Lydia Paek is one of the many multi-faceted boss BISH dancers that we first met at FLYGRLS LA. Outside of the dance world, Lydia is also a singer/songwriter and even works with music production giant, YG Entertainment in South Korea. Having started focusing on herself as a solo artist and putting her own projects out into the world, Lydia has zeroed in on discovering her own sound and is set to release her first EP. We chatted with Lydia about where exactly her musicality comes from, and how she hopes to inspire others through her movement and voice. Check it out below!

How did you get started with dance and music?
I took interest when I was young, it started off at church. There was a crew where they did break dancing and popping and stuff like that. Eventually, I went on to do Quest crew. I started off as a breaker and then went into doing more urban choreography. There was no YouTube back then, so I had to go on websites and basically read directions on how to do certain breakdance moves. Then I was able to find some DVDs; so that’s how I was able to get started in dance. I also thought, if guys can do it then girls can do it too–so I’m gonna do it. I also wanted to prove that girls can dance just as good as guys.

Music wise, both of my parents sing and play instruments. I didn’t really sing too much until junior high, and then my friend told me to post a video of me singing on YouTube. That’s how it hit off. Music was always around me, but it’s not like my mom was always playing Whitney Houston or anything… Nothing like that. I kind of found the love of music that I have now by venturing off into loving Funk and R&B at a young age. When I was born, it was kind of the start of it all–the ’90s.

In terms of being a dancer, how has the scene changed since you first started?
Scene-wise it’s grown a lot. There are a lot more little minions that are ridiculously great. Everything’s so much more accessible and everyone feels or thinks they know everything. It can get over saturated. There are a lot of great dancers but not everyone’s a teacher. I think a lot of people know how to dance in terms of copying choreo or movement, but they don’t have the knowledge behind the foundation.

We used to go for hours and hours in a session and it was just us and our bodies. There was no help in terms of media. If we didn’t know about something and somehow found out about it, we would have to figure it out for ourselves. A lot of things can be too easy for people nowadays.

Do you get nervous before getting on stage? What do you want others to get out of seeing you perform?
I get nervous every single time–I drink so much water that I have to pee and that almost ups my nervousness. But I’ll pray. For me, I hope to shine a light and I remind myself that it isn’t about me at the end of the day. I hope that my voice or my movements make people feel a certain way. It’s not really about showing off, it’s about making somebody feel something. I just hope that I can shine a light through what I do.

“I hope that my voice or my movements make people feel a certain way… I just hope that I can shine a light through what I do.”

What has been the most memorable performance you’ve done?
When you can share the stage with your friends, any time is a memorable time. It sounds so corny, haha.

Going back to your music, how would you describe your musical style and what kind of music is your favorite?
Definitely still Soul, Funk, and R&B. Very ’90s… I wish it was the ’90s all the time.

Where do you draw inspiration from when writing songs?
I think music has to have a little bit of truth or be all truth. If not all truth, a little bit so that people can relate to it. I definitely draw from personal experiences and situations. If there’s a situation that happens to me or to someone I know or I see it in a movie, I basically nitpick at that situation and it becomes a song. Inspiration always comes out, regardless.

Where are you hoping to take your music?
I’m still writing for YG in Korea which is a big label out there. But I’m also out here in LA, working on my stuff–I’m really excited to put it out there. Direction-wise, I just really want to put out good music. There’s not a specific genre that we’re going for, I think it’s just good music and good storytelling. It’s definitely multiple genres blending into one and I’m working on it as we speak so it’s almost there, I just need to pick the songs that I want for my EP. I hope that it will get people excited.

Whos your MISSBISH?
I know it’s so cliche but my mom. I think she’s just, superwoman. She holds it down. She’s the boss lady who knows how to do everything. She’s the most giving and caring person that you’ll ever meet but she’s also a bad*ss.

Photos by: Ja Tecson

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