“Joining that Korean pop music was something I had never planned. God never shows you the plan. He makes the plan happen. All I did is apply New Jack Swing to K-pop. And the reason I got into the whole K-pop scene is I was working with a girl group called RaNia. I was working with them at the same time I was working on Michael’s album. But the people who hired me to do it took my name to Korea and used it as title of the album [laughs], which was good in a way and bad in a way because I wasn’t there to stand behind it. So when that RaNia album came out, I knew I had to go to Korea. I went there to meet with these folks and they were adamant about us being a part of their project. But we never were a part of it on paper. I got a lawyer to get my name out of all of that. The record company was taking the group and just using them. And it was disappointing because I really wanted to make more music with them. I wanted to work on more stuff with RaNia because they were incredible! There was one girl in the group that sounded close to Beyonce. She was amazing!
So I had to learn how the Korean music business was and how it rolled. The record company took us to see the other labels like YG Entertainment and Cube Entertainment and KYP. My friend took us to go meet SM Entertainment. My friend from California had told me all about them. He was like, ‘Man, when you go to Korea make sure you meet SM Entertainment. They are great people and they are spiritual people…very honorable people.’ So we are about to leave, but the people at SM asked us to stay a few days more. They put us in a five-star hotel. It was an amazing hotel called the Park Hyatt in Seoul Korea. I’m talking about having a remote from the bed…you can control everything in the room. Beautiful bathrooms and a staff room. I’m like, ‘Wow, this is God.’ SM Entertainment gave us a studio to work out of and we came up with 25 tracks within one week to play for them.
So we were about to leave again and they asked us to stay even longer. We ended up staying three to four months. I told my team, ‘I’m moving here.’ Until America gets it together and stops all the music piracy, I want to be in Seoul Korea and make a lot of money. And I did that. I had my first single with Girl’s Generation, which became a huge record that got them up to 35 million views and sales of up to 400,000. They got to perform on The David Letterman Show and on Live! With Kelly. Girl’s Generation has a presence here in America. I’m proud to say I’m the first African-American to get K-Pop music and Girl’s Generation notice with my music here in the US.
What am I working on now? I’m doing a few TV shows…myself and my friend JoJo. He’s one of the senior presidents of approval at Viacom. He is pushing me to get my story out there. So I’m doing a reality TV show. And then I’m doing a TV drama about my life called The Life of Riley. And I’m also working on the Backstreet album and a few groups that I signed to my new label situation. I’m funding my own projects. I haven’t taken the Backstreet music to a label yet. I’m going to take it to whoever fits what we are doing. It’s not about the money. It’s about making history. I’ve also been called to do a Guy tour with Aaron and Damian. But it has to be myself and Aaron that has to make this thing work. Because at the end of the day, it’s about Aaron Hall, who is the lead singer and myself, who composes the music of Guy. Not anyone else…I’m keeping it straight 100. It has to be right. I’m a team player. When I spoke to Aaron three weeks ago, he showed me the Aaron Hall I knew when we were together making music. I believe Guy will happen again. I’m still doing records. I had a hit with Jacob Latimore last year. I’ve had hits in Asia…worldwide…not just America. I thank God that I’m still here and that people recognize my music and still appreciate it.”