Event Preview: Zandari Festa 2018 (MusiCube)

By Adam Riley 04.10.2018

From 4th October - 7th October this year it is Zandari Festa time once more! South Korea's long-running event smashes back onto the Hongdae, Seoul scene, this time with around 110 acts from around the globe, bringing together the best music into one core location. Four days, so much to see and do! MusiCube returns with a pre-event peek at what to expect, so get ready for quotes from a great selection of artists due to perform in South Korea.

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Chainsaw Cho, guitarist for Korean metalcore band Vassline


How many times have you played at Zandari Festa?

This will be our third time playing at Zandari Festa.

Why do you think Zandari Festa is a good festival for Korea's indie scene?

Seoul's Hongdae area has been Korea's art and cultural pioneer since the '90s. Despite the fact that its spirit has faded, there are a large amount of people working to keep its spirit alive and strong. Zandari Festa does this, too. It reminds us of what Hongdae used to be like and reminds us of why that vibe and atmosphere needs to be kept.

How do you feel about Korea's indie scene starting to become more popular overseas?

It's never a bad thing for a scene to get bigger and I admire those who are working very hard to help push it forward. I just hope it's not a fad and we can find a long-term way to help the scene continue to grow on an international level.

What can people expect from your performance at Zandari Festa 2018?

It's going to be loud and a lot of fun! We released a new single called Divine Deception in August and we'll be performing that along with material from our last album and some older goodies, too. We think it's important to show the audience our roots so they can better understand Vassline better.

Do you have any plans to tour in the UK in the future?

We would love to tour outside of Korea. We all have day jobs, so it wouldn't be easy to do a long tour. However, if there's an opportunity to visit the UK for a short period of time for some shows, we'd do that for sure!


 

Answers from Jae Hyuk Choi, drummer for the Korean rock band H a Lot


Is this the band's first time to play at Zandari Festa?

Yes, it is. This is our first time to play at Zandari Festa and we can't wait!

Why do you think Zandari Festa is a good festival for Korea's indie scene?

Zandari Festa is like the Korean version of South by Southwest (SXSW). There are so many good bands on the line-up and they can share their music with music fans and delegates from the global music industry. It's also a festival that shows the most diverse styles of music in Korea.

How do you feel about Korea's indie scene starting to become more popular overseas?

It's great to see and I hope that more good bands will get the chance to be exposed to international listeners. Korea is known for K-Pop, but there are many musicians doing exciting things with lots of other styles of music, too, that I think people around the world would really enjoy if they checked them out.

What can people expect from your performance at Zandari Festa 2018?

We're a new band and I really want to show our spirit and energy to everyone at Zandari Festa. I can't say that H a Lot is perfect, but we're working hard to be the best band we can be and I'm really enjoying the process.

Do you have any plans to tour in the UK in the future?

I sincerely hope to have a UK tour. We also hope that our music will be officially released in the UK. I've seen many crazy bands in the UK. I want to be able to play with all of them one day.


 

HyunJO, didgeridoo and handpan player in the Korean electronic world music duo, Animal Divers


Is this the band's first time to play at Zandari Festa?

Yes, this is our very first time. I'm excited.

Why do you think Zandari Festa is a good festival for Korea's indie scene?

It's the only indie music showcase festival in the country, and Zandari Festa does a good job of bringing many music professionals from overseas to give them more exposure to the music being created in Korea. There are many opportunities for Korean acts to network and make friends with musicians and music professionals from countries from all around the world.

What can people expect from your performance at Zandari Festa 2018?

Our showcase is going to be a lot of fun. We play didgeridoo, handpan, and electric guitar. Our music is built on an electronic sound foundation and provides a sense of dynamism and fantasy. Seeing us live is definitely a unique experience.

Do you have any plans to tour in the UK in the future?

We don't have any plans yet, but we really want to tour in the UK one day.


 

Kiwon Lee, the guitarist for Korean rock band Cogason


Is this the band's first time to play at Zandari Festa?

Yes, this is our first time to be appearing at Zandari Festa. We're so glad to play at the festival.

Why do you think Zandari Festa is a good festival for Korea's indie scene?

Zandari Festa is one of the greatest opportunities for bands like us to show our music and performance to everyone involved in the indie music industry, including fans, other musicians, venues, and labels - both from Korea and overseas.

How do you feel about Korea's indie scene starting to become more popular overseas?

We are very excited to know that more music fans overseas are becoming interested in the Korean indie scene. We think this is a huge chance for us to introduce ourselves and our songs to many more people. We hope people in the UK and other countries can enjoy Korean indie music especially Cogason's power guitar pop!

What can people expect from your performance at Zandari Festa 2018?

This will be our first time at Zandari Festa and also our first performance after months of vacation. We're going to pour all the energy that we've been saving up over the past few months into our brand new songs. Our showcase is something that everyone at the festival should try and check out.

Do you have any plans to tour in the UK in the future?

We don't have any plans now, but we really want to visit and tour in the UK in the near future. We hope to see you in the UK soon!


 

Answers from Jin Dong-Wook, vocalist for Decadent


How many times have you played at Zandari Festa?

Last year was our first time to perform at the festival. We're really happy that we were invited back again for Zandari Festa 2018.

Why do you think Zandari Festa is a good festival for Korea's indie scene?

Compared to other music or rock festivals in Korea, it provides better exposure and more opportunities for bands that would like to tour abroad. The overseas promoters that come to Seoul for Zandari Festa are actually interested in working with Korean artists. Few other events here provide opportunities like this.

How do you feel about Korea's indie scene starting to become more popular overseas?

I don't know much about this, to be honest, but if more people are starting to pay attention to Korea's indie scene, I appreciate that very much.

Do you have any plans to tour in the UK in the future?

We'd love to be able to experience the UK and its music scene one day. If there's ever a chance to travel there, we'll take it.


 

Kieran Wardle, guitarist and vocalist for UK rock band Hot Soles


Will this be your first time performing in Asia?

It is, and will hopefully be the first of many visits!

What does it mean to you to be able to represent the UK in Korea at Zandari Festa?

It's a great honour to be able to represent the UK's music industry on an international level; we're very humbled.

What can Korean audiences expect from your performance at Zandari Festa?

A one-stop shop for a supply of phat riffs and rare grooves, until the language barrier is dissolved.

How will you be choosing your set to appeal to a new audience at Zandari Festa?

In short: all killer no filler; balls out party time.

Aside from performing, what would you like to do in Seoul during your trip?

We want to soak in the vibe and culture, and most of all follow Zandari Festa's mantra; 'Drink beer, listen to music, and make friends.'


 

Jen Hingley, vocalist, guitarist, and drummer for False Advertising


Will this be your first time performing in Asia?

Yes, it is! It's long been a huge ambition for us to come over to Asia to introduce ourselves, play to new audiences, and experience the culture first-hand. So far, in Asia we've managed to release an album in Japan, but this will be our first time as a band playing live in the continent.

What does it mean to you to be able to represent the UK in Korea at Zandari Festa?

This trip and our shows in Seoul are an incredible opportunity to meet to so many new people and learn about an entire new music market. We're insanely privileged to get to do it and really want to give people a taste of who we are and our UK music scene.

What can Korean audiences expect from your performance at Zandari Festa?

Loud, cathartic energy, hooky melodies, screaming guitar and thundering drums. Our band is built around the idea of balancing accessible, poppy song-writing with a breakneck, dissonant, loud live experience. We want you to feel welcomed in by the energy of the music and find a release.

How will you be choosing your set to appeal to a new audience at Zandari Festa?

We'll be packing the set with material from the new album we've been working on and some of our older, favourite songs to play live. We have a fair bit of variety and unpredictability in our set due to us swapping instruments midway through, so hopefully the audience will like that.

Aside from performing, what would you like to do in Seoul during your trip?

We'll have time to explore the city and we're certainly looking forward to eating lots of Korean barbeque and fried chicken! It seems like such a vast place with such a rich culture, we're excited to just experience it.


 

British-Ugandan musician Love Ssega


Will this be your first time performing in Asia?

This is my first time performing solo as Love Ssega in Asia, but it will be my second time in Seoul. I was invited by Warner Music Korea to perform a track that I wrote with Clean Bandit called Mozart's House to a sell-out crowd at the Yes24 Live Hall, which I think had 2,500 Korean fans in attendance. That was in 2017, so I'm super excited to be back in my own right. It's incredible really.

What does it mean to you to be able to represent the UK in Korea at Zandari Festa?

It's fantastic and such a privilege. I was really impressed by how clued up Korean music fans are with alternative and indie acts. I found out some of my favourite acts from across the globe have been regularly performing in Korea, so it's amazing to be given the chance to represent what's new and fresh out of the UK. I really have to thank Liverpool Sound City, who picked me as a highlight from my show there this year.

What can Korean audiences expect from your performance at Zandari Festa?

Expect a lot of energy on stage! I went out in Hongdae when I was last in the city last year and the feeling I got was great, so I think audiences will get my vibe. I like my shows to feel like a party and it's worked well so far.

How will you be choosing your set to appeal to a new audience at Zandari Festa?

I'm lucky to have had some of my music playlisted by some of the big Asian music platforms, so I'll be putting those in the set for sure. Like I said, my set generally is full of rhythms and good pop melodies, so it should be easy to get into.

Aside from performing, what would you like to do in Seoul during your trip?

I lived with some Koreans when I was in America for a year, so I'm looking forward to tasting more of the food. I'll be checking out some of the fashion stores, too, and a bit of architecture, as well. I also have a good friend and collaborator who just so happens to be conducting the Korean National Opera, so I might try borrow a tuxedo and sneak in! That's the mad world of Love Ssega for you!


 

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