The story on YEIN




“This is the best interview I’ve had on this whole trip,” I told YEIN as we stood up to wrap up our conversation.

And I really meant it. It was already our third day in Korea for the Universal Music press junket and we had five interviews with K-indie artists scheduled on that day alone.

I needed a translator for most of the interviews I conducted during the trip, which badly made me want to study the Korean language all the more. (If I knew the language, I wouldn’t have to wait for my K-drama episodes to be subbed, too.)

A lot of things do get lost in translation, and I can’t stress how frustratingly true this was in my case. I felt like the artists I spoke to were opening up about a lot of things I couldn’t understand but wanted to know about—there was interest in their tone and sincerity on their faces as they explained and shared their experiences. I couldn’t even ask the right follow-up questions. I had a time limit to be concerned about as well.
Due to the short time we were given for each interview, the translators gave a summary of the artists’ answers after each question asked. But during my interview with YEIN, we were able to communicate to each other easily as she was fluent in a language we were both comfortable speaking.

Most writers would figure how they would like to approach certain stories right after their coverages. After my interview with YEIN, I knew exactly what I wanted—an “as told to” article.

I first encountered this article style with several personality features on the Rolling Stone and, one that I immensely enjoyed, Janine Tugonon’s interview on Elle. Naturally, these stories made their way on my mental note of the “List of Articles that I Wish I Wrote.”

“As told to” articles often create a refreshing and an intimate setting for the readers. It sets a conversational tone that introduces the personalities in their own voice and depth. But it can be quite tricky as not every interview outcome can easily take on this style.

The interview had to be telling—the more details, the better. It had to be engaging—the subjects openness to share had to be present. It had to seem like it had a natural flow—like the subject was your close friend meeting you up for a casual catching-up session.

I’ve always wanted to write in this style, but the problem was I never seemed to get the right interview material to make one happen. But YEIN (and TAEK, another Universal Music artist) changed that.

“Are we allowed to do ‘as told to’ articles?” I asked Pam, my editor.

“Of course,” she told me. I was beyond excited to immediately begin my writing experiment.

There are pieces that make you extremely happy when you finish them. Whether or not it suits the taste of those who will read it, the sense of accomplishment that you get from chosen articles is quite remarkable.

I’ve finally written a personality feature after the longest time—and I loved every part of my writing process, even the dreaded transcription.

I must admit I’m currently in love with this “as told to” style, and I would do more of it if I could. This is one writing method that allows writers disappear completely from the page, and lets the subject take the reins in telling their own stories.

My interview with YEIN was almost 20 minutes, twice the time I was initially given.

My article on the artist just came out on Inquirer Super, and there, I let her do all the talking: YEIN redefines classic.

Photography by Vinz Lamorena

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