Sue Cho talks about her new projects, working with Jaramillo and Lurch the Rottweiler.
“Sue Cho” (L.A. California)
Pacha, Portamento, Shush & Prompt Digital Girl.
How did you get into music? What were your early musical influences?
I played classical piano for 8 years and did choir throughout high school. I was the lead singer for my church’s praise team through Jr high and high school, so music and singing has always been in my life. My musical influences range from Trip Hop artists like Morcheeba to New Age artists like Sarah McLachlan and Dido. They have so much soul in their music. I appreciated dance music at an early age as well. I was
inspired by vocalists that worked with producers like Milk & Sugar and Armin van Buren, but unfortunately the vocalist, were rarely credited so I wouldn’t be able to tell you who they were.
Your vocals are unusually sweet and trancy, what made you rock out and get
nasty on your new song “France Dance”. It sounds retro punk like a kick in the mouth.
I’ve been really trying to utilize my voice in various ways to bring about different styles. For “France Dance”, I was really thinking outside the box with the vocal style as well as my lyrics. I have to give props to Luciana because she had a lot of influence on me with her freestyle flow/singing. Jorge also pushed me to just belch it out. He’s all about the punk-ish vocals. It wasn’t about sounding pretty – it was about
making a nonsensical statement and doing it with an attitude.
You have been the “go to” vocalists for top quality producers such as Sandy Vee, Jaramillo & Nino Anthony, what makes you so lovable and wanted. Is it your sense of humour or your collection of Yoda dolls?
Don’t you mean my Barbie Doll collection? I know Nino has been eyeing my Barbies :P All jokes aside, I work very closely with my producers. Their production and my vocal style mesh well together, and that’s what makes it work. There are some producers that don’t prefer my vocal style, and that’s okay. I’m fortunate enough to have found a team of guys whose production evokes an emotion in me and gets my vocal brain rolling. I’m able to work quickly with their tracks because once I take time to listen to the song, it’s easy for me to start freestyling a melody and build on from there. I’m not demanding or bratty – I’m passionate and give them what they want (as long as it’s what I want too! :P)
What specific advice would you give a young “wanna-be” vocalist who knows absolutely nothing about the biz.
Listen to all genres of music – it’s amazing to hear and study the different types of vocals that are out there. Listen, practice and apply. Don’t try and copy other vocalists but use them as influences and tweak it with your own style – add your own flavor to it. It’s important to distinguish between being influenced by others and mimicking. You should never depend on “studio magic” to make you sound good – so make sure you practice over and over until you can get it as perfect as you can. Also, flex your writing skills! People always love it when you can write your own lyrics and it’s not all the cliché statements.
You flew out to the middle of corn fields in Pennsylvania to shoot a video with Jorge Jaramillo, on the way back to the airport after the shoot Jorge Jaramillo got angry at you and started to lecture you about your career, the do’s and dont’s and what he wanted you to do to step up your game. Did you freak out, what went through your mind? Was he foaming at the mouth?
Jorge pretty much had his discipline stick out with me! I have so much respect and love for him. Not only is he a kind person, he is extremely talented and passionate about what he does – and it rubs off on me. He did have it out with me during my video shoot trip. Jorge taught me the importance and value of having the ability to write full vocals that capture the audience and give them something to relate and sing along to. He pushed me to study the old school tracks that are hits to this day. He also emphasized that I need to study the 80s genre (which I absolutely love!) and really learn from the powerhouse vocalists of that era. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t feel the need to study, but I took his advice, and I feel much more confident in writing full verses and stretching my vocal capabilities. He is a true inspiration and a great teacher to me. Love you Jorge!
Did you get to meet Lurch (his rottweiler)?
I’m totally a dog person, but Lurch is a fighter. He wanted to fight, and I wasn’t down. He was cool though! I dig him even though he almost had me for lunch. He totally should have been in the video.
“France Dance” Jorge Jaramillo & Sue Cho (Prompt Digital)
Sue’s “punked out LA” vocals compliment Jorge Jaramillo’s signature “Who Da Funk style” tuff electro production.
Released through the Prompt Digital label. Includes monster mixes by Two Bit Thugs, La Mode & Mr.Wonk
Shiny Disco Balls on steroids!
Available @ beatport.com