Will ZERODAE (제로대이) Pave the Way for Korean Christian Rap (KCHH)?

The CHH scene in Korea is growing

Zerodae

The last two articles I wrote focused on two specific South Korean Artists BeWhy and YDG so since I still listen to some gospel Korean music among other languages the YouTube algorithm hit me with a banger for once. It recommended an artist named Zero(제로) who had just released a new song titled “Crucified” (십자가에 달리신).

After watching it, I was then recommended the actual video from his YouTube page and then some short collaborations with another artist named Dae (대이). I reached out to them and asked if they would answer a few questions to shed some light on who they are and what they are doing, check it out!

What is the meaning of your artist name?

Zero: Zero was made before I became a reborn Christian so there was no meaning, but now it became Zero, which means “I am nothing without Jesus.”

DAE: It’s my birth name. My Korean name is Dae Hyuk Kwon. People struggle with the Hyuk part, so I just went by Dae, and I just stuck with it. ZERODAE is just a combination of our artist names, but there is also the message of the “urgency of the hour” in that we strive to live as end-time messengers as if there are zero days left.

Where are you from?

Zero: I am based in South Korea. I lived in the States for three years when I was young.

DAE: I was born in South Korea, but I lived in the States for 20 years, mainly in Northern Virginia. NOVA!

How long have you been making music?

Zero: It’s been eight years since I started making my own music.

DAE: I’ve been writing here and there since I was in high school. I would say I really started writing and making music around five years ago.

What inspired you to start making music?

Zero: My dad was also a Christian musician. So I naturally got inspired from home.

DAE: My entire family is artistic and musical, so I was exposed to all that early on. I also loved storytelling and growing up, I wasn’t the most expressive guy. Music, rap especially, was where I felt I could jump into that more assertive, expressive persona and speak my thoughts.

How did you two meet?

Zero: We met at a concert tour in 2019.

DAE: We met at a tour called “Comeback Tour” in 2019. He was part of another set, and the guy was amazing!

Who are your musical influences? I see that you put Bible verses before each song on your Youtube.

Zero: For me, there are many, but I would say the biggest is my dad. In the 1980s, my dad made Christian songs with a new style in Korea. He was the leader of Korean music culture back then.

DAE: I listened to a lot of hip-hop, rap, R&B, and soul growing up. It’s hard to put them all in a list, but if I had to, I would say J. Cole and Lyricks were the biggest influences early on. Nowadays, I don’t really listen to music for influence.

What is your creative process in making a song?

Zero: It’s really case by case. Sometimes we listen to a beat and think of a message that fits the beat’s vibe. Or sometimes, we think of the message first and then consider how we should go for it.

DAE: Usually, I go from top to bottom. I start off with an overarching theme, concept, or message, find a beat to match it, then work my way down with the lyrics and flow. It’s not set in stone, though.

Who would you like to collaborate with?

Zero: Justin Bieber, Maverick City.

DAE: KB.

Will you be continuing refining your music with singles or are you working on an album?

Zero: For now, we are focusing on short content for ZERODAE. And I’m releasing a full album on August 16th.

DAE: We are going to continue putting up short sound bites as ZERODAE. That’s our main focus at the moment, but Zero has an album coming out soon, and I’ll be working on my own single very soon.

The short content they are referring to are songs that are usually under two minutes.

How do you feel about Korean artists like YDG (양동근) doing Christian Hip Hop? And artists like BeWhy who are unashamed of their faith creating songs like “In Trinity”?

Zero: I think we need more of those kinds of Christian songs in Korea. But honestly, I’m hoping that more Christian artists with deep Christian messages and the true gospel will come out!

DAE: It’s encouraging to see believers out at the forefront of the industry with that level of boldness in their faith. I hope to see even bolder artists rise up and proclaim Christ, in various shapes and forms, not only in the music industry but in all spheres of influence.

Do you feel since Hip-hop has been popular in Korea for so long that it has opened the way for Korean-CHH (Christian Hip hop)?  If so, who do you think has contributed to that? 

Zero: Yes, of course, hip-hop has been opened to Christians because hip-hop has become popular in Korea. Bewhy was especially a big influence.

DAE: Definitely. The Lord has definitely used Bewhy to create an avenue for KCHH. Other rappers have poked at it previously, but none have made the impact that Bewhy has had on the industry. I would say it was the first time CHH wasn’t looked at as corny or sub-par.

Will you continue as a group and/or solo?

Zero: We are actually solo artists and the purpose of ZERODAE was for the content projects so we will continue with both.

DAE: ZERODAE is the collaborative effort of two individual artists, Zero and DAE. We will continue to work with each other and also pursue solo routes.

Will we hear any tracks in Korean or will they just be in English?

Zero: Of course. We will also make songs in Korean. But for now, we’re more focused on doing it in English.

DAE: We’re going to make songs in both. Some may be fully Korean, others are fully English. Some may be a mix of both. But we’ll probably write in English the most.

For people who don’t know you, what would you like them to know about you? Besides YouTube & Instagram, do you have Spotify or another way you want people to follow you?

Zero: We are working on more songs. We are not artists who do music for our own careers, but we do this for God’s kingdom and for only Jesus to be glorified. So yes, please stay tuned for more songs to come out. We do have our songs on Spotify and also on other platforms.

DAE: Apostle Paul says that creation is waiting for the sons of God to be revealed. It’s time for the children of God to rise up and shine the light, the light that is in us through the life of Christ. The world needs the message of the Gospel. The world needs the church to stand up and speak the truth in love. ZERODAE is here to do that and that alone. We’re here to decrease that Christ may increase, and we pray, as you follow us and our music through Spotify, YouTube, Instagram, and whatever other platforms, that we can accomplish the task of pointing you to the Word because the Word is the point.

You can check out ZERODAE’s latest single below as well as their social media accounts. Sound off in the comments, do you think KCHH is a force to be reckoned with? You know I do.

ZERODAE – Nothing Can Stop Us

Check them out on their Social Media

제로대이 (ZERODAE) Official Youtube

제로(Zero)

Youtube

Instagram

대이 (DAE)

Official YouTube  Channel

Instagram







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Written by Brandon Roots

Brandon Roots is a husband, father of three, Hebrew teacher and someone who enjoys singing and learning songs in any language that praise the Lord from Sacramento, California.

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