Artist Feature: Ann One

May 26, 2020

Ann One is a Korean-American musician, born and raised in Los Angeles. After being signed to a independent label in Korea, Ann travels back and forth producing music and working with some of the top artists from both countries: Anderson .Paak, Freddie Gibbs, Tiger JK, and Junoflo to name a few. On the tails of her new EP, "Supernova", Ann shares a bit about her heritage and winning a Korean Grammy.

Ann one headshot 2

How did you get your start in music? I played piano at the age of two and started playing and singing at church. I eventually got signed to an independent label in Korea.

How does your Korean heritage play a role in your music production? Interesting question because I want people to feel my music first more than anything, which transcends culture or ethnicity. But as far as work ethic, perseverance, and the resilience I witnessed in my parents as immigrants, those things have all been the absolute foundation of my drive.

You travel back and forth a lot between Korea and America working with different artists in both places; how does the process differ between the two countries? Does your approach change? The processes are much the same in that you have a group of musicians all in the room trying to vibe out and make the best songs possible. Being intuitive and open are always helpful!

What was the inspiration behind your newest EP, Supernova? I wanted to take people on a journey through the different kinds of r&b music that I love, with jazz, hip-hop and soul influences, all things I grew up listening to.

You’ve won a Korean Grammy award, congrats! What was that experience like? It was a crazy and wonderful experience because it was so unexpected. I was burnt out from some bad deals in Korea, and even though I was being offered contracts from other major labels, all I wanted to do was come home to LA and make my own music. As soon as I returned, I learned how to work a DAW and started producing music on my own. It was a scary time as I was having doubts about leaving Korea and the opportunities I was potentially giving up, but getting the Korean Grammy was great confirmation I had done the right thing by following my intuition and investing in myself.

What does it mean to you to be a Korean-American in the audio industry? Being a Korean-American woman in the audio industry has its challenges at times, for sure. Sometimes it means working twice as hard to be taken seriously, or bucking stereotypes of what Asian-American women are supposed to be like, but I love the path I’ve chosen and I am proud of the accomplishments and contributions Korean-American artists, specifically, have made here at home, and in Korea.

What are ways we can increase representation in the industry? Keep telling our stories and don’t stop! Keep painting, writing, singing, producing, filming, whatever it is. Don’t wait for permission.

How will you Pass the Mic? I teach and mentor other artists and I do my best to support women in this industry by trying to be the person I wish I had when I was starting out. Love and upliftment. Also, continuing to make music until I can’t anymore. :)

Check out more Pass the Mic stories here.

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