Hugh Keice
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Hugh Keice

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter




"November's best music across the MAP"

Hugh Keice - We Are Islands (acoustic)
Originally from Seoul, London-based singer-songwriter Hugh Keice counts both John Mayer and Jamiroquai as influences, owning to a sound that ranges from acoustic pop to neo soul. His third EP, Slow Tree, is scheduled for release in January. He has recorded an acoustic version of his new song, We Are Islands, exclusively for MAP. - The Guardian

"Tales from the Attic Volume II Revolutions of a 45 kind….."

Hugh Keice- ’Drink in the desert’ – not entirely sure which label this’ll be eventually appearing on, one thing I’m certain of though is that its become something of a guilty pleasure here at attic towers so much so that we don’t admit to being a tad smitten by it. Winner of countless awards and educated at the prestigious Goldsmith’s College, Mr Keice is about to embark on a short tour of these fair isles sporting under his arm his debut EP ’drink in the desert’ from which this, the lead cut, is taken. A sweetly alluring fix of day dreamily smoked early 70’s motifs curled with a soft soul undercarriage that’s neatly garnished with succulent radio friendly west coast trims and presaged with a knowing pop astuteness suggest an emerging talent reared on platters bearing such names as Jamiroquai, ben folds 5, Ashley parks, the brigadier and spiller upon their grooved hides

Video – and cute it is – here…. - GOD IS IN THE TV

"FAME - Hugh Keice "Dancing In The Rain""

Welcome to the 7th episode of FAME! It seems that our schedules keep getting crazier every week, so for this week’s post I (Vic) will be the only one writing yet again. College/Uni (for our lovely international fans – apparently there’s a big difference between saying “college” and “uni”) is crazy!

For this week’s FAME, I will be reviewing “Dancing in the Rain (Off The Record)”by Hugh Keice [aka ?????? ? ???].

I was actually rather surprised by this week’s pole! I just threw Hugh Keice in there this week because it was a song I had heard a while ago that I like to unwind to, and apparently you all really like it too. I thought for sure that Shinhwa’s “Venus” would dominate, since both Dillon and I loved it on the first listen, but apparently I was wrong. Should we start incorporating more indie style songs instead of pop songs in our poll? Please let us know in the comments! ^_^

Anyways, I really liked “Dancing in the Rain” the first time I heard it, but it took me a minute to realize that the whole song was going to be in English. Usually when I see a music video (MV) on YouTube that has a load of Hangul around it, I automatically think the song will predominantly be in Korean. So, I was extremely surprised (in a good way) to hear a lovely British accent. I was rather taken aback at first – then I criticized myself for being so racist hahaha. There are some stereotypes that I’m still working to get over, but I think this was reasonably understandable. Did I mention that, for some reason, most Americans are obsessed with a proper British accent? – We (at least Dillon and I) think it sounds so cool – Seriously! … That really has nothing to do with the review of the song, but oh well. I’ll try to stay on track from now on.

I love the tone of the song – how they’re so relaxed and get along so well. I think whoever had the idea to film them performing live on the steps of a bridge was brilliant. The tone of the music matches the tone of the video perfectly. The lyrics are calm and talk about dancing in the rain (obviously), and the video background is a calming grey color with the water flowing softly in the river below.

You guys already know, from Episode 6, that I love it when live music performances are just as good as the studio recordings. And, this song “takes the cake”. I actually like the live recording of “Dancing in the Rain (Off The Record)” more than the studio recorded version. I also adore the fact that, as an appreciation for all of the lovely comments Hugh Keice received on the YouTube video, he released the live recording for free on soundcloud. He isn’t a really well known artist yet, so make his recordings available for free is a huge deal. I really appreciate how much he cares about his fans; it seems as though we’re featuring a real gentleman this week.

There isn’t really a movie type plot for this MV either. It’s just Hugh Keice and his buddy performing live – simple and sweet. The live recording made me feel like I was sitting just a few feet away watching him perform – a feeling I don’t often get from music videos these days.

Hugh Keice is a UK based singer/songwriter who launched his career in South Korea but challenged himself in 2010 to branch out to the UK market. He now goes on tour in both countries. With that being said, I give the English in this song a 5 out of 5. I mean, really, it sounds like he’s been reared in the UK – how am I going to argue with his English? hahaha

And that’s all for FAME this week. Please head on over to our Facebook page and look for the pole to vote for next week’s Friday Awesome Music & Entertainment, or just look for the pole in the top left area of this blog to cast your votes there as well. Also, feel free to leave us any comments or suggestions you may have in the comments section, through email, our Facebook page, or on Twitter. Thanks! - The Life and Times of a(n) ...

"K Crunch Indie: Keice Soup Pigeons"

This is a pretty lovely song with a lovely British accent. Hey look! We got it right for once! Can you believe it! Hugh Keice is currently living in London, England so it’s a British accent! Not Norwegee!!! What a cute word…Norwegee… Anyhoo, this is very much a sit back and chill kind of acoustic song, along with the other songs he produces, singer songwriter Hugh Keice is someone you can listen to while reading a good book or when walking around in a pretty city and soaking in all the scenery. Did that sound cheesy…*re-reads it* yeah…totally did. Oh! When you watch the video, look for the guy playing the tambourine with his foot like a boss. I’m pretty sure he’s also playing a kind of drum as well. Anyhow, if you’re interested in Hugh Keice, read more about him over at Korean Indie. They’re cool people :D - EAT YOUR KIMCHI

"Koalas Drink Nell"

Yay! Another Hugh Keice song. In case you missed it when we reviewed Hugh Keice last time, Hugh Keice sings entirely in English, and that’s cool! Come to think of it, though, I’m not sure if Hugh Keice really qualifies as Korean Indie by our standards, you know? Hugh Keice is Korean, but he’s based out of the UK and sings in English. That’s kind of like Far East Movement, in a way, and we wouldn’t really consider Far East Movement Kpop. Ah well. I think we’ll be more strict in picking our Korean Indie artists next time, because we’re trying to reflect what Korean Indie music is being played in Korea, kind of like how we’re trying to show what Korean Pop music is being played in Korea. Problem is, we can’t know for sure what indie music is being played in Korea because, well, it’s Indie, which makes it not easy to pinpoint. Ah! Rambling! Anyhow, moral of the story: cool song and video by Hugh Keice. - EAT YOUR KIMCHI

"Hugh Keice meshes pop-rock & soul on catchy, chill "Drink In The Desert""

Seoul-born, London-based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Hugh Keice quotes early-’00s pop-rockers like John Mayer and Maroon 5 alongside soul-pop artists like Stevie Wonder and Jamiroquai as his influences, so it’s no surprise that his music reflects both influences cleanly. ”Drink in the Desert” feels like a combination of all four of those artists — it is a catchy, chill jam that could be a much, much younger brother to America’s “Horse with No Name.” Listen and download below.

-Jordy Kasko - The Tune

"Hugh Keice: The new pop voice of East End"

“To be honest, I thought my life as a musician was over at one point,” Hugh Keice said softly, lighting a cigarette. Fortune has never favoured Hugh: he has seen darker days.

Hugh ‘Keice’ Kim, 24, is an acoustic singer-songwriter based in South East London. He earned an MA in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London, last year. With plans to take up a PhD programme in Music Business, he calls himself an ‘artrepreneur’,

Hugh approaches music through the eyes and ears of a businessman. His 2010 debut album is a case in point; ‘When Summer Holds The Rain’ was independently produced, with Postino, and promoted by his own eponymous record label. Released under a Creative Commons license, fans are encouraged to mix and warp the songs to their liking.

Enamoured by digital technology, Hugh regularly interacts with his fans through social networks and sees piracy as a “useful promotional tool”. As if to extinguish any lingering doubts, a ‘name your price’ tag is attached to his debut effort.

Born in Seoul, South Korea to an artistic mother and an entrepreneurial father, Hugh’s childhood was filled with classical music, surreal drawings and violin lessons. “I’ve always felt more comfortable in Europe than in South Korea. The latter made me feel like an outsider, both socially and musically.”

“I never really shared the same prospects with my fellow Koreans. I mean, we had very different approaches to music.”

To his surprise, junior high school introduced him to a like-minded group of friends that would later form his first band.

“After graduation we formed a nu-metal band that drew from Korn, Deftones and Linkin Park. It was a lot of fun, but all of us went our separate ways and I went forward with my solo music career. Put together an EP that sounded a bit like Coldplay. It actually won a Music Choice award from Cyworld, a kind of Facebook for Korea.”

The songs come with bad memories for Hugh, however, who was in his final year at university. His first solo project was known as ‘Winter Tree’, and an indie label had approached him for a contract. “The A&R guy there was one of my closest friends,” he said. “I’d known him for five years and he was a fellow musician. Like a brother, he was very close to me and we’d go around festivals and jam sometimes. Naturally, when he offered to be my manager I was thrilled.”

But, shockingly, one day Hugh came home and found his pre-contract money was gone. His new manager was actually a fraud. “It was heart-breaking and very embarrassing,” he said. “The money disappeared completely and so did he. I couldn’t reach through to him and the deal fell apart.”

“The pre-contract money was quite a lot, and he was the guy in-between the label and me. I didn’t even know the label’s name, so in retrospect I guess I was really naïve.”

Given the time they had spent together, Hugh never asked about his friend’s ‘label’. “I just thought I should let him get on with it,” he said. “He was introduced to me through a respectable music producer, so I put all my trust in him.”

“My parents were literally broke as well, so I was working in restaurants and such. It was a really dark time. I felt completely broken and became sick of music and South Korea.”

A chance encounter with an established music producer changed his life. “Lee Sang Wu was his name, and he told me I was ‘meant to do music’,” he said. “I asked myself why such a big name would be interested in me, it seemed very surreal. He gave me inspiration, saying I just needed to meet the right people who could get me started. He introduced me to some music people, and right after that I knew I had to leave to London.”

With renewed confidence, Hugh recorded a debut album while doing a Master’s degree at Goldsmiths.

“I felt like I could breathe again after coming here,” he said. “It healed me and opened my eyes to music again. The main aim for me was to keep it all organic. I feel digital-based music loses its warmth, so I try to keep that nice analogue vintage feel going throughout the album. Everything was done by me in my home studio, with Postino behind the mixing desk.”

“My debut album draws from a lot of genres. I don’t want to pigeon-hole it into any one genre, but it’s inspired a lot by Jamiroquai, John Mayer and Coldplay. At its heart is a story about relationships and how love can change like the seasons.”

Despite being robbed twice in New Cross, Hugh aims to enrol on Goldsmiths’ PhD programme to further his ‘artrepreneurship’. “I’d like to explore independent music distribution and production further,” he said. “It’s a good time to be an artist with all the digital tools available. Looking back, I’m glad things turned out the way they did.”

‘When Summer Holds The Rain’ is out now, and Hugh Keice is recording new material for his next album release; stay tuned on ELL for a review. Visit his official website for gig dates and more information. - East London Lines


3rd EP "Slow Tree" 2013'
2nd EP "Drink In The Desert" 2012'
1st EP "When Summer Holds The Rain" 2010'



With a voice that recalls a brown-eyed soul version of John Mayer and Amos Lee, Hugh Keice draws inspiration from soul music, folk to 90’s Pop-rock encompassing a wide range of adult contemporary music in his songwriting.
He started his career as a musician in the S. Korea Hongdae-indie scene winning Cyworld Music Award Best Choice of May 2007 with his song “Winter Tree”, Hugh soon moved his base to London alongside his debut effort “When Summer Holds The Rain” whilst studying at Goldsmiths University for his MA degree. The debut EP didn’t receive much interest at the time but led him to secure a slot at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011, where he teamed with his current band; Daniel Seddon, Ronan McCullagh, Juanma Nieto. By collaborating with the newly formed line-up, “Drink In The Desert” followed in 2012, winning him a cult following for his unique blend of acoustic pop, funk, and soul.
As well as progressing his musical endeavor, Hugh also did extensive touring both in the UK and S. Korea securing some increasingly higher profile gigs including Liverpool Soundcity 2012, Emergenza Festival 2012 (finalist), Beyond Live 2012, O2 Academy Islington “Plug’d In”, and supporting Jason Manns on his European tour. As his reputation grew, the Korean media got intrigued by his peculiar musical journey and started to feature him on radio, magazine, and TV, introducing him as leading the K-pop indie scene overseas.
In 2013, Hugh is keeping momentum going by releasing his 3rd EP "Slow Tree".

Video clips of tracks from the EP are available here