Kero One photo press


Kero One, a rapper/producer/DJ raised in the Bay Area, is considered one of the pioneers of the jazz-hop and mellow beat sub-genre in the 2000’s.

Using only his bedroom studio and personal credit card, Kero pressed and released his first 12” hip-hop record Check the Blueprints in 2003 on his own imprint, Plug Label. Without any experience as to how he should distribute his new record, Kero spent hours researching, cold-calling, and seeking help from friends. Of the 50 copies that were eventually distributed around the world, one landed in a tiny record store in Tokyo, Japan. A few weeks later, it was found by a Japanese DJ who played it at a hiphop event that night and received many inquires, including a Japanese distributor who immediately contacted Kero and asked for 3,000 copies of the record. The record, Check the Blueprints became an underground hip-hop classic in Japan for its unique jazzy sound, and Kero was invited to tour the country just a few months after. Kero performed in cities throughout Japan, where he was greeted by hundreds of fans waiting to take photographs and autographs, much to his surprise. It was at this point that making a career out of music became a reality.

Kero went on to finish his first album Windmills of the Soul in 2005, handling everything from playing instruments and rapping to sound engineering. Without a record label or a street team, Kero handled almost all of the business himself. From marketing, manufacturing, finances, and art direction to web design, Kero personally handed out promos to tastemakers anywhere he could find them. Eventually the hard work paid off, and Windmills of the Soul garnered respect in many circles for Kero’s thought provoking lyrics and feel good musical soundscapes, which fused live instruments with dusty analog samples. It wasn’t long before Kero quit his job as a web designer in 2006 to pursue music full time.  Since then, Kero One has shared the stage with hiphop legends like Dougie Fresh, KRS 1, and Souls of Mischief as well as received praise from moguls like of the Black Eyed Peas, the legendary Stevie Wonder, and chart-topping soul man Aloe Blacc.  Despite all the accolades however, Kero remained an underground artist most of his career.  Kero’s biggest commercial success was when he brought his signature jazz-hop sound to Korea, producing a song called “Ogeul Ogeul” and  “Ordinary Love” for Korean rapper Park Kyung which hit #1 on charts there (Melon). Since 2007, Kero One has worked with some of the biggest names in Korea like Epik High & Dynamic Duo but this was his first time collaborating as a producer.

At the end of 2015 Kero released his first album solely as a producer called Reflection (Noitcelfer) Eternal featuring vocalists like Kelsey Bulkin, Blu, Jeff Bernat, and Brandun Deshay.  The album, inspired by Kero’s move to Los Angeles from the bay,  peaked at #5 on iTunes Japan, top 50 on iTunes US, and made it to Reddit/ListentoThis best of 2015 albums list.

In 2017, Kero One collaborated with another fellow Korean-American rapper/producer/DJ born and raised in the SF Bay Area by the name of Azure. Their new collaborative hiphop album  showcases their love for clever lyrics and timeless hip-hop vibes in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde. Their first single “Jazzhop” was featured in Spotify’s “Fresh Finds” playlist .



自宅のベッドルームだけで制作し、個人のクレジットカードでレコードのプレスを発注した。それが2003年のデビュー作である12インチ作品の「Check the Blueprints」で自身のPlug Labelからのリリースだった。ディストリビューションのノウハウなど知らなかったので、自身でリサーチして、アポ取りの電話に時間を割き、友人に協力も依頼した。約50枚ほどがアメリカ国外に輸出され、偶然にもそのうちの一枚が東京の小さなレコード屋に届いた。数週間後、とあるDJがこのレコードを見つけ、その晩のクラブイベントでプレイしたところ大反響で、その場にいた日本のレーベルの役員はすぐにケロ・ワンに連絡を取り、3000枚買い取るとオファーしたという。「Check the Blueprints」は日本においてアンダーグラウンド・ヒップホップのクラッシクとなり、その数カ月後には日本の音楽集団Jazzy Sportよりツアーに招聘された。ケロ・ワンは日本の各地でパフォーマンスを行い、多くのファンから写真やサインを求められ、非常に驚いたという。それは音楽でキャリアを成すということが現実になった瞬間であった。


結果的にそのハードワークは報われた。『ウインドミルズ・オブ・ザ・ソウル』はケロ・ワンの示唆に富むリリックと、生楽器とダスティなサンプリンングが溶け込んだサウンドスケープで大いに高い評価を得た。翌年にはウェブ・デザイナーとしての仕事を辞めて、音楽一本で生活していくことを決めた。2006年には日本のRemix誌で年間ベスト・ヒップ・ホップ・アルバム賞を受賞、スティーヴィー・ワンダーやブラック・アイド・ピーズのウィル・アイ・アム、アロー・ブラックや韓国のヒップホップ・グループ、エピック・ハイやダイナマイト・デュオなど世界中から賞賛を受けた。ブルー+エグザイル、KRS1、ダギー・フレッシュ、などなど多くのアーティストとも共演してきた。またDJとしてもディプロ、ノサッジ・シングなどとも共演を果たす。ケロ・ワンの音楽はパリのプランタンや東京の高島屋、ハイアット・ホテル、多くのテレビ番組でも放送されてきた。韓国のラッパー、パク・キュンのためにプロデュースした「Ordinary Love」は韓国のメジャーチャートで1位を獲得した。



케로 원은 캘리포니아 주 샌프란시스코 출신 한국계 미국인 힙합 가수 및 프로듀서로 활동을 하고있다. 케로원 은 원래 웹 디자이너로 일을 했었다. 자신의 첫 번째 싱글을 신용 카드로 집에서 홈 레코딩으로 50장을 제작했다. 첫 생산된 케로 원의 앨범을 듣고 매혹된한 일본인 DJ의요청으로 도쿄에 있는 한 음반 가게에서 팔리기 시작했다. 이어 일본 음반사와 계약을 하고 3천 장의 첫주문을 받았으며 일본 전역에서 공연을 가지게 되었다. 2005년 직접 제작한 첫 번째 음반인 《Windmills of the Soul》은 리믹스 (Remix) 지에서 2006년 최고의 힙합 음반으로 선정되었으며, 2007년엔 독립 레이블인 플러그 레이블을 설립한다. 또한 다이나믹 듀오의 3번째 정규 음반 《Enlightened》에 〈지구본 뮤직〉에 참여하며 한국에도 이름을 알리기 시작한다. 이어 2008년에는페니의 음반인 《Alive! Soul Cutz Vol.1》에 참여해 MYK와 함께 작업하기도 하였다. 2009년에는 에픽하이, 다이나믹 듀오 등 한국 아티스트들이 참여한 두 번째 음반 《Early Believers》를 발매한다. 이후 에픽하이의 음반 《魂 : Map the Soul》에 피처링으로 참여하고 맵더소울 명예아티스트로서 2009년 5월에는 에픽하이의 월드 투어에 합류하여 같이 공연을 하였다. 또한 에픽하이 6집 《[e]》에 수록된 〈Rocksteady〉에 참여하였다. 그외 애도 불루 + 엨사일, KRS원, Dougie Fresh, Souls of Mischief 와도 공연했다. 그리고 Diplo, Nosaj Thing and Djemba Djemba 등의 DJ들과도 같이일했다. 또한 케로원의 음악은 파리의유명한 상가 Printemps Mall, 도꾜의Takashimaya mall, 하이야트 호텔, 그리고 Anthony Bourdain Layover 탤레비젼쇼와 Fuse 텔레비젼에도 방송되었다. 세계적으로 유명한가수 “윌아이엠 (”, Stevie Wonder, Jamie Cullum, Aloe Blacc 로 부터 그의 음악성과 창의력을 인정받았으며, Stevie Wonder 의 크리스마스 공연에도 초청받았었다. 최근에는 그가 프로듀스한 “보통연애(Ordinary Love)” 가 블락비 멤버인 랩 가수 박경을 통해 발표되었으며 이노래는 여러한국뮤직 인기 Chart 에 일위를 차지했다. 현재 그는 프로듀서로서의 첫 앨범제작에 심혈을 기우리고 있으며 2015년 겨울에 “Kero Uno” 라는이름으로 앨범을 발표할예정이다. 케로원의 최근 노래는 아래 웹 싸이트를 통해서 들을수있다.

BIOGRAPHY 專輯介紹:   身兼制作人、MC、DJ的美籍韓裔Hip Hop好手Kero One,在相隔上一張『Early Believers』 14個月之後,再次在自己的廠牌Plug Label發表新作『Kinetic World』。 從事音樂活動近十年的Kero One,他最早靠著自己自掏腰包創立Plug Label這個獨立廠牌,靠著自己優越的創作力跟巡回宣傳,並曾與DJ Jazzy Jeff、Stevie Wonder、DJ Mitsu The Beats、Aloe Blacc, Epik High、Will I Am….等眾多知名樂手合作的紀錄,讓他在現今歐美日韓的Jazzy Hip Hop領域成為相當具有指標性的人物,尤其近幾年Jazzy Hip Hop的大量流行,可說讓Kero One的名聲觸及更多地方,包括台灣,也於是造就07年時她來台演出的機會。   這一次的專輯『Kinetic World』基本上走向與上一張『Early Believers』並沒有太大的差異性,真要說的話,倒是少了些許藍調的調味,大大增加了Vocal的比例,增添不少的靈騷味,以爵士吉他、鋼琴等樂器之元素,在節奏鮮明,卻也慵懶的都會節拍中,Kero One持續帶領你我進入優雅的Jazzy Hip Hop的世界,日盤更特別收錄DJ Deckstream為” Remember All That ”炮制的 Remix版。

Condensed Bio:

Kero One is a Korean-Californian rapper, producer, and DJ. After releasing his self-produced single “Check the Blueprints” in 2003, he quickly found underground fame in Japan for his niche jazz hiphop sound, eventually selling over 75k copies of his albums and singles there. Five solo albums and many tours later, Kero crafted a following amongst fans of mellow and jazzy beats all over the globe. Furthermore, Kero also attracted the attention of some of music’s biggest name including co-signs from Will.I.Am, Stevie Wonder, Epik High, and Aloe Blacc. Despite this attention, Kero remained underground and never quite tasted mainstream success until 2015 when a song he produced for K-pop rapper, Park Kyung of Block B, became the #1 song in Korea. Staying true to his roots of producing feel good Jazzy beats paid off for Kero. In 2017, Forbes Magazine wrote a feature piece on Kero’s music, calling it “a grand exercise in mixing modern sensibilities with old-school, funk-inspired sounds”. It was through this experience as a producer Kero realized his new mission; to remain true to his style as an independent artist while producing hits for celebrity vocalists worldwide.