7 Minutes with Korean-American pop sensation, Tiffany Young
She's on fire
At 28, Tiffany Young is already an international superstar. As part of the K-pop phenomenon that is Girls' Generation for the past decade, she has achieved heights that some musicians can only dream about—but Tiffany is ready for more. After releasing a 10th anniversary album with the group last year, she has now relocated back to her hometown of Los Angeles, officially launching her solo career and pursuing her dreams of acting.
Marking this new journey is a fiery new single, 'Over My Skin', a powerful pop track armed with a funky guitar riff, percussive beats, and Tiffany's soulful vocals.
"The sound has my love for Britney Spears, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell and K-pop all carrying my voice. It is me all the way," says Tiffany. "It's about doing my life my way and not for anyone else. When you first hear the song, you can say, oh that is about sex, but listen again, it is really deeper than that. It is about being a woman in this world at this time. My favorite line is 'do nasty things and you don't judge me' because I think every woman feels that way and there is nothing wrong with it."
Tell us about 'Over My Skin' and how it reflects where you're at in your life right now.
"So now I am back in L.A.—I moved back after the Girls' Generation's 10th anniversary celebration and I've just really been working on my acting and music, and kind of taking it slow with the creative process. It has been almost a year now, and I decided to share this song for my fans, just in time for summer. 'Over My Skin' is definitely a summer song, and it's about being a woman, having fun and staying true to yourself. It makes me feel liberated, like I'm finally stepping into my own superpowers! And I hope that the fans, everyone really, just feel good listening to this song."
It's such a catchy, upbeat song—we can't wait to see the music video when it drops! Speaking of which, what was it like working with Yanis Marshall on the choreography?
"It was a dream come true. I'm such a fan of his work. In the process, I went to his classes, he came to my recording sessions, and we really clicked in terms of what we wanted to do, what we wanted to create. Ultimately, I am so blessed to have worked with such an amazing choreographer, someone I can now call my friend."
Are you working on an album right now?
"Yes I am! I am just getting into the groove of writing songs, and I am a perfectionist. At the same time I want to keep it quite spontaneous, so I'd like to continue putting out music and see what the fans like. I'd love for all these to lead to an album, because I want to have a body of work to perform and tour with, and my fans deserve that as well."
How do you think your experience in the Korean music industry has shaped you as the artist you are today?
"I really thought about that a lot when I got back here, and I am so thankful for that experience, no matter how hard and difficult it might have been—it is the most educational and the best thing I have ever done. I would not change a thing. I am thankful that I got to do what I did, and be a part of such an amazing group, especially with where K-pop is right now in America. I am really excited and rooting for everybody in K-pop."
Being based back in LA, how has it been like so far? Does the city fuel your creativity differently?
"Not really, actually. In the beginning, if I wasn't at the studio, I was at dance class or at acting school—it was almost like I was in another trainee session for a good eight months (laughs). But nothing too crazy. If ever, it's been pretty free-flowing, because I'm at my own pace now. When I feel like I'm overworking myself, I take a step back and say, you know, 'I need a little break'."
Who would you say is your biggest musical influence right now?
"While I was writing songs, I was very much digging into all the divas. So I was listening to a lot of Madonna, Cher, and Donna Summer. Recently, I find myself listening to a lot of '70s, '80s and early '90s music, like Annie Lennox and Cyndi Lauper."
What is your creative process like?
"I listen to and watch all these artistes' music, videos or tours in chronological order to kind of understand what was going on, or why certain songs and lyrics were written. In doing that, I relate to these artistes a lot more. In the end, everyone is looking for that universal human connection or story, and ultimately, I think it's about finding that emotion or story that people can relate to and delivering it as best as I can."
We hear that you're now in acting school too. Has that played a part in shaping your creative process in any way?
"Besides acting itself, it has definitely enhanced how I am as a musician. I am studying the Meisner Technique, and it's about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and what you're used to. It really helps to expand and focus on what's most important to you and what speaks to you. I did not notice before that I read my music and my lyrics as if they were a script to me, and that's the reason why all this time I wanted to go into acting. I love that I get to do both right now—I get to go to the studio half the day, and to acting lessons the other half of the day. It's nice to be able to break out of just doing one thing."
When you're not working, what is your favourite way to unwind?
"Playing with my dogs at home, or watch Netflix all day (laughs). I recently watched Set It Up, this movie with Lucy Liu in it, and a documentary called Paris Is Burning."
If we had just 24 hours in L.A., where will you take us to?
"I would recommend Griffith Park & Observatory, because that's where La La Land was shot, and it's so pretty and peaceful. I love museums—The Broad and LACMA are both amazing. Definitely try out all the amazing ice cream spots, and of course, Disneyland! I'm a huge Disneyland fan."
Any last words for your fans?
"I would like to say thank you so much for the love and support of this brand new single, and I can't wait for the music video and more music to come out. Stay cool for the summer!"
Stream Tiffany Young's 'Over My Skin' here.