For K-Pop fans in Cebu and Iloilo, this year’s season of love was a memory worth remembering. After all, South Korean EDM duo WeHigher and indie DJ Hotdog, were in town for two performances last February 15-16, 2019!
WeHigher (위하여) is an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) bass music duo under DJ Movement Korea. Composed of members Kazu Showtime and Crooner, this duo produces and composes their own songs based on electronic and EDM beats.
Also known as members of HANG5VA, WeHigher debuted in August 2018 with I Like You Better (니가 더 좋아) which they performed on MNet’s MCountdown and MBC’s Show Champion.
To date, the duo has worked with a variety of artists in the EDM scene and performed at some of the biggest music festivals in Korea, including the World DJ Festival in Seoul and the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Opening.
On February 15, WeHigher and DJ Hotdog ruled the stage at OQTAGON, Cebu’s only Department of Tourism-accredited EDM club, before flying to Iloilo City on February 16 to party with Ilonggo KPop fans at DECENNIAL: Iloilo K-Pop Organization’s 10th Anniversary, Iloilo’s grandest K-Pop event to date.
As someone who works with K-Pop events since 2015, the adrenaline rush that comes with being part of the team is nothing new. However, working behind the scenes with WeHigher and DJ Hotdog during their stint in the Philippines gave me a glimpse into how different the world of K-Hiphop and EDM is from the usual K-Pop scene.
In Cebu and Iloilo, I saw firsthand how different these boys’ personalities were off-stage and how they transformed into very passionate performers when they faced their fans and shared the music they love. The most amazing thing is that while not everyone knew their songs, the entire crowd danced and partied with them like there was no tomorrow! The event turned into one big K-Hiphop and EDM party right at that moment!
The FilipiNoonas team is grateful for the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with WeHigher and fellow HANG5VA member DJ Hotdog. This interview was originally conducted in Korean then translated into English.
with WeHigher and DJ Hotdog
What position does each member hold in the group?
KAZU: As part of WeHigher, I am the leader in charge of our overall direction, I also serve as a co-producer and rapper for our songs.
CROONER: As part of WeHigher, I’m in charge of composing songs and providing the raps too.
HOTDOG: I am an independent DJ.
How many years have you been active as an EDM artist?
KAZU: Even before our entry into the big scene with the World DJ Festival in 2016 as HANG5VA, we were already working as DJs and MCs individually. This is my fifth year as part of a team.
CROONER: It’s been around 12 years since I started working with music, and about 8 years since I started EDM.
HOTDOG: I’ve been a DJ for more than 10 years now.
What challenges did you experience when you started?
KAZU: We had to start from the underground club scene. Our activities in Asian countries such as China and Thailand were also really good experiences for us.
CROONER: Well, I wanted to try rapping in the EDM genre. I’m still doing it now, but I’m also doing my best on working with songs.
HOTDOG: From starting out as a club DJ and up to EDM festivals of various kinds, I think each of them were good challenges in itself.
What encouraged you to join the music industry?
CROONER: When I was younger, I was influenced by a lot of bands. I was most particularly influenced by the likes of Race Against The Machine (RATM), Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park.
HOTDOG: I was inspired by how musicians remain faithful to their own work and keep going despite the odds.
Please describe your music style.
KAZU: Personally, I can’t exactly say something definite because there are times that the music style I like changes. I usually like trap, dubstep and hardstyle music.
CROONER: As for WeHigher’s music, it gives off a fun vibe, but it’s music that expresses us. Instead of having meaningless lyrics, I write our songs’ lyrics carefully. Our music is largely based on EDM, but I think the main point of our music is to try and take on hiphop and other elements in it.
HOTDOG: My music style is mainly composed of tracks from genres such as EDM, hiphop, trap and dubstep.
Who among your senior EDM musicians do you look up to the most? Why?
KAZU: I admire a lot of musicians, but I particularly admire Korean EDM artists the most. I respect all of them.
CROONER: I respect artists with styles similar to that of The Chainsmokers and Daft Punk. I think it’s because they’ve made their music with a color that’s definitely just their own.
HOTDOG: I admire DJ Marshmello and DJ Snake. I just simply like them (and their music.)
This is your first Philippine schedule. What were your expectations from your Cebuano and Ilonggo fans before coming here?
KAZU: Honestly, our hearts were already full with the mere thought that there were people who knew us or were getting to know us. We received a lot of love already even before coming here, and we’re very grateful for that.
CROONER: We wanted to communicate a lot with them. Rather than just have a one-time performance, we hope that we can continue to be active in the Philippines. That’s why we want to communicate with a lot of fans.
HOTDOG: I hoped that during our performance, we could all take a deep breath then have fun by jumping or jiving to the beat!
What do you like about the Philippines? Please share your most memorable experiences during your visit.
KAZU: We’ve been talking about this among ourselves ever since, but to us, it’s the most memorable place we have ever been to. Everywhere we went, our hearts felt full seeing these happy smiles. So much love. Just love. My most memorable experiences were definitely the love I received from Iloilo, and the many birthday celebrations for me. And… Jollibee is the best. ❤😗
CROONER: I was impressed by the Philippines’ many islands and clean seas! It felt like we got out of a stuffy city. I also loved the food. As for my memorable experiences, I definitely can’t forget our performances… and I remember Jollibee. ㅋㅋㅋ
HOTDOG: I remember the friendly people, the passionate fans and the blue seas, but most especially the mangoes! The mangoes in the Philippines are more delicious than the ones I’ve tried in other countries.
If given a chance, would you come back to the Philippines?
KAZU: Yes! We want to come back and have as many activities as we can. I mean it.
CROONER: Yeah, I hope we’ll be able to come back as soon as possible!
HOTDOG: Sure! We would love to be back again! ^^
Lastly, please give a message for your Filipino fans.
KAZU: Thank you so much! We love you! One day, we’ll definitely have the chance to meet one another again.
CROONER: Thank you very much, we’ll try hard not to be forgotten. I’m sorry we couldn’t communicate with a lot of you, but we’ll never forget that there are people who know and love us in the Philippines. We’ll keep doing our best, so please keep watching over us!
HOTDOG: Whether it be as HANG5VA, WeHigher, Kazu, Crooner or as DJ Hotdog, please continue to love our music and our performances. It would also be great if we could have more activities in the Philippines so we can be closer to our fans! ♡
Our sincere gratitude goes to the Iloilo KPop Organization and 39 Events Couture Corp. team for making WeHigher x DJ Hotdog’s first visit in the Philippines possible. Thank you for inviting the FilipiNoonas team to be part of it!
If you enjoyed this interview with these talented artists, please do SHARE this post and take a moment to LIKE or FOLLOW them on their different SNS accounts! ♥
In closing, the FilipiNoonas team also has something very special prepared for you which will be announced very soon. Stay tuned!
!! LIKE & FOLLOW WEHIGHER x DJ HOTDOG !!
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FilipiNoonas’ co-founder, digital marketer & events manager. Occasional photographer who tries to conquer Korean and wonders how her sanity is still intact. Lives on VIU and Kakao Talk.