Admit it. You dance all crazy when you've got your music blaring and you're alone in your room. When the jitterbug kicks in, you feel invincible, mostly because nobody can see you.
YouTube content creator and dancer Ky does that exactly, except she films her wackiness and shares it with the world. She sings and raps to all the songs she covers, panting between each move, totally 'Not Shy' with the power and intensity of 'Dynamite' from her DIY setup in her bedroom. Plus, she's actually really, really good.
Bandwagon caught up with Ky to talk about her dance videos, how she discovered SB19, who she thinks are the best dancers in the world of K-Pop, and more.
First off, tell us about how you first got into dance.
I started out with the very typical Asian kid experience haha, I was sent to ballet classes at 4. I was too tomboy for that though, and I didn't like to be forced into the elegance of it all so I quit around 7 and got into Taekwondo.
I got more interested in dance in middle school and with my Taekwondo experience, I was very intrigued by hip-hop and its high energy/hard hitting moves/performance.
In middle school, I had to come up with a performance number for a talent show at school, me and some classmates looked at some hip-hop videos and started learning moves for our performance!
How did you come up with the idea of "becoming part" of these K-Pop acts in your videos instead of the usual dance cover, which you used to make so much of?
I never really intentionally came up with the idea of "becoming part" of these K-pop acts haha! I was always told that I made covers that channeled similar levels of energy and accuracy as the original artists so I started out making comparison covers as a way for me to grow and improve.
Then one summer, I was super into Marvel and sci-fi movies, I went to check out the behind-the-scenes making of [their] videos for them and found out they used green/blue screens for all the special effects! I found that really intriguing and I really enjoy finding new and technically challenging things to do, so that was basically how I started my own green screen journey with my Kpop covers.
My first one was for my BTS - 'I Need U' cover, made with 20+ pieces of green cardboard I "raided" from my local dollar store and stuck on to the walls of my parents' basement.
K-Pop dances could be extremely complicated! How long does it take you to learn the choreography, considering also that you add your own moves when you "join" the groups in your videos?
I've been making videos for almost 9 years and danced/practised consistently for that amount, so the more videos I make, the more practice I get, and the faster I am at picking up choreo as well. It usually takes me between 2-3 hours to pick up a full song's choreo.
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What are your favorite K-Pop acts? Which have you seen live?
My faves are definitely SHINee and Red Velvet! I'm a HUGE SM stan so my fav artists are from them! I've seen both of them live (saw RV front row!!) and others I've seen way too many to list haha! I love going to concerts so I definitely don't miss out whenever there's an artist I like coming to town.
Some other faves I've seen live would be BLACKPINK, Twice, Seventeen, DAY6, Sunmi, BTS, Chungha and so many more!
Who would you say are the best K-Pop dancers?
Hands down Taemin from SHINee and Ten from NCT/WayV! As well as Seulgi from Red Velvet.
Tell us about the dancers you look up to.
I LOVE KINJAZ!! They're my favourite dance crew and also one of my fav choreographers—Mike Song is from them, too. He's one of my biggest dance inspirations.
Kinjaz is just so creative and constantly killing it out there. I've been a long time fan and it's so exciting to see them still doing more and more amazing things right now, especially choreographing for some of the artists I really like (both in/outside of Kpop). They're such an inspiration.
Also more recently, I've become a big fan of Spella, she makes tutting/waacking choreos and she worked on Red Velvet Irene & Seulgi's 'Naughty' which is super impressive.
What's your favourite dance cover or parody you've made?
Oh wow, this is a really hard question! I would say my BLACKPINK and ITZY ones I really enjoy and have the most fun with.
You did a really cool dance cover of SB19's 'Alab.' How did they reach your radar?
My good friends are Filipino so they introduced me to SB19! I filmed a cover of 'Alab' for my friend Njoe and that song just got stuck in my head after so I had to cover it myself. Plus the song and dance are so fun!
Besides K-Pop, what other bands and artists do you listen to (that might surprise your followers)?
I enjoy listening to a lot of artists! Some other artists I really like are Lady Gaga, Janelle Monáe, Rina Sawayama, Perfume, BABYMETAL, Jolin Tsai, RADWIMPS, Dua Lipa, Tyler the Creator, and Lil Nas X. I'm kind of all over the place, really just depends on the day and mood! I also enjoy listening to soundtracks from musicals and classical music to relax.
You also have a day job that demands a lot of your time and attention. How do you manage to churn out content on your YouTube channel and get together with your dance crew in between?
Just lots of time management and balancing. I also like to stay busy so I'm constantly occupied with doing something, I just list out things I need to do every day and I make sure to get them done accordingly!
Being busy has allowed me to train myself to be a proud and effective multi-tasker, which really helps me get things done, while I'm also chillin'/laying back. I'm always watching a show/video/listening to a podcast/music while working.
Has the ongoing pandemic affected your work? If so, what obstacles did you face and how are you overcoming them?
To be really honest, I'm very fortunate that the ongoing pandemic hasn't affected my work too much. I'm currently a full-time freelance video editor, so I'm thankful that I've gotten lots of opportunities from working on my projects from home and I don't have to leave my house.
Also, I'm pretty much a homebody to start with, so I stay busy at home haha, I love staying home anyways. My content is all shot in my bedroom or near where I live so there wasn't too much of an issue.
But I really miss filming with other people and being on set for bigger productions, that would be kind of an obstacle since we're not able to do that during this time, so I've been churning out lots of green screen content this year and editing more than ever!
Do you have any advice you'd like to share with aspiring content creators who are just starting out?
Make content about what you love and what you're passionate about! Don't just follow trends to gain traction, doing what you enjoy and having fun is the most important and also essential to keeping content creation as a long term career or hobby!
Don't forget to connect with other people, your content might inspire others and likewise as well. Be open to opportunities, criticism and feedback to learn more on the way.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I plan to continue working, making videos, staying home and that's pretty much it haha! If any other exciting opportunities come my way I'll definitely welcome them with open arms (from my bedroom)!