Run River North
The San Fernando Valley-based band, Run River North.
The San Fernando Valley based band Run River North play and sing about their lives – including the Korean-American immigrant experience.
The six-member band can be found performing usually at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, but also roaming the streets of L.A. filming their do-it-yourself music videos, one of which was completely done in a car.
Two members of the band spoke with A Martinez in his car – sharing insight on a number of topics, from where they get their ideas to being first generation Korean-American.
On the idea for the filming their music video in a car
“The big motivation was we didn’t want to make a YouTube video that was like every other cover song or any other original song. We really wanted to make the visual just as exciting as the song.”
On writing lyrics
“For me, I write about folks that I know and folks that I want to be like and my folks. I always want to write about stuff that I know and that I’ve experienced. You won’t hear a lot of love songs because I don’t think I’ve fallen in love yet. For the song writing process, it’s whenever I think of my parents trying to go for the American dream or what does it mean to be dash American.”
On being dash American
"There's so much story there. ... One of those songs it came out in is "Fight to Keep." The substance of it is watching my dad go for that American dream: Find a job here, own a home and provide for his kids to go to college. And, he did all that but there was some crisis. Watching him fail and succeed ... that's kind of what the song is about: How do you fight to keep the fire burning at night and how do you fight to keep this American dream when there is so much failure sometimes."
On how being Korean-American influences their music
“For most of us, [our parents] came from Korea to America to provide for their children, for a better life. When they hear after all of that sacrifice – it’s even bigger than a 9 to 5 job to hear ‘I’m going to be a musician.’ At first, there was some blowback, but I think because of some of the doors we’ve had open our way.”
“And we willingly want to do this for our parents.”