:19:06] Yeah. Nah. Confessions really good. And you know, I love getting to go and meet them in prison because you’re like, wow, they actually exist. They’re real.
[00:19:14] You know, it’s not just some name on a paper. Yeah. And then the funny thing is the kids, when they see you, they’re like, oh, my gosh, you’re real.
[00:19:23] Oh, you’re just like a paper name. Yeah. That’s incredible.
[00:19:28] I just want to go back to expect that bit. So what made you actually want to go audition for expectto?
[00:19:33] So that was 2013. And by that time, I that was a few years after I decided that I was going to be a professional singer. That’s that’s my dream. And so I was you know, I’d finished my degree in contemporary voice at the Con.
[00:19:53] And then I was getting odd gigs here and there. I was singing mainly at churches, you know, and in Korea as well, doing like youth camps and things like that. And then I I thought I knew it was time for me to take the next step, like I needed to do something. Now, you know, something brave to just give it a go while I was still young. And, you know, before I thought, oh, my gosh, when I’m 30, it’s the end. So I get a door. I was like 24. And yeah, like X fact, I didn’t even know much about that show. I watched a little bit over budget dinner, but I thought, OK, this is the talent thing.
[00:20:28] Scary. But I’m just going to see if it could benefit me in some way. You know, give me a little bit of exposure so I can get some more of those gigs at churches and stuff and. And then, yeah, it just went really well. I did. Okay. Yeah. I expected honesty like one or two, you know, moments on that TV show. And that was my aim. And then it just. Yeah.
[00:20:50] I ended know during very winning and then going on to Eurovision as well. So what was. Was it very different from X Factor was a lot more pressure. I guess Eurovision.
[00:21:00] Yeah, it was insane. Like, you know the scale of it was just so big. I mean, there’s like 40 something countries that have been involved since the nineteen seventies. Like we’re Celine beyond Abba was on. Yeah. Yeah. So they’ve got this history and this huge culture around it. Where are you know, some European countries treat it like their religion and it’s they actually do that. It looked like, you know. Yeah. And they go from like a year from year like they just people are obsessed. So just being a part of that was, you know, incredible. You’d just like part of something so big. And to represent Australia like I did put so much pressure on myself because. Yeah, I think. Oh, like, what kind of preparation do you have to do? Preparation. Well, you got to. So I went there two weeks before the actual shows. And I mean, by that stage I’d been doing all the press and, you know, different things in Australia.
[00:22:00] But this is just when I went over in Stockholm, there were just rehearsals after rehearsals, not just rehearse, but like from PA TV rehearsals where you’re on that stage doing the same thing over and over. And then also there’s all these media interviews from all over the world happening everywhere. And then there’s different performances in, you know, like the euro clubs that go off every night. And then there’s Euro Village, there’s embassy parties. So just like it’s like what’s happening leading up to the actual TV performance. Were you nervous at all? Because there’s there’s like how much? Pineview, like 80000 people. Nuts stadium, right?
[00:22:36] Yeah. Yeah, it’s huge. And then 200 million.
[00:22:39] He said five, you know.
[00:22:41] And you just like you know, I remember just staring at the barrel of the camera going, oh my God. Yeah. It was it was pretty nerve wracking.
[00:22:53] And you know, yeah, I just I knew was an important performance. But then when I heard the audience, Shiaa in that stadium, it was I think it was the biggest Ruoff ever heard. Like it is.
[00:23:05] I’ve seen fan cams. Yeah, it’s crazy. It is crazy.
[00:23:08] Right. Like it’s next level. I’ve never experienced anything like that since. You know, it’s crazy. And so that gave me like a rush, rush in an excitement. And, you know, my nervous energy became like excitement, energy. And I think I was nervous for the semi-final more than the grand final, because I’m like, imagine if I get through, like, I’m gonna let all my team down and.
[00:23:31] Australia. Oh, I just yeah, I was carrying so much on my shoulders, I think, and I’m just like, yeah, I’ve got to be condra percent.
[00:23:40] You did incredible. And even Phil, tell me how he was betting on you as well. Yeah, he misses the bit. Place a bet on on Eurovision that you’re gonna win.
[00:23:46] Did you. Yeah. I’m sorry. Time I said it was a lot of money. So that’s a couple of dollars.
[00:23:55] Like a room will was. We’ll wake up at 6:00 a.m. and then because we were working. So we work at a bakery sitting like, okay, we’re gonna place a bet and Tommy watch it live.
[00:24:03] And then as the points were coming up, you’re at the top. And then sports.
[00:24:08] It was like, Jonah, withdraw all your money for like $200 or whatever. I’m not going to win. Last minute. Why Ukraine? Ukraine has jumped out of nowhere.
[00:24:19] And that was that was insane. I think, yeah, Australia was really glued to that, especially that year. Something about that season that you made, it’s a magical I’m not sure what it was, but, you know, you did army. It was done and you did so well.
[00:24:36] And after you finish your vision, did you get any opportunity, didn’t go overseas, any record deals or anything.
[00:24:43] So afterwards they were, you know, chances to do more stuff in the UK. But I think, you know, like the biggest thing for me is like I built such a big fan base around the world through that opportunity because my song charted everywhere. And I still have fans that come over to my shows from Europe like I have actually I have a guy from Poland coming over to my show on Saturday, which has a long way.
[00:25:14] But yeah, I think like I had I went back a few times for I think it’s like I feel like now is only now I’m sort of feeling ready to go back out there again.
[00:25:23] And, you know, is it true I read somewhere that after Eurovision, obviously you’re like the wanted.. everywhere.
[00:25:30] But at the advice of your managers and the record label stuff to go overseas to promote, you actually wanted to go to I think was Uganda do a concert for compassion? Was that correct?
[00:25:39] Yeah. Well, so what happened was before I knew that I was going to Eurovision, we had planned this trip to Uganda with compassion. It was like a yearly thing and it was locked in. And then Eurovision came up and it was gonna be just before that trip. So my you know, everybody around me, they ask me, like, do you still want to do or doing me to cancel the trip? Because you’re going to have lots of opportunities and you want to take advantage of that. But then I thought, oh, I can’t really, because this is like a commitment. And also, I felt like it was the perfect chance to bring more attention to the work of compassion. And I was like that that sort of made sense for me. I was like, well, maybe it’s God’s way of planning this in such a perfectly timed way that, you know, Eurovision gives me more meaning because I get to do, you know, help the work of compassion. And yeah, to me it was fine like that, but it was the right decision. Yeah, I know. If it was 100 percent the right thing and I felt Drake like I had so many kids sponsored that year and and so many people watched me and, you know, go through the slums of Uganda and see the work that compassion does. And that was really this is priceless.
[00:26:56] This compassion give you numbers of like after you’ve done the concert on Facebook or whatever, that you’ve got this many sign ups for sponsorships and stuff, too. They give you that kind of feedback.
[00:27:05] Not immediately, but they yeah, they tell you that normally it’s it just builds up over time. But they say, oh well like some some hundreds of people just got you know, kids just got sponsor that they would give me updates from time to time. So it’s really special and that’s really good.
[00:27:21] And going back to expectto, I think it was actually two defining moments. Phil and I what you’re talking about.
[00:27:27] Yeah. As as a I guess like as an Australian. As an Australian. You know, we don’t really get many representation on TV.
[00:27:34] There’s talent on us the other day that on TV I can only think of two moments in my life where I’ve actually felt really proud being Asian. And that was when Guy Sebastian, when Idol. And then when you won expectto as well.
[00:27:46] And then whenever I go back to Cambodia or like have found me visiting whatever, I feel like I’m most proud of showing your performances and expected to them live like an a strangulated, like, you know, women to only show them that we’re multicultural, like there’s diversity in our culture as well. And I feel like, yeah, that that moment when you won meant so much to people like us.
[00:28:07] So. Yeah. And I said to see a concert as well. When I saw you last time, I didn’t remember. But for you, I feel like there’s some people in the same boat as me and Tom who look up to you because you’ve done such a great well, the single place.
[00:28:20] Well, I when I was on X-Factor, I had so many people tell me or like even afterwards, they’re like, hey, dummy, I didn’t want to tell you this before, but we. For. You should win, but we thought you not going to win because Australia is not ready for a nation we know.
[00:28:38] That’s true. But then I did. Yeah. There you go. Like people still support me and I’m Asian and like, then I guess things are changing slowly.
[00:28:49] Do you ever read Twitter comments? Twitter trolls? Because when you’re on the show, especially after you won, locals saying you shouldn’t have won because you’re Asian. This is Australian expectto, whatever. Do you ever read those comments or.
[00:29:02] Yeah, I read everything I should say.
[00:29:07] How do you feel after reading his comments like he’s just put them aside or.
[00:29:10] Well, sometimes it was frustrating because they’d be like, oh, why is a Chinese CEO winning next?
[00:29:17] I might at least get the facts right now. Yeah. And like, they were like rumours that, like all the people in her country voted for her. I’m like, no, sorry. I wish they do. But no one cares. Like expensive to play.
[00:29:32] I think Koreans. Yeah, not many Koreans actually voted because they’re cheap. Yeah, but you know, I once I took it. And when you get back to Korea, how proud were people in Korea of you?
[00:29:50] People were. Yeah, really proud. Like they they didn’t know at first. But when they found out, it became like headlines. Big news like this. Yeah. Korean Australian won the Australian X-Factor and yeah. People were fascinated.
[00:30:04] Yeah. Shift and they tune in every week. Oh yeah. Her family was so proud.
[00:30:09] And then and then when ah you know we had like the TV crew come to Korea too.
[00:30:14] I did a little doco on us and they were like, oh, dressed up the same. And like, you know that during the loved being on TV, my whole relatives, my aunties and my grandma, they cooked fees than they like in the house.
[00:30:27] Yeah. Leave it out like. Yeah, totally like fake everything.
[00:30:32] I think for me my defining moment was when you sang one on the top twelve. I think that’s when you went viral. You on trending on healthcare pop on Twitter. Yeah. I ask you one as well. You also went on stocking. And for those who don’t know what stocking like a variety show where a lot of K-pop artist, lot of K-pop singers, actors that come on.
[00:30:53] You’re also on the MOS singer as well. Youknow, mussing Australia, by the way. So you got it is the whole week. Yeah. Oh, my gosh. I think everyone’s being asked that. Well, the thing is. Or different people. Yeah. Well now I’m going to say that you are on. Well, I don’t want to disappoint people. I was in the original one. Yes.
[00:31:15] Initially after you on X-Factor, you went back to Korea and did lots of promotion there. Was that something you wanted to do or was it something that your management and record label wanted you to do in Korea? In Korea? Yeah, because you released like giving a release a Korean version of simple.
[00:31:30] Yeah. Well, now I wanted to do stuff in Korea because, you know, it kind of means a lot because that’s where your family is.
[00:31:37] So when I do all the different stuff, all the cool things in Australia that I guess Cincinnatus, you know, that it’s like, okay, cool. But then when I do something tiny in Korea, like, wow, this, you know, so great, I’m going to come, you know.
[00:31:51] So, yeah, like I took all the opportunities to do things there. And whenever I go anyway to visit my family. So every excuse to go, I would just go.
[00:32:02] And in Korean K-pop culture. A lot of the girls at that porcelain skin, they have great big eyes. What is your opinion on the South Korean beauty standard?
[00:32:16] Well well, you know, every culture has their different standards, you know. And yet it’s not just Korean culture. I think every culture does have it. I feel like sometimes Korean culture, beauty standards are a little more rigid. And because I think it’s not as multicultural as Australia or some of the other countries. So people just expect like this one type of the look. I think it’s changing a lot as well. There’s more different looking people I see coming off, which is amazing. Yeah. But I think, yeah, growing up, I always felt like I’ll never be, you know, good enough. I’ll always be the ugly one in Korea. Like, that was a big thing for me. I just felt. Yeah. He’s always made me feel very self-conscious. And, you know, in that way I feel lucky that I live here because then, you know, I’m just I just look different to other people.
[00:33:10] Like everyone looks different. So it’s it’s okay. Whereas Korea. Yeah. I think there’s a bit more pressure to look a certain way. Yeah. In Korea. In China, a lot of my Chinese in my Korean friends, they even get graduation presence, which is getting plastic surgery. So it is a lot of, I guess, the standard. In Asian cultures is quite high. And you think has come becoming a little bit unrealistic goal.
[00:33:37] Yeah, I mean, from an outsider point of view, like someone living here. You know, it does feel like, wow, it’s a bit much. But then when you actually go live in that particular culture, just get used to it. Like it’s not an I like I see friends who live, like from Korea.
[00:33:57] They come to Australia and live here for a while and they become very like natural and like and it’s very natural and tends that beauty. Moscow. Yeah, yeah. And like, yeah, very relaxed.
[00:34:10] But then they go back to Korea and suddenly they’re like super beautiful. Like they lose heaps away, like very like tone toned body and perfect hair and makeup and you like, whoa, what happened? You know. So it’s like just different standards. And I guess Korean people, they take their beauty really seriously.
[00:34:27] I feel like Asian parents, Asian until that was when I was growing up, like my aunts and uncles would say, oh, just say chubby, here you are, so small. And then when you grow up as an adult, do kind of that kind of like follows you.
[00:34:40] Yes. Yeah. The first thing that my aunts was say, you’re gonna be gone. You’re going to skinny. Are you eating? Yeah. So yeah, it is.
[00:34:50] Semenza quite an Asian culture that I guess your aesthetics is one of the top priority cause I associate with getting into a relationship. You’re successful. If you’re beautiful, you have a successful, successful life. So it’s okay.
[00:35:00] Yeah. Yeah, I think they try to look out for you, but then you know they have good intentions. Yeah. It’s like oh your skin’s disgusting. Thanks.
[00:35:10] You look a bit older today and person winning The X Factor as well. Your whole journey has been quite incredible and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. Has any of your close friends or relative kind of put you aside, even Noah, and shared any concerns for you or they have been very supportive?
[00:35:28] Well, yeah, I think PNoy, he’s been very supportive the whole time. But yes, from time to time he’d say, you know, don’t don’t get too caught up in the whole thing because I get really obsessed with certain things. And I’d be like trying to get something done, like in a song finished or like I have a goal. And if it’s not going to plan, I’d be like pulling my hair out.
[00:35:50] And he said, you know, he’s just worried that, like, you know, that I’m not happy and enjoying the process. And I think all he wants is for me to just have fun and enjoy it. Whereas for me, I’m like, if I’m always enjoying, I’m not gonna get anywhere without marriage.
[00:36:06] It’s like, yeah, I kind of being stressed is part of Dessler.
[00:36:11] It’s fine. It’s fine with me to like working with Sue.
[00:36:16] He’s always home. Enjoy the journey as much as you can because when you’re in, it’s even watching a lot of interviews where people have made it. They kind of regret not being in the moment. It’s just a kid. Go, go, go, go, go. Kind of feel.
[00:36:28] Yeah, that’s that’s hard.
[00:36:29] Hey, like when your you’re still going after your goal and you’re pursuing something and you’re obsessed with it, then you do want to be able to enjoy it. And else also look at how far you’ve come from your old self, you know? And yeah, I guess that’s something I’ve got to try and do morals.
[00:36:47] How how do you manage? Your village would know because you’re always touring. So how do you guys measure relationship?
[00:36:56] Sometimes he’s he comes with me. Not all the time he’s be. But I guess just trying to communicate more. You know, I just talk about everything updating and everything and. Yeah, like just keeping him in the loop, I guess is my main key because he’s very interested in everything that I do and, you know, all the different things I’m going after. And yeah, I think that they’re the most important thing is just always talking and keeping that as you have a tradition of singing something that you like was like, nah.
[00:37:30] That I’d kick him out of the house almost because I’m always hanging with Thomas.
[00:37:34] He is always singing, always really making all these weird sounds like barking sounds. And so I have to put some locks on how that’s just to put some rap music to say you can’t see. Wow.
[00:37:45] That’s cause I’m trying to break my mixed getting some mixed goig of pragmatism. And when I’m training it’s you. She’s like sing like this. I’m okay. But it’s the sounds. Doesn’t sound very pleasant, but it’s like a technique. I’m trying to get my voice. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
[00:38:02] We didn’t talk about your new song because that’s an incredible song. And I feel like it’s your first song. You’ve been really honest, like completely honest about your feelings and about how you been going through to the. I just like just sadness and the troubles that you went through. Tell us a bit more about that song, what what it means to you.
[00:38:20] So, yeah. It’s called Crying on the Water because when you’re crying on the water, you can tell whether your crying or not. And yeah, I wrote it after having this conversation with my friend Mike Ten was saying, you know, it’s.
[00:38:37] These days, like so many people go through these sadness or depression and they find it really hard to tell anybody about it because you just feel like there is so much pressure to look like you’re happy and everything’s going fine, you know. And with social media these days, like you just look and people are like, yeah, having the best life blessed, you know. And you’ve if you scroll through and you feel like, oh, I’m the only one going through this like sadness and you almost feel ashamed for being not happy all the time. And I’ve been through that myself, you know, many times. And I’ve had that myself where I’m not feeling great and I feel really sad. And that’s a normal part of being human. But, you know, I can’t really tell people cause it’s really embarrassing as well. So, yeah, that’s how the song started and crying on the water. That’s that’s what it’s about, man.
[00:39:31] That was released independently. Is that correct? Mm hmm. Are you considered an independent artist now or.
[00:39:37] Yeah. So I I released Through the Orchard, which is part of Sony, but still independent.
[00:39:43] It was a scared decision to go independent. Like what kind of. What kind of pros and cons is a working with a record label versus working independently? Well, yeah.
[00:39:53] I’ve been with Sony for a long time since X Factor. And, you know, like it’s it’s it’s some of it’s really grey and black. I got some really good opportunities through it. It’s it’s it’s amazing. But then also it was just time for me to do what I really was passionate about. And I guess, you know, if I stayed, then they you know, I’d I would have to do another covers record, which I’d one did not want to do.
[00:40:20] And I said, ircam, I’m going to please. Yeah.
[00:40:24] It’s time for me to to leave and and, you know, choose what I really, really want to do.
[00:40:32] And they agreed to that. And, you know, for crying on the water.
[00:40:38] I listened to your song this morning called Dreama. And it’s a beautiful song. It’s one of quite a few lyrics because I feel like there’s a line. It really resonated with us sooner or later. bakshian only to tell me what this song is about. So it’s could blur the line was I’m not that stupid. Certainly Judd vice. and I have a vision and I know the price of that to better. I’ll fight it to the end because I know what I want. I know who I am.
[00:41:00] I’m a Jew. Yes, that’s a good thing. Yeah.
[00:41:06] Dreama was like the song where I was like, I’ve had enough.
[00:41:10] This is, you know, I’m going to live my own life and I’m going to make my own decisions for my career. You know, no one can tell me what to do. Oh, yeah.
[00:41:20] I was just, I guess, fed up with so many people, like just trying to control me. And yeah.
[00:41:27] Like, these is like people just telling you what you should be doing in your career, like you should tour in Europe next month or some like that.
[00:41:34] Is that every everything. And yeah, mainly, you know.
[00:41:41] She looks back at her manager No, I just I just I guess some just wanted to say. Mm hmm. When I first started, when I first was on exact, I had no idea what I wanted to do except that I wanted to sing.
[00:41:56] I didn’t know how or what and what kind of music. And then a few years on, I was like, okay, I I actually have a much better understanding of who I am, what I want to do. And I’ve been a songwriter since I was a teenager. But after being signed to a label, like I just said, I felt so much pressure to write in a certain way and I couldn’t write properly anymore. You know, like from my heart, like it was just really how something was blocked.
[00:42:25] You must be. You must get through the pressure to write likes.
[00:42:29] Pop hits.
[00:42:30] Write music. That, too. And it’s not even someone saying you must write a pop hit.
[00:42:35] It’s also I guess a lot of it’s I put on myself, you know, all like it better sound like what’s on the radio when I’m like, I don’t know how to do that. I never had to think about that. So for a long time, I found it really hard to write like I used to from a hot. And then when I wrote Dreama, that was when I started to go, hang on a second. Like, I’m just going to spill it all out there.
[00:42:57] And I just.
[00:42:59] No filter. Blah, blah, blah, rah. And that was that was my, you know, my nephew moment. That moment that finally snapped. And I guess like after that, you know, that’s when it started to everything that start to float, like the floodgates were open kind of thing.
[00:43:16] You know, absolutely. And before we came on a lot of these questions, we all say we know that your Dami Army is a very loyal fan base as well. We did ask him some questions, asked if that’s okay. And so from Jessica Lowe, she asked us, what is your favourite Korean meshugganah SEO?
[00:43:33] So, so favourite restaurant is so oh, where do you like to go?
[00:43:40] There’s this. This is a place that is really, really hard to find. And I took Ken there, my mother’s home, and he thought I was taking him to kidnap him and sell his organs.
[00:43:53] Oh, yeah, not not a nice area, like very old and like, you know, messy, but you find it. And this is like a chicken soup restaurant in Dongdaemun. And it’s could become muddy. Grandma. You know, it’s actually if you know, you know and it’s like this very simple. They only do one dishes like boiled chicken with like kimchi.
[00:44:20] And it was a one of those vessels. It’s on the atten. What was it like? No.
[00:44:25] I think they started off as a tent and they made so much money. It’s like a little building, but it’s in this like area where there’s just like messy and there’s like fish being fried on the streets. And the smell. Beautiful smell, by the way. And then, yeah, that’s that’s that’s the one.
[00:44:44] So Jessica, ECIs has another question for you. So the question is, do you miss having a fringe? And then she writes, I’ve been mistaken by fans and newspaper photographs of being Dami, things shifting like her.
[00:44:57] I’ve got a picture here. Okay. Oh, wow.
[00:45:04] Tell us. Not anymore. They don’t look like her. You look completely different.
[00:45:10] But yeah, I can see why people thought she like me, though. Yeah. Yeah, that used to be my look. I don’t miss my friend J. You fringes see her annoying to Kate. Like if you had one, you’d know like girls with straight fringes. It just does not like to stay at Pod’s. It opens like a little.
[00:45:30] And it’s you gotta like brush it and do everything, blow dry it. It’s just not my thing. Oh, Todd fringes.
[00:45:38] The next question from Liam. Michelle, what was the first album you bought? And also, what is your favourite? Something shiny.
[00:45:48] First album that I bought. It’s got to be like, have K-pop set as a bowler?
[00:45:57] Now, ball is like I was a teenager by then. So the first one was more like, what did I buy all actua- with my own money? I guess boy would be up.
[00:46:06] I don’t know if anyone knows there’s a guy called Pinkel that there were big like in the 90s. Was it the same generation as WACs?
[00:46:15] I think so. It’s always. Yeah, our old.
[00:46:19] Yes. So that was like my cousins was so into it. They’re like couple of years older than me. These two beiping good. And S-E-X are those ones. Yes.
[00:46:29] And favourite SHINee song Chai. So I don’t really know a lot of Chinese songs. What do you guys know?
[00:46:33] Oh well you ring ding dong. That’s the most famous song. Yeah. Ring. Ding dong. Yes.
[00:46:38] Let’s go. There we go. And the last question is from Jonathan Jonathan. He’s from America.
[00:46:44] Yosses Ji planned to release a full length album soon. And what kind of sound can we expect from.
[00:46:51] Yes, I’m working on an album and I’m going to drop it next year.
[00:46:58] Yeah, the sound, I guess is would be, you know, crying on the water is probably the good example of where I’m heading. But yeah, I’ll be dropping some more singles before the album. So you guys will hear that.
[00:47:13] Can’t wait. And do you have anything that we can expect from you in the future as well?
[00:47:21] Barton? Yeah.
[00:47:24] I mean, I’d love to collaborate with different people when all your fans.
[00:47:28] Awesome of you want to. If you would ever collaborate with a rap artist, you have to be cool.
[00:47:33] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:47:34] Just dollar sign.
[00:47:36] Yeah. I mean or. Yeah. Oh I just saw an invite Cardi B or something.
[00:47:42] You rap on my to get on the remakes for crying on Twitter. Yeah. Oh yeah. Well thank you so much. Don’t wait at a time. How can we find you on Instagram and Facebook.
[00:47:53] Just such Dami on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and you’ll find me and chicken song on the Spotify iTunes.
[00:48:04] Thank you. Thank you so much. Thanks, Ari. It’s been fun. Thanks for listening. Join the hundreds of other people who have connected with us on Facebook and also follow us on at LEMON podcast to see what goes on behind the scenes on Instagram. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure you fill awesome Spotify or subscribe to us on whichever platform you’re listening to or should leave us a five star review so we can reach more. Yes, we will see you guys back next week. Bye bye.