We had the good fortune of connecting with Rock Choi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rock, what’s your definition for success?
Obviously I live once, Time is always limited, no one knows what will happen, even tomorrow. I think that life can be boring, or life can be filled up with happiness depending on the perspective and the way that I treat my life. Being successful is my choice. As everyone knows, life doesn’t always work as I have planned. However, the way I treat my life – to keep challenging myself, to cope with the unexpected and resolve problems and tensions – these are significant for being a successful human. Life is all about attitude. I can think about success in my daily life by asking myself a question at the end of the day: “What did you learn and achieve today that is helpful for your self-improvement?” Which means that I am always seeking for development of my life. I would say it is “1% of growth”. That “1% of growth” sounds like an insignificant number, but it makes a huge difference. Once I feel that I have improved myself today, even 1% better than yesterday, I consider that day a success. A small segment that is going to be stacked for big success in the future. I believe in myself and never give up. That is the fundamental behavior. Thinking is an attitude. And it is also an option. The choice is always mine. Taking serious responsibility for my life is the attitude that I must have. Once I choose my way and take action, put a huge amount of effort into my obsession for achieving, improving, and believing myself, I will gain enough happiness in my life. Keeping myself on this journey of development is the most valuable thing in my life. Even when I am confronted with the cold reality of the world, I proceed with that whole process, no matter how difficult and harsh it is, and that is how I consider myself on a successful path. The path never ends, so my development never ends. Through taking a step one by one on that path, I become the one who knows myself better and find what I need for the next improvement.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Just like my name, Rock Choi, I play rock music. My guitar playing has mostly been inspired by rock and blues music, but I love most of genres and I would love to practice and play new music and styles. I truly feel proud of the characteristics of my guitar playing and the tone that I make with my hands. I am still learning and practicing how to play the guitar better than yesterday. It will never end. I believe that hands are always the first element to make the tone of the guitar, not just the equipment that I use. I always put serious obsession into my guitar playing and I research to improve my skills in order to make more musical characteristics and colors. People have started to recognize the characteristics and colors of my guitar sound, and are reaching out to collaborate with me. This is one of the biggest reasons that I love my role as a guitarist and feel happy about it. It is all about attitude, consistent practice and obsession with creating my own guitar sound. Nothing is easy in life. I live with tons of talented, fascinating and great players in the world. I learn from them and I get inspired by lots of people. The only thing that I am care about is creating and making my own color in terms of my guitar playing. Everyday, I try to be better than I was the day before, not better than other people. It is a competition with myself to improve my musical ability create my own musical journey. If I can share my talent with audiences and make them feel happy and joyful, that is the most valuable thing and I embrace it. I hope that the world will know about me as a phenomenal guitar player who is always creative and who has a truly unique color in my playing. I am performing and recording music with people to create art pieces all the time, forever.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take my friend to two places. One of the places would be New York City, and the other place would be Long Island. I lived my whole life in the city in Seoul South Korea, I am so used to the vibe and atmosphere of a city. NYC is huge and a lot of things are going on all the time. Lots of performing venues to watch great shows, shooting vlogs with cool backgrounds, and shopping for clothes and gear. When I came here for the first time, I remember walking around Soho. I just loved the atmosphere. I would love to take my friends to one of my friends’ places in NYC to show the best night city views on the rooftop. I would go to a bar with my friend and drink two cups of my favorite beer, Guinness. Long Island is pretty close to NYC, there are cool beaches for swimming and surfing. It would be so fun to swim there and play frisbee!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
In my life, there are people who have had a huge affect on me, and have had awesome synergy with me. First of all, I grew up in Seoul, South Korea. Full of love from my parents. I am the only child. They are supportive parents, they always trust me which I am really grateful for. Due to that trust, I am always able to go towards to my destination. At first, when I was 13 years old, my mom suggested that I go to the guitar academy. I met a fascinating instructor who taught me how to play the guitar for the first time. Due to his great lessons, I spent the whole time feeling happy to play the guitar. When I was 17 years old, I met the scariest instructor of my life. I felt like I was in the military. I trained very hard because I had to. Every time I got a guitar assignment from him, I had to put a lot of effort into it to demonstrate perfectly in the next lesson. No excuses allowed at all. And at the same time, I was able to be a strong person due to his strict lessons. I became a person who has a strong mindset and am mentally healthy. I also spent 2 years in the Korean Army which developed my character and determination. Now I have been in the U.S for 2 years of music college. I am meeting great friends and people who I feel a sense of synergy with. I am very fortunate to meet awesome people every day.