TAEK imagines ‘We're Always Together’ into reality

TAEK’s artistry is nothing too flashy nor too bold, but the music latches on to its listeners because of its gentleness, remorseful yet romantic messages and subtle playful notes. The musician is often soft spoken and timid, but we discovered the secret to instantly make him smile—just tell him the words “Red Velvet” (yup, the girl group) and he warms up the whole room with his laugh. In an interview with Inquirer Super, TAEK and I talk about his first EP:

It usually just starts with one word or one sentence.

The rest of it comes from the feelings I get from those and I try to build the song around them. The sequencing, arrangements and final lyrics come later, but it all goes back to that keyword or key sentence. It’s all inspired by that, and in most cases, it also becomes the title.

You could describe my music as Future Electronica, but my songs are hardly ever just one genre. I believe that’s deeply rooted from my musical background—I first started as a rapper, I was once in an indie band, I did some DJ-ing and composing, and now all of that plays a part in the music that I’m doing.

For my first EP, the title track is “We're Always Together.” The song asks: “Do you wanna dance with me? I wanna do certain things with you.”

It’s about being happy in your imagination, but also having some sort of anxiety that your musings may all shatter into nothing when reality hits.

The verses go back and forth between imagination and reality, and as the song progresses toward the end, the line separating the two is blurred out. These shifts are reflected in the music video, too.

Imagination bordering reality was the main idea I had, and I arranged the song to make it feel like a dream. But I don’t really think the lyrics, the words I used, explain that idea clearly. That’s because I put my thoughts down exactly as they came in my head and that’s how I ultimately finished writing the song.

The songs in this EP are not about particular stories that happened, I looked at the things that are in my daily life and tried to tell these in a special way. These songs are very special to me and I’m really attached to them. When I perform these songs, I like to play with the different elements during live shows—like the venue, audience, even my condition—I like to have fun.

The song “Liar” is also in this mini album, and my happiest moment as an artist will still be the time I released this single. Back then, I wasn’t signed by any company so it was the first single I wrote and released completely independently.

With On The Record, we’re trying something completely different in the music industry, and a lot of new things for me as an artist as well. I’m excited to be pursuing and embracing this challenge with them, to go against the direction everyone else is going.

There are still a number of artists I wanna work with. Kim Tae-won from this iconic 70s band has amazing vocals and I wanna produce a track and sing alongside him. This is my biggest dream collaboration.

Code Kunst of Higher Ground records and Red Velvet of SM Entertainment are also on my list. If I do work with them it’s gonna be a completely different genre—I don’t want it to be songs that are too playful or light.

As told to Vinz Lamorena; interview courtesy of MCA Music Philippines
for Inquirer Super. Listen to TAEK on Spotify.

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