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NewTracks New Artist: Taebz

NewTracks New Artist: Taebz

It seems music has always been in Daniel Taebin Park aka Taebz ‘ blood, but he has just recently started sharing it with the world. Cloudy sky-like chords mix with electronic drum beats to make up his recent single Shadows, which NZ On Air Music has added to their NewTracks compilation this March.

Where are you from and what instruments do you play?

My name is Daniel Taebin Park. I am originally from Palmerston North but am now based in Auckland. I dabble in vocals, bass guitar, guitar and piano. The dabbling gets utilised in all sorts of combinations to produce songs. 

Was any high school or other music training important to you?

My mum is a classically trained violinist and has an eagle ear… so her advice has always been important.

Any previous projects we might know you from?

Retro with Hans did very well last year! You may have also heard Rolls Royce and Metropolis with Stirfryboyz before. 

What’s the background story of how Taebz came to be? Is anyone else involved?

Musicality most likely runs thru my DNA because of my mother. I’ve always made music, but (before last year) have never put my music out into the world. I met Leon Zhang (founder of Stirfryboyz) and saw these Asian Kiwis (just like me) killing it across the globe in LA, and told myself if I don’t do it now, then I never will. I don’t want to be old and regretful of my younger self. My dongsaeng (younger brother) is directly involved one way or another, I would say. He’s definitely the first audience to all my creations.

How and when did you come up with the name for the new project?

Taebz is derived from my Korean name, Taebin.

It sounds like music is in your veins! How has your music evolved from your beginnings in songwriting?

I think the energy and soul put into the music resonates when it stems from a real and unique place. I don’t think you can ‘visit’ these places, but instead, you have to really live through them. More life experiences have made me live through more of these.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? 

Driving through a storm to shoot a music video on a mountain… in a storm. 

What makes Shadows stand out for you as a single?

A lot of my previous songs have been quite slow and chill. I think Shadows brings a little bit more energy than what people might previously be used to!

What is the story behind Shadows?

It touches on the theme of fear of loss. It can be interpreted and applied to relationships, ambitions, obsessions etc. and ultimately, the fear of losing this.

Who did you write/record/produce Shadows with? 

I wrote, produced and recorded the song in my room. After I made the instrumentals, I sent them to my brother Luke. He revamped the drums in 20 minutes on his bed, lying down holding his laptop in the air. Those drums are used in the final version. He also shot and edited the music video.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

Incorporating some Korean on the track! Hans really inspired me to do this when he did it on our track Retro.

What would you like listeners to take away from Shadows?

Sometimes losses are necessary.

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

If the creative process is organic and the end result is palatable! Usually, instincts play a part.

Who else is in your team?

My brother – Woo aka Luke Park (videographer and also a producer when he feels like it), Hans (manager), Chris Antonio (photographer and designer) and Ben Lawson (sound engineer). We also found and sit under the collective ABG (Always Be Grateful).

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for? 

Cold Summer (with Imugi 이무기) out on 18 March, and another song called Stars coming out along with my EP soon.

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

  • Hans: Be Grateful
  • Leon Zhang: Icarus
  • Imugi 이무기 feat. Hans: Swimming

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others out there? 

Yes, unfortunately, Stars wasn’t successful with funding. I would say: Focus on your wins and always be grateful!

Was there an NZOA criterion you struggled with in the application? Which was it and how did you work it out in the end?

I didn’t have a manager. Blessings fell into place, and I was fortunate enough to meet Hans, he’s helped me a lot with navigating the scene. 

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

Sniffers, ABG

Who did you make the music video with?

It was directed by Luke Park, aka Woo and myself, and is starring my chingu Owen Lee and the beautiful Lorna Luo. We tend to flourish in a real DIY approach, so the crew was just the four of us and Hans.

Any last words?

Always Be Grateful 🙂