Jeebanoff
???? From Jeebanoff’s MV We (OUI)

Jeebanoff

  • Birth Name : Lee JaeMin
  • Birth Date : 20/02/1993
  • Status : singer, composer and songwriter – In activity
  • Genres : Alternative RnB, Soul, Mellow, House
  • Label / agency / collectives : House on mars (Collective | April 2016 -), goodtomeetyou (Label | October/November 2017 -)

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Lee JaeMin, aka Jeebanoff, is a singer, composer and Korean songwriter. He debuted in March 2016 with the single Hide under the stage-name jeeban. The following month he founded the collective House on mars and joined the agency goodtomeetyou in November 2017. If the singer has first started to get known on SoundCloud, He is now a key figure of the South-Korean Alternative RnB scene, even earning the Best R&B & Soul Song of the year prize at the 2017 Korean Music award for 삼선동 사거리 (sungbook-gu kids) from his EP so fed up.

Lee JaeMin was born on February 20, 1993 in Ansan. He would have had a pretty “normal” childhood. Since he found school rather boring, during middle school, after class he tended to meet with his friends to play games or listening to music. However, it’s from his first high school year that he really became serious with his interest in music. In an interview for Outletarcane (OA), he explained that he then began to listen to a wide range of genres to find the one he liked the most. If this took quite some time, he eventually ended up focusing on RnB and Soul.

It took him three years to persuade his parent to let him pursue a career in music, but since then, they have never failed to support him. And if, therefore, his close ones didn’t questioned his will to become an artist, in this same interview he added that once he began doing music, he never thought about doing any other job.

 

From the start, an artiste who had been sure of his artistic choices

As a consequence, Jeebanoff got into music, and, fatality for most of the artists who are starting out, he had to face a wave of refusal from the labels… Some told him that in order to draw the attention of distribution companies, he had to release singles on a regular basis and show a progress in notoriety.

The artist is yet not convinced by this strategy. He felt like it could only lead to being lost in the amount of releases, that his single would end to be just one among the other, a tear in the ocean. In this way, he took the opposing view and got into his head to release a project in tune with his musical colours. Creative vision before visibility.

He indeed explained that his goal wasn’t really to do breaking debuts but rather to be slowly known through the word-of-mouth.

In today’s market where you need exposure in order to get your music heard, I felt like singles released that way would end up becoming just another song in an overwhelming deluge of releases. I decided to just make a project that showed my true colors – whether I got a lot of exposure or not.  I wanted to make a project that didn’t necessarily get a lot of attention from the start with a large-scale promotion, but instead one that spread through word-of-mouth like a favorite hole-in-the-wall diner.

Jeebanoff for Outletarcane

Therefore, he started out in 2016 and first released three singles under the stage-name jeeban. On March 17th, Hide, followed by uncomfortable accompanied by the artist coote on the 27th. On June 22nd, he then released FO+AP featuring Bevy Maco. Uncomfortable and FO+AP had by the way respectively been produced by producers Deepshower and LNNN (pronounced Lennon). True Jeebanoff’s friends, they are also recurring names in his discography, like nöair and GiiANA

However, Jeebanoff didn’t aimed to release singles relentlessly. Hence, on July 8th, this time under the stage-name Jeebanoff, he dropped so fed up, a first EP made of eight tracks of rather varied sonorities with maybe a Futur/House dominant. Four of the tracks had been produced by LNNN by the way: 삼선동 사거리 (sungbook-gu kids), Insane, FO+AP and soft co-produced with GiiANA. As for the artists featured, OVCOCO sang for him on Insane, and Bevy Maco is obviously present on FO+AP we already known.

Still in this interview for OA, he pointed out that Soft was probably the hardest song he had to write. The interview is from March 21, 2018, so this might have change by now, but still, Jeebanoff would have had some difficulties to explain to LNNN what he wanted for the beat.

From the tempo, to the key, chords, transition points and overall mood it was hard to explain everything that I had in my head to the producer LNNN. I would spend nights going over the rhythm with my mouth to get the idea of what kind of sound sources and rhythm I wanted for the song.

Jeebanoff for Outletarcane

 

But well, since Jeebanoff released so fed up as an independent artist, the first months the EP pretty much stayed in the shadow. However, the artist’s strategy finally paid off. Months went by and the project gradually got visibility, receiving really good feedbacks from some medias which helped him in strengthening his exposure. As a result, Jeebanoff had been nominated for no less than four Award related to this EP. Two nominations at the 2017 Korean Hip Hop Awards : R&B Track of the Year for삼선동 사거리 (sungbook-gu kids), and Mixtape of the Year for so fed up. Jeebanoff is also nominated at the 2017 Korean Music Awards for similar categories : so fed up is nominated for the Best R&B & Soul Album while with 삼선동 사거리 (sungbook-gu kids), he won the Best R&B & Soul Song against Dean, Jay Park and Samuel Seo!

While we are at it, 삼선동 사거리 (sungbook-gu kids) is a song about finding your ego, about self-seeking and the fulfilment of his will.

Every day I listen to the Billboard charts

In my blue basement room

I look at the world that was hidden away

And think, “What if that were me…?”

Jeebanoff – 삼선동 사거리 (sungbook-gu kids) | English Translation from the Youtube Channel • Euraboo •

That’s not all for 2016 though, and this at several levels.

First, to stay on his personal projects, on December 22nd, 2016, he dropped For the Few, a second EP composed of 6 tracks. The project is still on this rather house atmosphere, this time more muted. How we love has been produced by The Plan8, Deny by IOAH, while GiiANA is behind Mur Mur, Table and About you, co-produced with LNNN. As for the collaborations, K.vsh and OLNL are present on About You. You can also hear TAEK on Table, the title track and maybe one of the most experimental track of the project.

The second title song is none other than Belief, adapted in a MV released on March 2017. Deepshower’s public will undoubtedly recognise the producer’s distinctive sonority in the beat. Fresh and lively, this track is the expression of an assertion, Jeebanoff expressed his will to follow his convictions.

I hope there will be no worries or trouble

After today, when the morning sun rises

I hope I close my eyes without a sense of guilt

I can give it my full belief (x9)

Jeebanoff – Belief | English Translation from ARIRANG TV

Jeebanoff is also an artist one can hear in quite a number of collaborations.

In June, one could hear him on Take me over produced by GiiANA (Technically that’s more a pre-released since this track is also present on Jeebanoff’s EP so fed up, dropped the following month), but he also sang for Deepshower, first for blackout, a single, and later that month for you from the eponymous EP.

But collaborations with producers didn’t stopped there this same year. Electronic music collective Vegas Trip released the compilation Liquid. Deepshower and IOAH are seemingly guests on the project and both highlighted Jeebanoff on their productions. Deepshower with the track Replay and IOAH with Deny one could then hear on Jeebanoff’s EP For the Few made public in December.

In August Jeebanoff is also present on NIGHT GLOW from 220Volt’s eponymous EP, at Molly.D and Defy’s side.

In September/November, the singer OVCOCO invited him on three projects: in September It’s over and Crush and in November the track Me & You from the double single Caroline featuring Bevy maco.

Finally, for the collaborations, he concluded the year in November with how we love for the producer The plan8.

2016 is also a meaningful year for the artist since Jeebanoff gathered artists to create the crew House on Mars, seemingly in April according to the Tumblr archives of the collective. If it seems that the project is still a thing, it’s yet hard to follow their activity since the Instagram account hadn’t been update since June 2016, while the last post on their tumblr dates back to June 2017. It’s also difficult to know who is still a member. Some artists still mention it on their Instagram or SoundCloud bio. If we believe the informations on their Tumblr, the members of the collective would be none other than Jeebanoff but also DOKO, Bevy maco, OVCOCO, NöAIR, TAEK and Leekohh while the Instragram bio mentions Jeebanoff, TAEK, NöAIR, dnss, OVCOCO, DOKO and summersoul (Nd: If someone has the slightest piece of reliable information it would be a great help!).  

But let’s go back on the intent behind House on Mars, and the best might again to quote Jeebanoff’s interview for OA:

House on Mars is a group of artists that I brought together. I only included artists that I liked and those that have the best chemistry musically. Although we all listen to similar music and we’re able to empathize with each other, all the music we produce individually is different in its own special way

Jeebanoff for Outletarcane

 

Therefore, House on Mars seems to be a story of both friendship and sharing, artists gathered by same sensibilities but who are all producing distinctive contents thanks to their unique colours.

 

2017: A pivotal year for Jeebanoff

Jeebanoff started 2017 late with the really lively track Right Here in June. The single has been produced by NöAIR and one can also hear the rapper Rick Bridges on it.

Well, Right Here is in fact a track from Karma, the third EP released later on November by the native of Ansan. Composed of 6 tracks, you can hear the usual producers on this project. That is to say LNNN on Wish and Timid, The Plan8 on 진심 (Truth), GiiANA for If You and obviously NöAIR on Right Here but also on Then We.

Aside of Rick Bridges, for the collaborations one can also hear the singer SUMIN on Wish and the rapper CHANGMO on Timid. Timid which has also been adapted in a MV, a simple yet nonetheless pleasing directing released in December, a little bit less than one month before KARMA.

KARMA can be considered as the artist’s first narrative project. The EP recounts the story of a couple, from their first encounter to the end of their relationship.

The narration starts with Wish, the song which draws their first interactions, the projection. Initially, SUMIN should have sing a verse in addition of her presence on the hook, it hasn’t been kept though.

The second track, Right Here, is pretty special. Briefly, this song highlights the protagonist’s passion, a feeling passionate love. Jeebanoff explained in an interview from February 2018 for The ICONtv that he was indeed living one of the best periods of is life while he was writing it. However, an event clouded this happiness, and this while he had to record the track. Hence, if you listen carefully you will probably notice this kind of gap between the joy of the lyrics and Jeebanoff’s rather sad tone.   

“The moonlight as bright as the daylight, Because of you, I’ll never know what darkness is like”

JeebanoffRight Here | English Translation from ARIRANG TV

 

Truth, or Sincerity depending on the translation from Korean, is none other than the title track and describes the turning point in the depicted relationship, the moment where the loved one starts to dissimulate the true nature of their feelings. Therefore, where the main character begins to question himself. Originally, the track should have be entitled The Fact. But Truth/Sincerity represented his lyrics more properly, this protagonist who can’t stop to question himself.

Am I telling the truth?

Are you just lying?

Do we feel the same way?

Or is it just my hope?

Am I telling the truth?

Are you just lying?

Do we feel the same way?

How do you feel?

There is a true progression in this track which is actually tinged with dejection:

Everyone is jealous of us,

They say no one looks as happy as we are

 

These are the lyrics of the first verse, but in the end the illusion is shattered:

In the end we are like everyone else,

Maybe We are just an ordinary couple

Jeebanoff Truth | English Translation from ARIRANG TV

Just a few more words, Truth guitar line is a sample whose original track would be none other than Home from Jang HyunSeung. That’s actually a pretty famous sample since you can hear it on Gallant’s TOOGOODTOBETRUE featuring Sufjan Stevens and Rebecca Sugar, but also on Midsummer Madness from 88Rising and even more surprisingly on Mess from Lil Wayne’s album Tha Carter V! (Nd. On the Korean SoundCloud urban scene tnom also used it for Chapstick and CHAPSTICK II and he’s probably not the only one, but really good tracks by the way!) 

Then comes Then We, which is none other than Jeebanoff’s favourite track from this EP. Initially, he even wanted to give the same title to the project precisely because he loved this track. He loves the melody but also the fact that the lyrics express his emotions well like he explained it in an interview still for The ICONtv. Unable to pick it as the title track, he could nonetheless drop it as a pre-release. Then We is by the way one of the easiest tracks he had to produced. According to the interview for OA, it took him around 10 minutes to write the lyrics and the beat was already made.

Despite his rather light vibe, Timid featuring CHANGMO is a track which depicts the protagonist’s unease and despair in a crumbling relationship. Timid lyrics would be quite in keeping with the artist’s nature as he explained it in the interview for The ICONtv:

I tend to save my words for later, not to break the happy mood of the moment, I think this could be one of my shortcomings. Even if I just let the bad feelings slide by at the moment, I find myself holding a grudge against it later, but I don’t want to look petty by talking about it

 

To go back on the realisation of the track, CHANGMO would have quickly accepted the collaboration. It wouldn’t have taken more than a week to produce the whole song.

Finally, If You is the pure retranscription of his own past, the story of a relationship which comes to an end.

Voilà, in broad outline, the story behind KARMA. The EP constitutes a certain turning point in the artist’s creative process but also more generally in his career since he released it under goodtomeetyou, a label founded earlier that year in July. At the time of the writing of the article, producer Panda Gomm, singer G1nger (or G1ngerhere) as well as the duo Hippy was Gipsy (Jflow & Sep) that you might have seen in Sign Here first season are part of the label as well.

The transition from independent artist to goodtomeetyou wouldn’t have been too hard for Jeebanoff and from the latest news he would be satisfied there. In another interview for The ICONtv from March 2018, he indeed explained that he was given almost complete autonomy for KARMA. The only thing he did together with the agency was choosing the title track. He didn’t have any restrictions nor instructions!

 

With 2017, came a lot of collaborations too.

Once again with the producer GiiANA for the track MurMur from the EP Paradise released in January. In March with the producer Lemon Coke for tie me in which we can hear Jeebanoff with Lym en and K.vsh. OVCOCO invite again, this time for Side to Side from the EP Forest released in May. In September it’s this time with Muzie that we can here Jeebanoff for Don’t Worry from the double single Future Track. Finally, he ended 2017 with Liar from K.vsh’s album LEAF released in November.

 

2018 : A new EP and a year mostly marked by collaborations.

In 2018, Jeebanoff kept his momentum going and dropped end June the new EP Panorama made of five tracks including GOOD PLACE one could have heard earlier in May.

As for the beats, LNNN and GiiANA are obviously once again present on the project. They worked together for학교 (School) and 마냥 (We Just), the title-track. LNNN also produced GOOD PLACE and co-produced The Ferry with Winonawithcigarettes.마지막 아침 (Last Morning) had been produced by dnss.

According to HipHopKR this EP would stand out from Jeebanoff’s past projects because if his lasts tracks were more or less directly inspired from his experiences, with Panorama he kept on enriching his narration by offering tracks written under other people’s points of view.

This EP had also been an opportunity for the artist to pay tribute to the victims of the Sewol-ho ferry sinking in 2014 which killed over 300 people, mostly high school students. In memory of the victims, he wished to share his memories from school through the song 학교 (School).

This year is for now one of the most prolific for the artist when it comes to collaborations.

The year began with in January a collaboration with Def. more famous as Im Jaebum or JB, GOT7’s leader. The artist is also active on SoundCloud where he dropped a total of six EPs so far. It was for 1/? vol.2, his second EP, that he invited Jeebanoff but also JOMALXNE for the track CHANNEL.

In February, Jeebanoff was at Han Yohan’s side for Gesture from the EP MUSASHI II. The following month he appeared this time with Hippy was Gipsy (who weren’t signed under goodtomeetyou yet, they had officially been announced in October 2019) for Bed from the album Language.

Deepshower then invited Jeebanoff and George for SUMMER, opening track of the album COLORS released in August.

One must then had to wait until October to hear him on Rough Rider also featuring SUPER BEE for Babylon’s album CAELO.

The following month, in November, one could first hear him on Problems from the album Rotate released by Jung Jinwoo member of the collective PLT and the label Planetarium Records. Then he worked again for GiiANA for two tracks of her EP Pure Imagination. Wishes on which one could also hear K.vsh and also Flicker with Q the trumpet, Summer Soul, Meego, TAEK and once again K.vsh.

Finally, end November, Jeebanoff and Sam Ock are also present on Uzuhan’s single Mama We Made It

 

2019: A series of MVs but most of all a first album.

This year had indeed been really prolific for the artist, with starting from January the MV of the really melancholic B.T.N (Better Than Now) co-produced by GiiANA and LNNN. The nocturnal and nebulous directing perfectly translates the feelings of a character who came to realise that he wasn’t blooming in his relationship anymore.

I think it’s for the best.

Let’s not ruin our memories. It might be late, but it seems like this is where we should end it.

Recently I haven’t felt the same way about you anymore.

Maybe being a little more honest now would be better.

I’m already starting to forget you. I think it’s for the best

I’m already starting to forget you.

I don’t know when it started, but the nights that I spent with you suddenly felt the longest

I finally let you go

JeebanofB.T.N (Better Than Now) | Translated from Korean directly in the MV

 

Then followed in April the MV of We (OUI) featuring sogumm (a solo audio version is also available) and produced by The plan8. People had already been introduced to the beat which was at the end of B.T.N MV.

This track kind of presents the opposite situation. This time this the protagonist turn to sing his despair to see his loved one growing away from him. To see this relationship coming to an end. Consequently, the lyrics show his distress, his inner turmoil.

I remember seeing you happy back then

But you don’t seem to be happy these days

Did you just get bored of me?

If we didn’t rush, would it have been better?

If I were afraid to make a move on you, would it have been better?

If I had done that, I probably wouldn’t have liked you as much

I can sense that you feel different now

JeebanofWe (OUI) | Translated from Korean directly in the MV

 

One must then had to wait until September for the MV of The girl in my memories, cover of a track from Hwang Chi Hoon, originally released in 1988. The Plan8 worked on the initial beat and brought it some changes for it to match with Jeeabnoff’s universe, this dreamlike side.

On December 11, he also released the double single Boomerang including the original version created for the 10th episode of the BPM series organised by MIC SWG in partnership with New Era and released a year before in November 2018.

The second verse is longer and has an alternative beat.

But 2019 is above all the occasion for Jeebanoff to drop his first album GOOD THING. made of 10 tracks. (I did a video analysis of the album here)

The album has mainly been produced by LNNN and GiiANA who worked together on Paper mache (종이인형), Me and You (너와 같이), Luh you (좋아), Come along with me and Callin’. LNNN also made the beats for Good thing and Bad girl (나쁜 아이) while GiiANA also co-produced The clouds (검은 구름) with Noino. The beat for Guilty is a creation of Mirrorboy while art haus produced Silence (적막).

Me and You (너와 같이) is by the way a sample from bitter, a Frank Ocean Type Beat by producer Ocean Beats. Some might have heard this guitar line while listening to Smiling Depression from South-Korean alternative RnB artist slchld.

If someone had to describe this album in one word, bittersweet would probably be the most fitting.

Overall, except for Silence (적막), Guilty, Me and You (너와 같이) and Luh you (좋아), the beats are rather lively, even joyful but on the other hand, Jeebanoff’s tone is often kind of downbeat, as if his voice tone would convey something more than his lyrics. 

And if for now there is unfortunately no translation from Korean to English of the album tracks, for the non-korean-speakers, even with limited resources (like Google Translation..) it still seems that the story depicted by Jeebanoff is pretty much in keeping with KARMA previous story-line. The only difference would be that if Jeebanoff tackled once again the subjects of love, relationship and their difficulties; this time the lyrics might have a more introspective aspect which was maybe not as present before.

The lyrics seems to be more focused on the protagonist self-questioning, not only relationship-wise but also regarding himself, his behaviour.

Some tracks seem to convey a feeling of longing like Paper mache (종이인형), Come along with me or even Callin’.

Tell me what you want me to do (pull me so close) (x2)

I’ve been callin for ya (x2)

Do you know that I love ya

Do you think I am a fool

I’ve been callin for ya (x2)

Do you know that I love ya

and I’m really love you like a fool, yeah

Jeebanoff – Callin’

 

But relationships are still not an easy thing yet, there still this precarious balance, kind of a vulnerability in the couple which is differently shown in Good thing and Me and You (너와 같이).

Therefore, the end of the album, which means The clouds (검은 구름), Guilty and Silence (적막), might be intended to convey feelings such as resignation, guiltiness, a need for isolation and maybe even a will to move on?

Every day I try to become better

(but it doesn’t work)

Every day I turn to god in prayer

(but it doesn’t work)

Every day I try, but the guilt is all mine

Really, I try, do everything

Jeebanoff – Guilty

 

One thing is yet for sure, GOOD THING. constitutes kind of a culmination in the artist career, as much for the arrangements, the singing as for the lyrics!

Aside of his solo projects, the artist also worked for some collaborations.

In January you could hear him on the EP Lost Piece, Vol.2 for Lym en’s track Yes I need. We Are The Night invited Gogang and Jeebanoff as well for 거짓말 (Lie) in March.

Then, it was Leellamarz’ turn to call on Jeebanoff and CHANGMO for the single so i call it love.

There are two collaborations in July. First with Crucial Star for It’s a different thing to love her and make her happy, then with B-BOMB for the single Dawn.

In October followed an appearance on Romance at BJYUN’s side for the album sleeptalking from the producer Panda Gomm newly signed with goodtomeetyou.

The latest collaboration that year is none other than JOZU (죠즈)’s single 버려 (Throw It Out) released on December 19.

 

A music which suits him

Jeebanoff’s lyrics are largely inspired by his own experiences, that’s a fact he already claimed in interview, for The ICONtv as well as for OA :

I usually get inspiration from my experiences, especially those that happen while I’m making the album. It can be love, my life, friends, or another person’s story that I found interesting.

Jeebanoff for Outletarcane

More generally, if we go back to his debuts, the artist immediately showed this will not to corrupt his creative aspirations, to always show his true colours. Far from the marketing strategies, he preferred to debut with projects strictly in tune with his musical identity, even if it meant to increase his visibility more slowly.

Therefore, before joining goodtomeetyou, for a long time Jeebanoff wondered about the relevance to join a label, an agency or any other type of support system if one simply enjoyed music and wanted to create their own art. Still in this interview for OA from March 2018, he indeed explained that as long as an artist was telling a story in a way that was making sense, people would be willing to listen to it.

This will is also present in the way he sees collaborations. From what he said in the interview for OA, the name of the artist who offers him a collaboration matters less that the project itself.

I pretty much decide to do a project if the music is good. Sometimes people ask me for a featuring fee before they even play music. I hardly ever work with them. I guess it’s just if the music fits with me.

Jeebanoff for Outletarcane

 

Nonetheless, already in 2018, the artist wasn’t excluding the possibility to produce more commercially accepted tracks, but still at the condition to be tune with them:

Of course there will come a time when I might make music that is more commercially accepted and enjoyed by a larger audience. For the time being, I want to keep sharing what I want to share. Even if I do get more fans in the future, I want them to become my fans through the music that I enjoy and not necessarily through commercialized music.

Jeebanoff for Outletarcane

 

As a consequence, Jeebanoff can easily be described as a clear-headed artist who overall knows which direction he’s aiming for. Hence that’s not that surprising to learn that he kind of sees Jay Park as an inspiring figure, or at least that if he had the opportunity to, he would be glad to work with him. In the interview for OA, when the interviewer asked him if he would like to work with Jay Park since he appreciated him, he explained that he would indeed be glad and added that it felt like Jay Park was making all of his dreams come true.

The artist doesn’t exclude to spread his music abroad, especially in the US market.

In the meantime, we can only wait to see what’s going to be Jeebanoff’s next creative choices, with what this artist with such a unique universe is going to surprise us.  

Discography

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Contributed to

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for making this blog/article, its been really nice to learn mote about an artist i truly apreciate. Especially as hes not well known and most discussion surrounding him is only in korean.

    1. Hi!
      Thank you very much for your comment, I’m happy if you found this article interesting ^^
      Jeebanoff is indeed an amazing artist who would deserved much more recognition… And it’s true that I had quite a hard-time finding all those information!

      I don’t know if you saw it, but I started a Youtube Channel as well, and the very first video is actually about Jeebanoff with a focus on his last album GOOD THING.

      If you’re interested you can find it on the website at this link:
      https://www.khiphopkvr.com/en/video-jeebanoffs-good-thing-the-art-to-convey-bittersweetness/

      Or directly on Youtube here:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66MkWY_e0p4&t=2s

      Thank you once again for your kind message 🙂
      – Eli ~

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