SXSW Sydney comes to Australia for the first time this week, and it’s a truly global event. Some of Asia’s finest artists are coming to the city to showcase their music, including the exciting South Korean electronic duo Hypnosis Therapy.
Composed of scene veterans vocalist Jjangyou and producer Jflow, the pair have impressed on solo endeavours but really come into their own together. Hypnosis Therapy impressed far and wide with their 2022 self-titled debut album, with praise from Hypebeast, Vogue, and many other tastemakers following.
And they’re really only getting started, with their highly-anticipated second album due for release after their SXSW Sydney appearance.
She may be based in Auckland, but future pop superstar hanbee has always been fiercely proud of representing Korea on the international stage. The Kiwi-Korean singer-songwriter has been on Rolling Stone AU/NZ‘s radar for a while, hailed as one of Eight Kiwi Artists Tipped to Take Over earlier this year.
“Hanbee Jeong makes music that captures the ups and downs of being in your twenties, dealing with the ecstasy and agony of trying to make it big,” we wrote.
There’s a reason that artists as notable as Fazerdaze, Telenova, and Men I Trust have asked hanbee to tour with them, and expect her star to rise even further in 2024 and beyond.
Ahead of their appearances at SXSW Sydney this week, Rolling Stone AU/NZ asked hanbee and Hypnosis Therapy to get to know each other better. Read their in-depth conversation below, and find out more information about SXSW Sydney here.
Hypnosis Therapy SXSW Sydney Dates
Friday, October 20th (11am)
Saturday, October 21st (10am)
hanbee SXSW Sydney Dates
Friday, October 19th (7:30pm)
Saturday, October 20th (9:20pm)
When hanbee Met Hypnosis Therapy
hanbee: You guys both are known in Korea as solo artists but how did Hypnosis Therapy come to be as a duo?
Jflow: Jjangyou wanted to get into beat making and approached me. We’d meet often, making up to 2-3 beats a session in an effort to teach him. After a while the beats would pile up and I thought it’d be fun if he rapped over them. So initially, Hypnosis Therapy’s music came from these sessions.
Jjangyou: I was in a period of transition, where I wanted a new challenge, something new to get into. Honing more into production I thought would give me a broadened perspective on music, and Jflow was the best person to learn from. We never had any intention of creating a ‘duo’, it just all happened naturally.
hanbee: How did the name Hypnosis Therapy come about?
Jflow: As we were making beats, the instrumental for “HT” was created. The way that the beat loops/repeats itself, we both felt as though it was like a hypnosis. Initially, we were going to name it just ‘Hypnosis’ but it felt a little empty. After brainstorming, ‘Therapy’ came to mind. So the song title came to be “HT” and we ran with Hypnosis Therapy as a group name, basically from that song onwards.
Jjangyou: Jflow is really good at making song titles and putting his finger on themes and concepts in general. It was no surprise we got the name from the “HT” session; it was both a mix of pure coincidence and yet, divine timing.
hanbee: What musical direction do Hypnosis Therapy seek to pursue?
Jflow: I’d like to be active on a global scale, making music that gives energy to a range of listeners. For sure there are commercial pressures too in the industry, but we always want to be artists that prioritise our own values first. We want to lead a movement that remains fearless and experimental, ’till the very end.
Jjangyou: I’d like for us to be a group that always emits creative energy. Of course being left of field, often we won’t reach everyone, but even still we want to have a positive and encouraging influence on people who seek new things and want to push their own personal boundaries. Our energy is infinite, we just want to share that with the world.
How about yourself, what kind of music do you wish to express?
hanbee: I like to think that my music is something that constantly changes along with my life – something that can record and share my experiences with others who may be going through something similar. I like to think that if one listener can relate to my music and feel something from it, the purpose of my music is fulfilled.
Being in a duo, what are the roles of each member in Hypnosis Therapy?
Jflow: When we make music, I try my best to let Jjangyou have the ‘main player’ role and I support all other facets. For instance, I have a lot of experience in executive producing and although stressful at times, [I’m] also open to learning more about the business side of music. I also engineer and produce music. If we were to use a film analogy, Jjangyou is the lead actor and I do everything else to make the film work.
Jjangyou: Agreed, Jflow is the director and I’m an actor. He’s always making sure that I can focus solely on ‘acting’ by handling everything else. I’m forever grateful to him for that.
hanbee: What are the pros and cons of being in a duo vs being solo artists?
Jflow: In my case, me being a ‘solo’ artist is when I’m producing, in which case I always need to work with other people e.g. vocalists, rappers anyways, so it doesn’t feel much different being in a group. I tend to prefer working solely on my own things… maybe I’m more of an insular person in that regard.
Jjangyou: When I’m working on my solo projects, I prefer to control all musical and non-musical aspects. Because I like to go all in on my projects by myself, it usually takes a lot longer to release material. In our duo though, Jflow is so helpful in taking care of things outside of music and I can just focus on making music. That’s really sped up the process and we’re releasing more frequently. It’s nice to be able to just focus on the music, but at times I do also feel sorry to Jflow as he does have a lot of work on his shoulders.
What was your first impression of our music?
hanbee: The first thing that came to my mind when I listened to Hypnosis Therapy was popping candy! I felt like I found something I’d been missing for a long time – music that transports me to different dimensions. I love the wide range of sounds used in production – it really did feel like therapy for my ears. My favourite track is “Reality”.
Hypnosis Therapy: How about yourself as a solo artist, how do you work/produce?
hanbee: Usually I talk a lot with producers about an artistic direction and concept, and they take it home to create something. We build on it further together: I create melodies and write lyrics, shaping things here and there ’till we feel like it’s complete.
Hypnosis Therapy: How does it feel making music as a Korean but not in Korea?
hanbee: As a Korean-Kiwi, I’ve always felt like different pieces of both Korea and New Zealand have come together to form the person I am today. On that note, I am so grateful to be able to be a part of different music industries just like how I am.
Is there anywhere you really want to tour?
Jflow: Europe! Especially Paris and the UK. Jjangyou did MIK Fest this year and the fans all requested a Hypnosis Therapy show. We’d love to perform in countries with strong electronic music cultures. And South East Asia! They have a lot of love for Korean music, we’d love to play there also.
Jjangyou: Wherever in the world, if it’s possible, I want to go.
Are there any other countries you’d like to be musically active in?
hanbee: I would love to be more active in Asian music industries, especially Korea as it would mean so much to me.
You have the ‘Mushroom House’ concept for your parties in Korea and now in Melbourne too. How did that come to be?
Jflow: This also came about naturally after we started making electronic music and had finished our debut album. When thinking about where this music would play, it was obvious to us that it’s not so much for someone to listen [to] alone, it’s for clubs and places people want to party. We wanted to make a movement that fit the music. Jjangyou used to be in an event-throwing crew called ‘Deepcoin’, so throwing parties wasn’t new to us. We thought why not, and as we’ve been doing them, more and more people have been coming. Eventually we’d like to have our own club and maybe even a festival in Korea… I guess that depends on how famous we can get.
Jjangyou: From the idea of getting into DJing, to making a movement behind Hypnosis Therapy, all of these ideas came from Jflow. These new projects continue to give us motivation to push ourselves. I really look forward to where we can go, not just with Hypnosis Therapy but with Mushroom House as well.
hanbee: You guys seem to have a really great bond, what would you say are each other’s points of charm, as artists?
Jflow: Jjangyou is a natural born artist. I wish I could live a more simple life driven by art and music. That way I think I’d be able to make more creative things. Also, I think his energy on stage is something no one in Korea can touch.
Jjangyou: Jflow always sets a good example. He’s a friend who takes good care of his body and mind so naturally – that energy rubs off on me. As a person who’s self aware of my shortcomings, I can learn by example rather than needing to be taught. Thanks to him, I strive towards being a better person.
In your mind, what is your ‘ideal artist’?
hanbee: My take on an ‘ideal artist’ would be someone who stands by their own artistic direction no matter what. Following your heart as an artist can be difficult sometimes, it’s so easy to lose your way. Overcoming all the fear and doubt, listening to your inner voice and creating what you believe in despite what anyone else says is what I strive for every day.
What are you most looking forward to at SXSW?
Jflow: To be able to play in front of people passionate about music we’re really grateful for. We want to give everything we’ve got for them. We’re also looking forward to checking out the wide range of artists playing and hopefully form some friendships too.
Jjangyou: I got to know about SXSW in my early 20’s and while I was making music, [I] always wondered to myself whether I’d be able to attend one. Being able to play is another feat ticked off the bucket list. Using this experience, I want it to fuel even more bigger things to come in future.
How about yourself?
hanbee: It’s my first SXSW so I’m so excited about everything! I’m looking forward to seeing so many talented artists – especially ADOY, 1tbsp, and of course Hypnosis Therapy!
Hypnosis Therapy: Last question, what is one superpower you wish to have?
hanbee: I would like to talk to plants and animals – I’ve always wondered what goes on in their world and would love to know how they think.
How about yourselves?
Jflow: The best superpower would be to live healthy.
Jjangyou: Teleportation. I want to experience different worlds easily and expand my horizons.