[Interview by _tamasik_]
1) So, what’s your IOTA story? How did you enter the ecosystem of this relatively “obscure” coin?
I got into crypto seriously in March of 2021. The outlook of the stock market and crypto appeared to have gone to the top. And the world economy was thriving. I don’t gamble. And the world looked promising, so I started buying crypto. I bought all sorts of crypto that I am ashamed of today but wth I am learning crypto the hard way. One day though, IOTA started to moon and it caught my eyes. Since then I started to research it.
2) About you now, tell us about this Vam persona! We’d love to know details.
I’ve always been a “focused on one thing” guy since young age. Once I am focused on a thing, I’d give my entire energy and attention to it. One little episode is that I was fascinated by a drill machine at the age of 6. I was so fascinated that the little machine could make a hole in such a hard surface, like a concrete wall. Then the hand drill gun I got as a birthday gift, which I had wished for, stopped working. I was obsessed, opened the machine (yes at age 6), and found the electrical issue after two days. I fixed it and my dad still remembers the day. I was obsessed on BMX and made myself the first extreme sports athlete in Korea to get a monthly salary. Got into the Xgames finals in 2004. I am now into piano, even with a challenging day job as an IT director, I compose and learn classical music self-taught. I was once recognized by Yiruma and received comments from him. My new Instagram is @VampireMusician. I was hand picked by Lang Lang and got his “golden ticket event” where I received his personal message. One of the first-generation Chinese world class pianists Tian Jian (who is a Carnegie Hall concert pianist residing in Germany now) became my personal friend and we share personal stories together. I am an obsessive guy and always make sure I’m good at anything and everything I do.
3) How and where did your musical journey start? Which forms of music do you love the most?
Thank you for such a wonderful question to recognize myself as a musician! I was always into music. I would be feeling the music I like with my whole body and with full emotions and goosebumps all over since a young age. One day when I was like 14, I played Kenny G’s “The Moment” loud out of my CD player from my apartment in Seoul. I thought the music was so beautiful that it would heal the world. Not a single complaint received after. Maybe the message from my soul was sent to the ppl even in a hectic city like Seoul. I was in a mid school music band with Saxophone. I always wanted piano but living in a flat, my parents didn’t want to buy heavy instruments. I got a sax, was in a band, but with my dropout from school I ended the musical journey then. I finished high school in 2 months with a full score in mathematics. I had freedom and I was riding BMX then. Long story short, when my 2nd kid wanted to play the piano, I bought an old upright piano while at the time I was 31 yrs old. And voilà, even if my kid was good at grasping piano and was making music by ear, my progress was even faster and my enthusiasm for piano started. Since then, my life and passion are driven towards piano. I even bought a house to make a piano house. I once had 3 grand pianos. Now two. I ended up living in my piano house after the divorce. I enjoy my lifestyle where I can play the piano whenever. My favorite music is Chopin, Beethoven and some Rachmaninoff. I even got a Beethoven tattoo on my arm. And now, I am into composing. By playing classical music, I naturally learned the structure of music and started to be able to make music by ear.
4) We’ve seen your efforts at putting IOTA awareness outside our bubble and into the greater crypto space. What do you think are some of the things we could all together do toward this?
IOTA community is somewhat nerdy and also humble. They are real people with intelligence and that do not like “too much.” I constantly see XRP people yelling “XRP will melt faces”, “XRP to 35000 dollars tmrw” and and so on. And I’ve followed them in the beginning and also asked them questions. No one, no single one could give me any sensible or logical answers. I am in Mensa and I am naturally driven to find logical reasoning and I often enjoy tackling others’ reasoning. In the name of crypto, I hardly ever met anyone giving logical, sensible and realistic answers. The IOTA community is the first, some gave mathematics reasons as to why IOTA, some gave others. And all made sense to me. Myself coming from a successful web 1 and web 2 digital marketing background, I understand what it takes to build a brand online. I do it as a hobby to help IOTA when possible because it’s deserving.
To add what I think we as an IOTA community should do: I think we shouldn’t stick within the IOTA world. The voices are heard within the community only, and the good news is often shared amongst the community whereas the eyeballs are outside. I keep seeing ppl saying to the IF and cofounder of IOTA that marketing is missing. I think they mean that they don’t see PR such as blogs or features in other media. For that, it is essential to show what IOTA can and has been doing, what it means to have zero fees - create multiple examples to indicate why it’s so great, showcase “future possibilities” in a clear technical perspective and explain the benefits compared to the traditional world. The IOTA community could, with the help of in-house IOTA ppl, shape what’s worth a share and brainstorm in the public space, like Twitter. By doing so, the use of keywords such as other crypto will naturally start to roll and reach other eyeballs.
5) We’ve seen a couple of your music pieces dedicated to IOTA and the community. Which one would you want to highlight here, for us all?
I am in process of making “I am shimmering” in 3 different movements.
6) How do you keep yourself inspired and motivated to continue in crypto in the bear market — — these long weeks and months and even years of 30 cent IOTA?
I personally distanced myself from crypto in the 2018–19 scene and bitterly regret the decision! I am in crypto, and I actually put most of my life savings in now. Thanks to my insanely obsessive character, I am also able to take a risk. It is possible to lose but it is also possible to win. But more than winning is that I can clearly understand that life is not all about black and white. But being patient and waiting play a role.
7) Okay, last question: what’s your favourite thing about the community, and what annoys you the most?
My favorite thing about the IOTA community is it is not radically promoting anything too much: eg. “XRP to 50000usd tmrw,” “Doge is the currency of earth,” “Bitcoin is saving humanity.” I just need and want logical and smart things, like the rest of the community. What annoys me in the IOTA community? The haters who don’t belong but always make sure they chime in with nonsense BS. I once put energy into trying to get sensible answers as to why Bitcoin is better than IOTA. The guy said “then keep waiting” and never was able to provide any answers to my questions.