Our next Indie Spotlight artist is Ubare. A vocalist, keyboardist, and a composer, Ubare began her career in 2009 as a jazz keyboardist in the group Haem.
As a solo artist Ubare writes and composes her own music, sings, and plays keyboard, she is a one-woman-band. Blending jazz melodies with acoustic stylings, Ubare has a unique sound.
As a musician she’s always wanted to perform in Europe, so to take up this opportunity she moved to Paris in May, began learning French and hoped to immerse herself in the European music scene.
It was Sofar Sounds that brought her the perfect opportunity to play in Europe. Sofar Sounds is an interesting brand in itself, based all around the globe, Sofar Sounds curate intimate gigs in living rooms!
Not a new idea, but the secrecy of Sofar Sounds gigs makes them all the more exclusive. Dates and locations aren’t revealed until days before the end, and if you attend a Sofar Sounds show, you won’t even know who is playing until you arrive.
Sofar Sounds hosted Ubare as part of their 7th Sofar Sounds Seoul project, a collaboration with Airbnb. In July Ubare was able to play her Sofar Sounds show in a Cambridge Airbnb listing, in a show entitled ‘A day trip in Seoul’, a show for which Ubare was chosen because not only is she primarily a Korean singer, but her sound and styling beautifully fits with her new European life.
We spoke to Ubare about her life in France, and her Sofar Sounds shows.
How has immersing yourself in the French language and culture inspired your music?
I’ve been Paris just 3 months. These days, I’m just student of the French language. But after school, I try to study everything about France. Culture, custom, history, art history, music history, etc.
Some times ( actually mostly ), it’s difficult to me to understand these thing because of language.
So these days, I’ve tried to watch documentary of music history of France or anything related with France and music. (because approaching by music is familiar way to me)
Also, I memorize lyrics of chansons. From ‘la vie en rose’ of edith piaf to ‘papaoutai’ of stromae. And every weekend, I go to concert by french musician.
For me, it’s easier way to get French language than others.
Can you tell us about your experience playing Sofar Sounds shows in the UK?
That was absolutely amazing. First experience is alway valuable. For me, at Sofar Sounds show in Cambridge, and London, everything was first time. Performing outside of korea, contacting with people who doesn’t know korean, also visiting UK. :]
Everyone was nice. And audience, they were just perfect. They know how to listen, how to enjoy that moment, and how to act.
When I performed, there were also other artists who played before or after my show. We shared our idea and asked many questions. I performed 3 days in the UK. First day at Cambridge, second and third day at London. At 3rd day, I met one artist. HIs name is jack, who is singersong writer, who has huge talent. After performing, we were impressed by each other so, we’ve sent some mails and promised to meet again, soon.
First experience in the UK gave me lot of things.
Anyway, Like other musician, my music is reflected by my experience. When I started to play piano, about 6 years old, I played classic music.
At university, I studied jazz music (From Nat king cole to brad mehldau, admire them, all) And after, I was immersed in French music (charles tenet, django, françois hardy, etc). Also I like Bossa nova from Brazil (antonio carlos jobim, I love u), country music from america.
All of my preference is in my music. So, you can hear what you want to hear. But also, like what I like, It’s like ‘easy listening’ music. I’m sure.
Ubare might not be urging you to listen to her music, but we highly recommend you do!