Crush was the latest guest on Lee Young Ji‘s My Alcohol Diary series (also known as No Prepare). While it was plenty chaotic, to the point where Young Ji was K.O.ed by Crush’s effortless humor, the conversations got deep as he gave Young Ji heartfelt advice and shared his emotions during the lowest point in his musical career.
While Young Ji debuted as a rapper and originally wanted to focus on creating music with rap as the focus, she now wonders if she should also incorporate singing or dancing into her performances (she’s an amazing all-rounder, which makes the decision even harder).
When she asked Crush for advice on how to find her direction, he told her to treat making music like writing a diary. By consistently pursuing music, even when she’s feeling lost, she’ll eventually find the steps she needs to take as an artist.
His advice is even more meaningful because he understands Young Ji’s struggle on a personal level. He also struggled in his musical direction, to the point where he was in the worst slump of his life despite being at one of the most successful points in his career.
The time I was suffering the most from a slump was when I released “Beautiful” 5 years ago. That song received much love from people. I was very thankful for it but on one side I felt empty.
While he was grateful that “Beautiful” (his OST for the hit K-drama Goblin) dominated charts and that he could sing it at weddings, he didn’t want to perform that song on stage. It was a different direction than what he wanted to go toward for music, and as he was young and stubborn, he couldn’t open his heart up to the song.
Crush doesn’t feel that way anymore: he can sing “Beautiful” ten times in a row if asked to without any reluctance. But back then, even though everyone around him was saying it was a good thing that his song was so successful, it wasn’t a good thing to him.
Crush used to work with those of the Hongdae underground, like Zion.T, Swings, Beenzino, and Giri Boy, and that hip-hop/R&B direction was the only genre he wanted to pursue. However, “Beautiful” was a ballad and earned him more success than any of his other songs.
So during the time “Beautiful” was receiving much love, Crush was having many concerns.
At that point in time, he was so overwhelmed and confused musically that he even had panic attacks, making it difficult for him to even sing the song.
Thankfully, as the years went by and his mindset matured, Crush opened his heart to more genres, and every song he produces is a masterpiece in its own right. But his story shows that success doesn’t always mean happiness, and the path you imagined won’t be the path you end up walking down. Still, as long as you continue to pursue music every day, no matter what musical or life challenges come your way, you’ll be able to grow and shine bright as an artist.