Tens of thousands of fans gather in Los Angeles this past weekend to enjoy three days of panels, workshops, concerts and more at the world’s largest Korean fan convention, KCON 2016 USA presented by Toyota. Ready to enjoy a weekend full of “all things Hallyu,” fans were anything but disappointed as the convention promised to be bigger and better than ever. In an effort to live up to that promise, KCON invited several K-indie bands to be a part of the weekend’s festivities. Showcasing a wide variety styles within the Korean indie genre, these bands perfectly demonstrated just how varied the Korean music industry really is.
One such band, a disco/funk band aptly named, Sultan of the Disco, was gracious enough to take time out of their busy schedule to talk with us for a moment. Sitting down with the band’s frontman, Nahzam Sue, we talked about the band’s music, their inspiration and their time at KCON 2016. KPZ: You’ve been together for 10 years and have made quite a name for yourself as a disco/funk band. What inspired you to make such a retro sound your own? Nahzam Sue: Many years ago, my father’s friend gave me some hard discs which was used at a guest center. That hard disc contained music from 1950-1990, it was about 100 songs per year… about 5000 songs I listened to so naturally, I became a disco fan. It was just very natural for me. Especially 70s disco funk and soul, like Phoenix Chic and Sister Sledge, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire… they’re my favorite songs, my favorite musicians. I chose the disco genre to make them popular in Korea. I wanted to make disco popular in Korea. KPZ: You’ve said that you strive to combine “musical seriousness with entertainment.” What does this mean, to combine the two? Nahzam Sue: I combine funny things with the serious musical style of the era because music listeners in Korea don’t care about the music style so we had to bring some funny things into our performance [to draw in listeners]. KPZ: You’ve been invited to perform at some pretty major music festivals all over the world. Do you have a favorite experience or memorable moment you’d like to share? Nahzam Sue: Yes! Glastonbury! Yes, that was really great! The best ever! KPZ: You had a good response there from the audience? Nahzam Sue: Yes! The audience all danced along. I never imagined that. KPZ: You’ve performed here in LA before, at the Culture Collide festival last year but this is your first appearance at KCON. Nahzam Sue: Yes, this is the new challenge because we never performed in front of K-Pop fans before. KPZ: Do you expect there response to be different? Nahzam Sue: Yes, very different. KPZ: Do you think this appearance will open doors for more indie bands in the future? Nahzam Sue: I don’t know. KPZ: What are you most looking forward to during your time in LA? Are you enjoying your time here? Nahzam Sue: I’m really enjoying my time here. The weather is really nice. In Korea it’s too humid so I like it here. The atmosphere is really great. KPZ: Is there anything you’d like to say to your new fans here at KCON? Nahzam Sue: Just listen to our new music, be sure to see our new performance. You will like it! True to their word, Sultan of the Disco wowed their KCON audience with a performance that was as memorable as it was fun. If you just can’t picture what Korean disco sounds like, be sure to check out Sultan of the Disco’s ” 탱탱볼” MV below!