Interview by Fled Tokyo, Tune ouT Tokyo

Hailing from South Korea, SHUBOSTAR has been immersing herself in the evolving underground scene of South Korea and Thailand and now in Mexico. Her electric music taste spans various style but her music has a common theme of ‘Cosmic’.

SHUBOSTAR’s self-defined music style is Cosmic Disco – a base of disco, but with more techno elements. From 2018 she decided to launch her own label ‘uju Records’ with Korean painter Daryung Kim, inviting her favorite artists in the genre.


日本語記事(DIGLE MAGAZINE掲載)はこちら> 文: Fled Tokyo(Tune ouT Tokyo) 編: Aoi Kurihara(翻訳)

TUNE OUT TOKYO: You came to Japan to perform at two SelVa events. The main event was at Hakuba Mountain Harbor in Nagano over the weekend.

How was this experience high up in the snow filled mountains of Japan?

SHUBOSTAR: I was so proud of being East Asian: is awesome to proof we also have great promoters who make this kind of beautiful outdoor events and I hope we’ll have always more and more. I cried inside tears of happiness for the opportunity of playing in this unbelievable place!

SHUBOSTAR @ Hakuba Mountain Harbor / Hakuba, Japan / 22nd APRIL 2023

The 1st SelVa event was the pre-party held at Womb.

Was this your first time to play Womb?

I heard about Womb a long time ago but never played there before. Has been a dream coming true being able to perform there!

SHUBOSTAR @ Womb / Tokyo, Japan / 20th APRIL 2023

As an international traveling DJ, from your personal perspective, how does Tokyo compare to other cities around the world?

You can feel that the music scene in Japan has a very long history. The quality of the music in every shop is insane, especially in the bars. Very underground with good taste. Even though you are going to the countryside, you will always listen good music everywhere! That really surprised me in a positive way.

SHUBOSTAR DJ set at ARENA MÉXICO with SCR Connect Mexico / Seoul Community Radio

Last year in 2022 you traveled the globe to play some astronomical events.

What was your best memory from last year?

Of course Burning Man 2022 at Mayan Warrior art car. It won’t happen again with the same art car anymore so it means more to me.

A cloud of slight dust on Tuesday night, sparkling lights from the people, and even on the ground.

The energy from the crowd was powerful and it was an unforgettable magic moment.

Recently, Ryuichi Sakamoto from Yellow Magic Orchestra sadly passed away.

Do you have any musical influences from Japan?

When I was in high school I listened more to Japanese music than Korean music, to be honest. I was a big fan of Japanese rock music such as X-Japan, L’arc-en ciel, Dir en grey. Then of course I discovered Yellow Magic Orchestra (the) Kraftwerk for East Asians. I also used to play “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence”.

Ryuichi Sakamoto is definitely one of the greatest artists in the history of Japan and he meant a lot to me.

Your first release on your label ‘uju Records’ appears to be ‘Harlock’. This anime based music video comes out of the same vein as Akira.

Has anime influenced you in any way as an artist?

As I told you before I listened more to Japanese music than Korean music when I was in high school. Back then I used to watch a lot of Japanese animè: Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Sailor Moon, Slayers, Galaxy Express 999, everything coming from Ghibli Studio, Tekkonkinkreet, Paprika, Space Dandy, Samurai Champloo… and many more. They actually built my identity.

I especially loved Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy, and Galaxy Express 999 – they have similar “space travel” themes (to my music). I used to dream about this kind of travels with my crew. When I make music I feel like I’m the captain of the spaceship. I’m sure that space travel animations influenced me to have my cosmic sound! 

South Korea is producing bright shining international talent such as Peggy Gou and yourself Shubostar. In Tokyo we are familiar with the smooth vinylists Radio Revolutioner and Mihak.

MIHAK / Seoul cross over @ Koara Test Press / Tokyo

Can you tell us about the burgeoning electronic scene in Seoul?

This topic is quite difficult to answer because I left the Seoul scene more than 8 years ago. I only can say the scene is growing up so fast and looks unique and interesting.

RADIO REVOLUTION / Seoul House Connection

I met Radio Revolutioner in Bangkok on this tour. We talked about many things and both agreed we have many good DJs, but not many interactions with other countries. But yes, it’s just the beginning. I can expect in a few years the electronic scene will be growing a lot and surprise other countries!

What was it like coming up in this scene for you?

It was a great feeling that I could talk about my music with other people especially when someone already know about my pure passion “Cosmic Voyage” series.

Also when I play my music they recognize my music and sometimes sing the melody or lyrics togehter. Sometimes people request my music with their phone screen. I just feel weird but grateful that they know my music already.

Your the head  of ‘uju Records’ based in Mexico City, Mexico. In January you performed ‘Radical & Incendia present Born in Mexico Showcase’ in Tulum alongside Zombies In Miami, Paulor and Vongold.

What is your connection to Mexico?

I’ve been living in Mexico for 4-5 years. My career started to grow there! Before Mexico, I quitted being a DJ for a while but I met several friends who helped me and encouraged me to play music again. That’s the moment when I started to work with my agent from ‘Born in Mexico’, Marco.

Thanks to him I started to play in all the best clubs and festivals around Mexico! Mexico means a lot to me. Mexico is in my heart. 

What foods do crave when you’re outside of Korea and Mexico? 

I’m crazy with seafood especially raw seafood. I also like tapas style of food. Not big portion so you can order many different dishes. These days I love to go to drink natural wine pairing small dishes.

Dark disco and indie disco are kings of the mountain in Mexico. As opposed to Japan, where dark disco and indie disco are still waiting to hatch their shells. However, international DJs in these veins are celebrated in Tokyo including Curses, Moscoman, and Simple Symmetry.

How did you fall in love with your ‘cosmic disco’ ranging from nu-disco to dark disco with splashes of techno?

It was a combination of all I listened during my life. I loved to listen Nordic Disco artists such as Todd Terje, Lindstrom or Prins Thomas, but also Italo and Cosmic Disco artists like Daniele Baldelli or Alexander Robotnick. I used to listen to rock music from Japan, Korea and a bit everywhere too. I even loved to listen to Goth Metal!

Everything came naturally. You can check my musical journey via my mix set series “Cosmic Voyage” on my soundcloud.

Last month, March 31st, you released your debut album ‘Dolphin Dream’ on the ‘Live At Robert Johnson’ label.

The ‘Queen Millennia’ track is a melancholic yet hopeful new disco joint with sprinkles of cosmic sounds and a touch of techno from outer space.

‘Dolphin Dream’ is an arpeggio based tidal stream with everyone’s favorite finned mammal (perhaps not the sharks) to a underwater party in Atlantis.

What was the concept behind this album?

I made most of these tracks during the pandemic. After Spiegel got the spotlight I wanted to make more music related to Japanese animation: with Queen Millennia I tried to make a melancholic melody to describe the mother of Maetel, Queen Promethium.

With Dolphin Dream instead I got the idea to use dolphin sound inspired from my good friends “Magic Dolphin Club” a DJ trio in Mexico. They always play dolphin sounds in their set.

Siestar was a project I wanted to become a very danceable bright track, while with Eternitè all came naturally after met my friend Alexandra.

We met in Frankfurt and she suddenly sent me her poem with her voice which was totally beautiful. I made a track able to fit her dreamy poem.

At the end of last year you did a remix for Curses featuring Terr on the track ‘Ghost of Arms’ on Jennifer Cardini’s label Dischi Autunno.

How did you meet Luca aka Curses?

We knew each other only online, but when Luca came to Mexico we finally met. That day I was playing at Funk Club in Mexico City and he wanted to see the venue so we went together. He is not just an amazing musician, but also a very cool guy!

What was it like re-working his track ‘Ghost of Arms’?

I really liked Terr’s voice. Not too artificial or effected, very simple and refreshing. After adding one arpeggio, everything went so fast because all the elements he made were good. When I sent it to Luca he told me that he got goosebumps! 

After Japan it appears you’ll be shooting over to Europe for an extensive tour.

Can you share any big announcements with us for 2023?

My summer schedule is looking busy luckily! I will play at several festivals in Europe like Nuit Sonores in Lyon, Kappa Futur in Turin and Garbicz in Poland plus many many club all around.

We are also working on my first US tour for the fall so keep an eye on it!

Thanks for having me, Japan experience was a big gift for me. I’m sure I come back very soon!  日本ありがとう!


Live At Robert Johnson Label – 2023 – Digital Release

SHUBOSTAR / Black Rock Desert / Nevada, U.S.A.

INTERVIEWER: Fled Tokyo, Tune ouT Tokyo

LOCATION: Tokyo, Japan

EVENT: SelVa @ Womb, Tokyo > April 20th, 2023

EVENT: SelVa @ Hakuba Mountain Harbor, Nagano > April 22nd, 2023


Tune ouT Tokyo thanks SHUBOSTAR, Simone @ Oltre Booking, Sari @ Neptune Music Agency and Ken from the SelVa party.

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文: Fled Tokyo(Tune ouT Tokyo) 編: Aoi Kurihara(翻訳)