[POPSEOUL! Talent] American Artist Pumashock Responds to POPSEOULers!Posted: October 21, 2010
POPSEOUL brings you the one of most anticipated interviews this season… with the talented artist Natalie White (Pumashock)! You have submitted your questions. Now, the time has come to see her honest responses.
Natalie White did not take the obvious road to Kpop. She didn’t audition for large entertainment companies, or even appear in a drama. This self-made star began her journey in the land of YouTube. Natalie uploaded videos of herself covering Kpop hits from SNSD, Lee Hyo-ri and many others. These videos eventually lead her to Seoul, South Korea, where she appeared on Star King and starred in her very own commercial for Taster’s Choice Korea. She has made her name known and now she is ready to tell you her driving forces, future plans, and how she feels about Korea.
POPSEOULer: What has been your overall experience in Korea so far?
“So far, my experience has been very positive and beyond anything I thought possible. It’s very nice to think that a culture I’ve admired for so long from so far away has been this hospitable towards me.”
POPSEOULer: If you could work in any of the big companies, (SM YG, JYPE)who would it be and why?
“This is a tough question because I feel there are very different advantages (and disadvantages, I’m sure) with each company. As an independent artist,being attached to any of the three seems like a pretty sweet deal! I think most people would assume I’m best suited for YG,haha. Wherever I may end up in the future, my main concern would be maintaining my creative freedom. Ideally, I could become a producer/composer that could work with artists from all three companies.”
POPSEOULer: Would you ever crossover into Jpop?
“Yes ,totally. My love affair with international culture began with Japan (being a huge video and anime nerd). I’m always blown away by the quality of music production in Japan. The complexity really is fascinating for an audiophile like myself. When I listen to some Japanese songs, I always think ‘How did they DO that!’ I feel as though I could really push the limits of my own creativity over there someday.”
POPSEOULer: What attracted you to Kpop in the first place?
“It was just a fun discovery for me. At the time, I felt like US pop music was beginning to take itself a little too seriously. Kpop had the element of joy and lightheartedness that we’d lost to self-indulgence. Anyway, I could dance to the music and swoon over Shinhwa . That was enough.”
POPSEOULer: Do you consider learning Korean difficult, or do you think the language is easy to master?
“Well, learning any language (let alone mastering it) is a true commitment. I studied linguistics in college, so I understand language from a broad perspective. I wouldn’t say Korean is a relatively difficult language to learn. You just have to be dedicated. My schedule prevents me from spending as much time studying as I’d like, but it’s coming along well. Writing original songs in Korean has really helped too.”
POPSEOULer: What are the challenges of being an entertainer?
“This is a really broad question; there are many challenges at every angle. For me, the main challenge is self-promotion. I’m really bad at it! I’m purely an artist, so I just want to write, play instruments, and sing all day. But, that is only part of the equation if you want to be an entertainer. You really have to hit the pavement and get your name out there…and doubly so when you’re dealing with an international career. I’m very blessed to have friends who believe in what I’m working to accomplish. They are helping me organize a marketing strategy to reach as many people as possible with my new music.”
POPSEOULer: Do you have the confidence to become successful in Korea? If so, how do you obtain the confidence?
“I do have confidence. I have to have confidence. It’s my fuel. I don’t have a giant company mapping out my career. It’s me, myself, and I. When I get out of bed in the morning, I can get to work only because I believe in myself. Without that, I’d crumble immediately. I have to keep moving in the direction I feel God is leading me. If he opens doors in Korea, then I’m definitely walking through them. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
POPSEOULer: Do you have any connections(family or friends) currently in Korea? Also, why did you choose Korea?
“I do have some friends in Korea-folks I’ve met on previous trips and old schoolmates. I never thought my life would unfold like this. I was content to keep my little closet obsession with Kpop for the rest of my life. The only choice I made is to follow through with the opportunity I’ve been given.”
POPSEOULer: Some of the struggles of Kpop Artists have been shown publicly, Are you ready for the challenge to enter this industry?
“I’m not worried about things like that. I’ve already dealt with mistreatment, embarrassment, disappointment, racism, etc. through the years, I’ve developed a tough skin. I’m secure in my identity. I know things will get tough at times, but that is the way to build character. You need struggles every now and then. Also, I have a fantastic and loving support system. That’s important!!”
POPSEOULer: What advice would you give to someone, not necessarily wanting to sing in Korea, who wishes to catch the eye of Korean producers and the like?
“That’s a tough question. It’s difficult to build a career overseas if you can’t freely travel. I realize now that, in order to take this to the next level, I have to live there temporarily. So, that’s my next step. Beyond that, the internet is your greatest tool. Start a blog,post YT vids (YouTube videos),enter contests…whatever you can do. It takes time but your efforts will accumulate. If you build a large enough web presence, people definitely take notice.”
POPSEOULer: Are you fluent in Korean?
“Haha…no. But I CAN order lots of food…..I’m fluent in Korean restaurant.”
POPSEOULer: How do you plan to overcome any criticism that might arise?
“The same way I have my entire life. If it’s constructive learn from it; if it isn’t, ignore it and press on. It’s really that simple.”
PS!: What is the origin of your name Pumashock?
“It’s one of my World of Warcraft characters – a Human Shadow Priest. I thought it was sort of comical that it caught on, so I kept it. I must stay true to my nerd roots. However, I haven’t played with her for a long time….so my gear is way outdated. It’s upsetting.”
PS!: Are you an avid POPSEOULer? If not, do you think you will be after this interview?
“Actually, yes! Every morning before I begin work, I have a cup of coffee and sort through my favorite blogs, including Popseoul.”
POPSEOUL would like to thank Natalie White for this POPtastic interview! We wish her all the best in her career endeavors. Also, we look forward to seeing this talented young lady rise to the top of the entertainment industry.