We had the good fortune of connecting with Benji Bae and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Benji, how do you think about risk?
Risk is something I don’t really think about that often. When it comes to thinking about risk, I feel like it adds an additional sense of fear and worry that tends to detract from whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I would rather fully be able to disappear into my work with full confidence to a fault rather than worry about the things that “could” or “might” happen. Personally I’m a full supporter of if you want to do something put your faith behind the fact that you WILL succeed. Not that you “might”.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was supposed to be a violinist. I started violin at the age of 4 and, by all intents and purposes, attended my freshman year at the Juilliard School of Music to be a career violinist. Midway through the year I came to an internal conflict regarding whether I wanted to have being a violinist in classical music be my life’s work or to explore other musical options. That’s when I took a year off and went to Korea to try out a career in k-pop. I was able to debut in a group called Boys in Groove in 2014 and promoted all the way until the end of my contract in 2020. I would say the hardest part during all of this was finding my own personal identity. In a world where everything is somehow connected via social media and perception of someone based on brief snippets on IG, Tiktok, etc. I find it hard to find the balance between living life off the digital grid and finding the right way to do promotion within that space. To this day I still always strive to find a space for myself that feels completely right and secure but of course, the fact that we are always evolving as people everyday does add variety and a never-ending progression to that search. Still, I’d like to think that the more I try to identify certain things about myself and give myself my own moments during the busy times has greatly helped with finding a sense of self.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Maybe not the right person to ask as I’m more a chilling at home type person but I’ve really enjoyed just picking up an iced coffee from a shop called Laveta and driving around LA. I’d definitely drive through the usual course of shopping through hollywood and fairfax but also going thrift shopping in parts such as Pasadena as well. I think the most excited part of living in LA is definitely the vibe of the city and how many different cultures and atmospheres exist within the same block even.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my parents! The reason I’m able to do what I do and focus on the music is definitely a result of both my upbringing and the support my parents have given me. Even when I’ve made decisions that seem like a gamble, they’ve always believed in me. <3
Isné Bobo Nuyent