"Currently, I am the only one in a mostly white group so I'm definitely aware that I'm the Asian and I think it definitely catches people off-guard when they hear my voice. It doesn't often meet their expectations according to how they perceive my appearance and I've heard that from other Asians as well for most of my life."
TRAKTIVIST is essentially a collection of stories & storytellers through art. Through these interviews, our aim is to give each artist the ability to provide a glimpse of their art, dynamic experiences, and life perspectives.
KEVIN KIM of THE SILVER LAKE CHORUS
Who are you and what do you do?
I am a baritone in the Silver Lake Chorus, which means I sing a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs". I do have a few duets and I'm in a quartet on a track so I'm not being totally serious, but I kind of am.
In five words, how would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it?
Distinct. Lush. Intricate. Warm. Eargasmic.
Tell us a story of transformation; musical, identity, or something that has played a key role in change in your life.
In my junior year of high school, I met the Lord and it has definitely changed my life and my identity. I started dating a pastor's daughter and at the time, I wasn't attending church, but I thought I was a Christian because I had a gold cross on my chain and I didn't associate with any other religion. A friend of mine was telling me about the gospel at English class around the same time and I developed an interest and started attending. The girl I was dating was getting pressure to break things off with me and she did. I started really reading the word and praying and it came alive to me for the first time and I knew I was a different person from that moment on and that I was no longer walking alone.
How does the “Asian American” identity play out in your musical universe?
I'm always representing as the "Asian-American" male in The Silver Lake Chorus. Currently, I am the only one in a mostly white group so I'm definitely aware that I'm the Asian and I think it definitely catches people off-guard when they hear my voice. It doesn't often meet their expectations according to how they perceive my appearance and I've heard that from other Asians as well for most of my life.
Describe your community. How do you make your community?
My community is wherever I am at the moment. I'm a Christian so the church is my community. I live in Glendale so that's my physical community. The Silver Lake Chorus is my community. My co-workers are my community. Our producer, Ben Lee, has a song that we sang backup on called "We're All in This Together". I think that song captures this idea perfectly.
What is your personal definition of success? What are your keys to success as an artist?
Success is making a positive impact on others, whether it's on a macro or micro scale. As an artist, success is touching the hearts of others. Last week after our show, I had many random people approach me to tell me that they enjoyed it or to say "great show", but one guy told me that it was the most beautiful thing that he's heard, that it moved him to tears and that I have a gift. I truly believe that the ability to sing and touch others is a gift and that we should keep striving to move and bless others.
What’s your motto or an advice you that live by?
My favorite bible verse that I've memorized is this, "Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him". Psalm 32:10.
Discover more about Kevin Kim & The Silver Lake Chorus: