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Tiffany Young Is Ready For Her Stateside Debut

Music

"Teach You" is just the beginning

Following over a decade of success with K-pop group Girls' Generation in Korea, Tiffany Young is ready for her U.S. debut. With 6.8 million followers (and counting) on Instagram, the Los Angeles-born singer-songwriter is an inspiration for aspiring female artists all around the world.

Following the success of her "Teach You" visual, which currently has close to 6 million views two months after its release, Young proves she has the talent, the drive, and the heart to become the next big pop star in America. Oh, and she also wants to tackle the big screen. Below, we talk with Young about her U.S. debut and dreams for the future.


Tiffany Young - Teach You (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

What's it like being a K-pop star, but actually being from Los Angeles?
It's interesting. Being in Korea, I was always the American girl, and now being back in America, I'm the Korean girl. I'm just so glad I had the time to really understand both sides and dig deep into my roots of being both Korean and American. I'm fortunate to have that experience and that knowledge. I'm just happy to be starting a new chapter of my career and creativity as a woman. I'm in a place where I'm a lot more sure, stronger, and willing to really talk about things openly and honestly.

What was the desire to want to break into the U.S. market?
I had the experience to get a taste of what American promotion was like with Girls' Generation back in 2011. We got to do Madison Square Garden, TRL, the David Letterman show. For me, growing up here, I remember doing rehearsals and staring at that couch for that interview. I was looking at my bandmates like, "I want to sit there and share my story one day." I remember one of them saying, "You're going to do it. You're going to sit on that couch and share your story."

I'd always dreamed of being an American pop star growing up. In the '90s and 2000s, you had Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, Destiny's Child, and Britney Spears—I just loved them all. That was the era, and I was so inspired by the leading ladies of pop music. I've always wanted to be an American pop star, and it all intertwined into one big dream. Now I'm back home after 13 years in K-pop. I would have never even been able to really grasp that idea because learning the responsibilities and just the whole idea of coming into a new side of town—especially as an Asian American—I've prepped myself for a big, wild ride.

Are you guys still making music as Girls' Generation?
We're on a temporary break right now. We're all doing solo things, units, and sub-units. Nothing yet, we like to all just trail off. Over the 10 years, we got the experience to be full-on promotion with the group, then take a year or two off. It's only been a year, so hopefully more in the future.

What was the hardest part about transitioning to being a solo artist?
I would have to say moving, in general. Moving back after 14 years in Korea, it's a steep learning curve, but I'm learning. I think going solo here in the U.S., it's really important to focus on the angles of representation: being Asian American and being a woman. That it's not just another song after 12 years. For me, it's about being really specific and really finding the right production for each song and each move. It's about moving, re-adjusting, and learning new things.

What's the best part of being a solo artist?
The best part is taking full control of creativity, and orchestrating your vision and bringing it to life. It's just a vision in my head, but it's about pulling the right artists in. I'm not the only artist. I consider everybody doing what they do an expert. I really hope that is another thing that I can share with everybody when interviewing, when at a photo shoot, everybody is a creative. It's a joy to be able to orchestrate, work, and be inspired by creatives all around.

Your video for "Teach You" is so cinematic and so epic. What goes into your creative process?
I'm 50 percent music, 50 percent visual. It's about taking that time and getting to know what is underlying in your subconscious and digging into those emotions, bringing out what you want to talk about.

Where do you fit in the realm of pop, R&B, and hip-hop?
Pop, 100 percent. That's what I love. That's what I want to represent: good pop. I loved pop growing up. I actually listened to so many different things growing up. I had this alternative emo phase, I had country, I loved Shania Twain. I had such a different range in music. I love hip-hop, my fans know that. I just don't let anybody really know that. I loved all the collaborations back in day with different genres but definitely pop.

It's interesting because when I heard your record, "Teach You," you don't see or hear race.
That's what I wanted. It worked! [laughs] I think that's what pop music is, and that's a little bit of where K-pop is heading. When I was younger, I was such a fan of BoA. She sings in English, Chinese, Japanese, she just sounds so good. I'm so glad that's where it's at. It doesn't matter, music is music.

You've said you record from heartbreak. What is it you want fans to get from your story?
Over in Korea, it was about showing passion. You can really do something when you set your mind to it and work at it. But now being at this stage, and having this experience that I have, and wanting to go into film, acting, creating, directing, or writing—I'm so inspired by Donald Glover. I hope that my story now not only inspires women and Asian Americans but everybody in general. Storytelling and creating art is about being passionate, but also compassionate. That it is about finding that human, universal theme in the story or experience. It's about the fact that we all go through the same experiences, feelings, and emotions.

What can we expect from your upcoming EP?
My upcoming EP has been in the works for a year. Just been digging, writing, and digging, writing, scrapping, and re-writing. I'm the type of person that doesn't know when to stop. I want to work on it until I can't anymore and give a little bit more every time. I hope that this album is about discovery, both old and new.

Do you have a man?
No, I do not. I've been getting this question, and I'm just like, "Yo, I'm sleeping two hours a day for the past four months." It feels good right now. That energy attracts, hopefully. When it happens, it happens. I'm on a mission. We started this music thing, let's go!

What advice do you have for an aspiring Tiffany Young?
Be ready for sacrifice. Be ready to commit. Go that extra mile, and really dig and research into your craft. "You are not a special snowflake," says Tyler Durden from Fight Club. We are not special snowflakes, ever! There's no secret around it. It definitely is about being a master at your own craft and being the expert. There's no other way except the hours, the heart, and the research.

Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Which one, though?

Kim Kardashian is suing fast fashion retailer Missguided, claiming that the brand uses her image to spark interest in and sell its clothing. This lawsuit comes a few days after a theory, that she may be selling her own vintage clothing designs to fast fashion brands so that they can rip them off, made its rounds on the internet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kardashian's attorney Michael Kump writes that "Missguided systematically uses the names and images of Kardashian and other celebrities to advertise and spark interest in its website and clothing." Other celebrities that the brand has tagged on its Instagram include Cardi B and Dua Lipa, along with the other members of the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Kump uses the example of the Yeezy dress that Kim posted to Instagram, which was ripped off by the brand within a couple of hours. "Recently, for example, after Kardashian posted a photo on Instagram of a dress that was made for her... Missguided quickly responded with its own Instagram post... boasting that it would be ripping off the design within 'a few days,'" Kump continues. "Missguided purposefully inserted Kardashian's Instagram username (@KimKardashian) into its post to capitalize on her celebrity status and social media following in promoting the sale of its upcoming product."

Kump also draws attention to the fact that the brand uses Kardashian's name so much that it may lead others to believe that she works with the brand, which, he wants to make clear, she does not: "Missguided's U.S. website has included entire pages that are devoted solely to the sale of clothing inspired by Kardashian, and on which Kardashian's name and likeness are prominently used without her permission to promote the products."

Some are noting that it's suspicious that Kardashian is not suing Fashion Nova, as well, since the brand most recently ripped off a vintage Mugler gown that Kardashian wore. Though it may be harder for Kardashian to make any claims since timestamps have revealed that the dress was made before Kardashian premiered the dress.

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

He previously claimed to be a victim of a hate crime

According to reports, actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested by the Chicago Police Department. As CNN outlines, he's facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report. If found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.

The Empire star previously claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime on January 29. He alleged that two masked men attacked him, tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and yelled, "This is MAGA country!" Brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo were eventually arrested and brought in for questioning, during which news broke that one appeared on Empire and the other worked as Smollett's personal trainer. Now, according to both men and reports, it's being said that Smollett paid them to "orchestrate" the attack.

Smollett's attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, have issued a statement regarding their client's defense. "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked," they told Deadline. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

If this is all true, this unfortunate turn of events should in no way take away from the fact that there is an abundant number of racially and sexually motivated attacks happening all of the time. They also still remain vastly underreported, so it's essential to listen to alleged victims, always.

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