We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaden Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaden, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Growing up, I’d never been afraid to be myself. I credit that to my parents for always supporting me and encouraging me to be an individual. I first started to play music around sixth grade on flute but wasn’t super passionate. As I grew up I considered careers in law, science, as well as the arts. Evidently, the arts are what really stuck with me. I remember having trouble paying attention in class during many of the traditional school subjects but felt myself come alive when creativity was required for a project. I’ve always felt a deep need to express myself, be that through what I wore, what I said, and eventually, how I played music. Being a creative to me means more than simply having ideas and putting them out to the world. One of my favorite aspects of developing myself as an artist is the more technical, logical side of art. I’ve started to fall in love with the process of the slow but steady improvement that comes with learning a craft that is necessary for true creativity to emerge. For me, being an artist is the ultimate combination of the logical and creative sides of human nature, because all great artists have elements of both. By pursuing a creative career, I’m able to get the best of both worlds and find a better balance in myself. Above all though, I truly believe that with the gifts I’ve been given that a creative career is the best way for me to affect the world in a positive way,
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My main goal with my music is to be an honest representation of myself and how I view the world. The combination of my jazz background, the music my parents played while I was growing up, such as Marvin Gaye and Earth Wind and Fire, and the popular music of today has shaped my sound as an artist because I love to incorporate the best elements of each time period into new music that is unique. I’m most excited to continue my career by releasing music videos that will add another layer of artistic expression. I want to show the world sights that they’ve never seen before, shocking, beautiful, haunting sights. At this point in my career, I’m focused on creating content and getting closer to the artist that I see myself becoming someday. I wouldn’t say that things have been easy up until this point, but I also have difficulty conceptualizing it as “easy” or “hard”. There has been a lot of work put in, but at the end of the day because it was done in a spirit of service, experimentation, and self-expression, the hours I’ve put in haven’t felt like “hard work”. A major lesson I’ve learned is that can’t let fear influence your decisions. I was someone who hid under the guise of being a perfectionist but I now realize that it was fear holding me back from putting myself out into the world. At this point, the most important thing to me is that I continue to create on a consistent basis and hone my craft. I want the world to know that if you know your purpose on earth, then there’s no point in hesitating to take charge of your life. One person can make a huge difference and we only have one life, so the best course of action is to make the most of it.
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.
We would start the trip by relaxing in the backyard and watching the sun go down. I’d set up a bonfire as we took in the quiet beauty of the little neighborhood. The next day we would have to go down to the Claremont Village! It’s a cute outdoor mall in the heart of the city. You can often see musicians busking on the sidewalks, young couples walking and chatting, and people relaxing in the courtyard where they will also have live music on occasion. We’d eat at Poke Dot if you were in the mood for fish or the Back Abbey if you’re looking for a pricey, but amazing burger. After a hearty meal, we’d walk it off and visit the Folk Music Center where they have a variety of musical instruments and have a little jam inside. The owners always appreciate some music to liven up the store. After singing our hearts out, we’d go next door to Dee Lux, which is the hippest thrift shop you’ve never heard of. They are very selective with the items they accept but still offer great prices on name-brand and high-quality clothes. I’ve got some of my favorite shirts, including one with the saxophonist John Coltrane on it, there. The next day we’d take a trip out to the mountains. There are creeks that run down as well as multiple hiking trails. We’d hike for a while and take in the fresh mountain air as the relaxation of being away from the digital world sets in. I’m grateful for technology, but taking breaks for extended periods always leaves me feeling refreshed and it gives me a chance to remember that the smartphone is an incredibly young invention and that humans survived without them forever. After an invigorating, but exhausting day in the mountains we’d head down to L’moon Creamery: a favorite Thai tea and soft serve spot among locals. We’d have some of their famous Thai tea soft serve with boba with a homemade giant oatmeal raisin cookie. The Claremont Colleges would be the next location. It would be a nice chill day spent relaxing, reading, and admiring the beautiful architecture and landscape of the area. Claremont is known as “The City of Trees” and the colleges exemplify why. It’s a perfect spot to take it slow and enjoy some of the wonderful parts of life that we’re often too busy to notice.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a huge shoutout to my family and my mentor, John Daversa. My mother and father have been the best parents I could ever ask for and I am grateful for them every day. To my mom for always encouraging me to be my true self, and to my dad for being an amazing role model and showing me what a kind heart looks like in the action, and to my brother for showing me what true friendship looks like. To Mr. Daversa for believing in me from a young age and encouraging me to take a deeper look into the principles of humility, gratitude, integrity, and having no expectations.