Author: Scarlett Pham
Koh-Dee is a hardworking artist who loves to use music to express his message and story to the world. Today, he brings us a whole new quality project titled "Forgotten Gems." Let's understand more about this project through the interview with Clonefluence.
What is the meaning behind it?
"'Forgotten Gems' are 16 of my favorite songs I've produced over the past 10 years. I created this project to showcase the various works and styles that I can make. I'm different from the type of artist who repeatedly release the same kind of music and I like to switch things up to let go of audience expectations. My goal has been to let go of expectations when releasing my music. Music is my most significant form of self-expression and I don't want to resent or neglect it through somebody else criticizing it. This is how I've started to let go of my self-doubt. The title 'Forgotten Gems' ties into the first album I ever released, 'Don't Forget.' I know it's sad, but my longest-living fear has been that I'll be forgotten once I pass. 'Don't Forget' was the start of that legacy I wanted to leave behind, just a little something for my friends and family to remember me by. I created 'Don't Forget' when I was in college (2016), and I was 17 years old. When I was 15 through 16, I had already had both lungs collapse due to multiple spontaneous pneumothoraces. You can go ahead and Google that word, but otherwise, it's a condition that occurs when air leaks into the space between the lungs and chest wall. During this time, I overdosed on morphine within the hospital's care. They had to extract all the pain medication inside me to keep me alive, which was the only thing stopping me from feeling the pain of a chest tube being pressed inside me. So, it's safe to say that I experienced something close to death alongside the most painful experience of my life. This experience created a strong desire in me to want to remembered after I die."
What does this project say about you?
"This project tells me that I am resilient and strong enough to go through my life struggles, stick my middle finger up in the air, and keep striving. I have a goal to achieve and nothing will get in the way of that. When I was in the hospital for the first time, I didn't know what was happening. I couldn't breathe properly, was scared, and was depressed. So, what did I do? I whipped out my laptop and worked on a song I had been producing. The doctors walk over to me as I've got my headphones in and tell me about my condition. This was after numerous tests to determine what exactly went wrong, as x-rays alone couldn't identify the issue. They told me I've got a pneumothorax condition and gave me a piece of paper explaining what that was. I couldn't understand it; I wasn't very knowledgeable about health procedures then. Furthermore, I put my headphones back on and created my music. I was making a song called 'Mumbo Jumbo,' as I couldn't understand a word the doctors were telling me. The song feature distracted and unintelligible vocals that I sampled from a pack, where the point was to add delays and effects enough so that you couldn't understand them because this was how I felt with the doctors told me about my condition. I became 'CareLEss,' a moniker I released music under for a while. You can still find the song "Mumbo Jumbo" on YouTube. I might go back and re-master this song one day. To conclude, I'll leave it up to you to decide what this project says about me. I'm here creating and sharing my memories for the time I do have."
What are your plans next?
"Same as always, to make more music. I've lived in Byron Bay for 8 months, discovering and honing myself as a musician. There is a very particular art and music-friendly crowd here that I love. I'm hoping to always be able to come and go from The Arts Factory to mingle and see my jungle family. Not to mention, I'm currently undertaking a Master's in Creative Industries with SAE Creative Media Institute, which I'd like to complete. It also allows me to travel, as they have 47 campuses worldwide (with nice music studios, including a lovely campus at Byron Bay). I want to check out more of the world, like America and Japan. America for the awesome rap, hip-hop, and, music producer scene (Detroit, Chicago, and California are just some places I'd like to see) - and Japan because it seems so beautiful. If I can get to these places using my music, then that's the goal."
What does your project aim to say?
"'Forgotten Gems' aims to be a marker of my creative life, which I know won't be the last. Even if it is, then it has fulfilled its goal. I'm just happy to have the opportunity to express myself and connect with others through it. Connection is key and we are all searching for it. For me, growing as a musician alongside other passionate, expressive, and open-minded individuals is a dream come true. Please do whatever brings you joy and allow myself the pleasure of connecting with like-minded people."
Listen to the wonderful "Forgotten Gems" below: