The Seoul-based singer, rapper, and producer GEMINI (@geminiccasa) has been pursuing the elusive artist’s dream since 2020 – and despite the complications of debuting in the midst of the pandemic era, he still found himself with a core audience behind his yearning for music, and the attention of several notable industry names from veteran voices like WOODZ, to breathtaking newcomers such as Seori, and even the grittier hip-hop producer duo GroovyRoom. However, before he was able to (quickly) attract listeners with a few unique collaborations and several admirable standalone tracks, the young artist kickstarted his still-evolving career with “Going,” an R&B gem with a soulful undercurrent that still acts as his introduction to music aficionados (as seen on the music video’s still active comment section).
By proving to the world that he’s equipped enough to offer extensive points of interest through just one song, the solo talent proceeded to demand attention in the form of singular tracks and in the company of the aforementioned collaborators. Within a year’s time, he would eventually take his brand of music a step further with the soft band-backed thematic style of “Know Me,” becoming one of his biggest hits to date, alongside the velvety layered banger “UFO” enhancing his position as an R&B streaming essential.
As 2022 was fully within his grasp, GEMINI’s catalog noticeably produced top-notch sounds with (our favorite of his work) “She lives in Paris,” or the standout EP Still Blue, featuring “Hola,” “Do Me Right,” and even his end-of-the-year hypnotic release, “Rollercoaster” to keep his adaptive art in regular rotation – so with a recent curation of intricacies and an unmapped 2023 on the horizon, the young artist is obviously letting us know that he’s here to stay.
As our new digital cover star, GEMINI is breaking down his rising career and the spectrum of emotions paired with his introspective Still Blue EP.
Firstly, I’m so excited about your return EP, and all of the explorations of sound and style that come with it! Was there anything in particular that laid the groundwork or motivation for this euphoric and vibey album?
GEMINI: First of all, I put a lot of time into the sound. The producer Kwaca and I stayed up multiple nights just to accurately embody the sounds that were in my head. Also, I wanted the whole album to have a storyline so it would feel like one song all together. That’s why I also paid a significant amount of attention to the story structure as well.
In regards to “Rollercoaster” has this almost trance-worthy, R&B tone with some rock ambiance that’s extremely effective for someone of your versatile nature! How challenging (or natural) was it for you to bring sometimes opposing styles together for this unique track?
GEMINI: It wasn’t as much a challenge as it was an enjoyable creative experience. While I was working on ‘Rollercoaster’, I was fixated on that word. I wanted to make people feel like they were on a rollercoaster when listening to the song. I think making this one made me a stronger person than before since it’s not like my usual romance songs. I made it a cheerful tune but based it on a slump that I went through.
Going into “Do Me Right,” I must say that the song is another stellar piece of work that really showcases your emotional impact as an artist. What purpose would you say that it serves the new album when comparing it to some of your other recent songs?
GEMINI: I wanted to try something unconventional and fresh, compared to my previous work. Something that ‘only GEMINI can do’, not trendy things that other people can try out as well. Because of this, I made new attempts within the alternative genre and was able to produce sounds that I didn’t try before. One fun attempt, in particular, is the acapella using my voice.
That last part of the song (“Do Me Right”) really subverts expectations with a switch-up and the execution made it quite a raw, beautiful moment in your discography. How did that last stunning portion of the song find its way into the standout track?
GEMINI: Let’s say we divide this song into two parts, I wanted the first half to feel pathetically sexy. But then when the beat switches in the latter half, I wanted to present the reposed attitude one has after letting go. There is a little swearing towards the end of the song, but those words are directed to a specific woman. Of course, they are not nice words to say, and I wanted to minimize the heartbreak she was going to get. That’s why I sang the words in a delicate voice, delivering the not-so-beautiful message beautifully.
There’s also a warm acoustic moment on “Hola” that peels back several layers of your vocal power. When it comes to getting in that headspace to create music, what would you say is the biggest change you have to make in comparison to your usual comfort zone?
GEMINI: The crucial thing is not giving up. If there is a sound that I want to capture while recording, I will record it on and on until I succeed. Wouldn’t that be doing my best? Also, I put in a lot of effort to find my own sound. When I listen to songs I have made in the past, I feel like I was chasing something that wasn’t mine, but instead, of another artist’s. I think giving the effort to find yourself is part of giving it your best.
Still Blue really dives into an eclectic mix of inspirations and impressions, so did you ever feel any pressure to make everything feel independent – but also still cohesive?
GEMINI: I think what stressed me out the most is that sometimes I’m not satisfied with my work. That’s why I wanted to postpone the release of this album. But then, I encountered this phrase while reading a book: ‘Trying to satisfy myself and anyone else is the most foolish thing you can do.’ This phrase helped me get out of the pressure of making something that satisfies me to the fullest, and therefore we were able to release the album on the expected date.
Considering that you’re really gaining traction for your smooth range as a soloist and occasional collaborator, what tools have you learned throughout this past year that you’d say are invaluable to the future of your career?
GEMINI: I collaborated with several artists on my last EP [Inside Out], but this album was made without any artists featuring. This is because this album was experimentative in many ways already, and I didn’t know if it would go along well with other artists. I gave it a lot of thought, and I decided that a collaboration may not be the best choice to make this album what I wanted it to be. So, this time I did it solo, making music that sounds good to me. Of course, featuring artists is a big part of music production, but I think it’s more important to express your own colors these days. In conclusion, I wouldn’t say that I have learned any kind of skill in particular, but I learned how to deliver my own sound.
To date, you’ve released a plethora of bangers from “She lives in Paris” to “Going” and even “UFO” each with its own timeless potential in my personal opinion. As difficult as it might be… is there a song that you happen to be the proudest of at the moment?
GEMINI: I would say it’s ‘She lives in Paris’. It’s not that it’s the best song I’ve ever made, but it makes me nostalgic and wanderlust. Whenever I listen to this song, I think of France and how badly I want to be there. I visited several times for performances and fashion shows, and this song makes me relive those moments.
Now that the very personal Still Blue has been released, what are the strongest emotions you’re experiencing towards the EP when reflecting on the process, release, and promotions? Is it more pride, or that sense of relief that you’ve officially gotten through it?
GEMINI: I felt so relieved and happy after the release. Even though I couldn’t sleep much and I was very stressed while working on that album, I also thought ‘Ah, I now can start making more new songs’. I was itching to jump into it again right away because I got a lot of new inspiration while I was working on the album.
2023 has the potential to be another big year for you – and based on your constant desire for studio time, I would imagine that you’re already thinking about what’s next. Is that a fair assumption? If so, what intentions do you have for yourself and your journey in the coming year?
GEMINI: First of all, I’m very excited to be on tour with this album. I’m going to visit so many different cities in the world. But also, because I thought up so many new things while working on this one, I think I’m going to make new music as soon as I’m back from tour. I can’t promise you when new music will be released, but I’ll say that there will be so much more in 2023 than last year.