Kero One photo press

Kero One, a rapper/producer/DJ raised in the California Bay Area, is considered one of the leaders of the jazz-hop or chill beats sub-genre in the 2000’s.

When Kero was only 6 years old, he discovered hiphop on the radio and was immediately hooked.  Moving swiftly through the elements of hiphop, Kero learned how to DJ around age 11 and in high school explored the art of graffiti, giving birth to the tag “Kero One”.  The next hiphop element to learn was the art of rapping and Kero’s first stroke of confidence came when he called in live to rap on KMEL radio’s 10 O’clock bomb hosted by Sway.  Of the 5 rappers who called in, it was only Kero who Sway called “kinda nice on the mic”.  Being called “kinda nice” by the king of hiphop radio was just enough to give Kero the fuel to move forward.

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 even sneaking backstage to hand his record to people like Questlove. 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 and he quit his full time job as a web developer.

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 his vinyl to tastemakers anywhere he could find them. Eventually the hard work paid off, and Windmills of the Soul garnered respect for Kero’s thought provoking lyrics and feel good musical soundscapes, which fused live instruments with dusty analog samples. Since then, Kero One has shared the stage all over the world with hiphop legends like Dougie Fresh, KRS 1, The Pharcyde, 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 came 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 Kero Uno – Reflection 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, was placed on ABC TV’s Grownish and made it to Reddit/ListentoThis best of 2015 albums list.

Finally, in 2018 Kero released his 15 year career anthology album showcasing his jazzy and feel good roots but how he has continuously evolved as a musician.  Add Kero One on Spotify/Apple music.

??: ケロ・ワンはサンフランシスコのベイエリア出身のDIYスタイルで成功してきたラッパー/プロデューサー/DJだ。

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.

?? : 在2000年尚未有Youtube或SoundCloud的年代,Kero One選擇一個少有亞裔人口的嘻哈文化出發。韓裔美籍的他深受滑板文化影響,於2003年發行他首張黑膠專輯,在當時較少出現爵士嘻哈或lo-fi嘻哈,也沒有太多亞裔饒舌歌手或製作人。在成功獲得大家注意後,Kero One,辭去網頁設計師的工作,選擇當一個全職的獨立音樂人。從歐洲表演到日本,他得到各地人們的認同,也因此獲得與爵士大師Stevie Wonder共同表演的機會。在不久後,當大家聽到爵士的風格以及慵懶舒服的曲子加上充滿音樂性的樂器組成就很容易直接連想到他。經過十五年的累積,Kero One的曲風始終維持著爵士,悅耳聆聽;而他也不停進化,帶給歌迷更好的音樂感受。他合作過的音樂人類型有:來自於獨立嘻哈、Youtuber(沒簽約的素人),以及韓國主流音樂人,隨處都可以見到他優異的作品。

??: Hace mucho tiempo que los exponentes asiáticos nos han deslumbrado con su gran capacidad para la creación de beats, haciendo que cada día nos sumemos más adictos a su música. Aunque Kero Onees oriundo de California tiene sus raíces asiáticas provenientes desde Tokio, como varios más que han hecho una gran carrera gracias a su talento como beatmakers.

Si bien Kero Onees un viejo conocido el cual nos deslumbró con Windmills Of The Soulallá por el año 2006, logrando un muy buen registro en donde demostró todo de lo que era capaz como Emcee/ Dj / Productor. Y diciendo en voz alta Hey!!! Acá estoy yo! Y claro ahí está Kero One.

El mismo que 2 años más tarde vuelve a decir presente con Plug Labelotro disco lleno de talento, el cual mantiene la misma esencia de su trabajo anterior, arto jazz, soul  y Groove que se van fusionando para dar un sonido muy bueno. Pero como Kero es un artista que vive para la música un año después vuelve a la escena con un nuevo trabajo titilado Early Believers, en donde matania la misma línea pero ya acá Kero One ya estaba incursionando con sonidos algo más house pero bien sutil para no ser tan brusco el cambio. El cual para mí es bastante agradable porque así demostraba toda su capacidad creadora y conocimientos musicales que se hicieron más presentes en Kinetic Worldun disco editado el año 2010 con el cual también logró el éxito que obtuvo con us trabajos anteriores. Ahora éste año 2010 Kero vuelve como un grande con su último trabajo titulado Color Theory. El cual para mí reúne todos sus años de trabajos ya mostrando a un músico mucho más maduro en lo musical, capaz de hacer todo tipo de música utilizando el factor sorpresa de con qué nos sorprenderá Kero One.

Frescura, sutileza, creatividad, armonía, elegancia y profesionalismo son algunos de los adjetivos calificativos que se me vienen en mente en este momento, aunque hay varios más que se me quedan en mente. Pero yo creo que esos se los darán ustedes mismo al escuchar éste gran álbum que cuenta con una frescura y versatilidad musical única, con que Kero nos vuelve a encantar.

Como ya dije Kero One es un Emcee/ Dj / Productorde una calidad increíble el que no descuida ni un solo detalle para la creación de sus discos comenzando por la calidad de los artistas invitados como  Shun, Clara, Dumbfoundead, Jane Lui, Myk, Sam Ock y Shinig02. En donde cada uno de los ya mencionados hace lo suyo en cada canción para dar génesis a un álbum buenísimo que hoy dice presente en BML.

Condensed Bio:

In the early 2000’s when there was no Youtube, Instagram, and no more than a few Asian hiphop artists, Kero One managed to make a mark in underground HipHop through pure determination.  A Korean-American musician who grew up on skateboarding and hip hop culture in California, Kero spent hours in freestyle circles, painting graffiti and deejaying since the age of 13.  As an avid record collector, Kero eventually self-released 3,000 copies of his first official vinyl in 2003 called “Check the Blueprints”, which blew up overseas in the Japan underground music scene and quickly spread through the rest of the world. Independent and very DIY in nature, Kero quit his career as a web designer shortly after and never looked back. From touring nearly every continent as a rapper/DJ/producer, landing on front page of Myspace, receiving praise from legends like Stevie Wonder and, and eventually producing a #1 song for K-pop artist Park Kyung, some fans increasingly couldn’t grasp what Kero’s direction was.  Was he no longer an underground rapper?  Why would he ever collaborate with pop stars like What’s this foreign genre he was so involved with called K-pop?  Is he now just a producer? But for Kero he always did what he liked, and fans that came along for the ride loved him for his clever lyrics, feel good jazzy vibes and/or lofi beats laced with musical live instrumentation.  Doing what he liked meant Kero would continuously evolve, growing from a self produced rapper to his most recent alias “Kero Uno”, created just to produce other singers.  In the end, Kero’s hope is that his multi-decade long body of work will continue helping people through dark times, influence other musicians to make great art, and show that those things are more important than staying within a box.