[INTERVIEW] BM on Embracing Authenticity and Being in His Element with the ‘After The After Party’ Tour

Cr. Sarah P.

Los Angeles-based Korean American rapper and singer-songwriter Matthew Kim, known as Big Matthew or BM, embarked on his first-ever solo tour in May 2024, performing in six major cities across North America. Supported by Konnect’d Entertainment, HY LIVE, and DSP Media, the BM 1ST CONCERT TOUR <After The After Party> delivered an exclusive experience to his fans, called Hidden KARD, ensuring a uniquely intimate performance at every stop.

Big Matthew debuted as a member of the co-ed K-Pop group, KARD, in July 2017 with their first EP, Hola Hola. Since then, the group has added numerous EPs and singles to their discography and completed four successful tours, including their 2023 World Tour Playground. In 2021 BM launched his solo career with the track, “Broken Me,” followed by several more hit singles, including “Strangers” in 2022 and “Lowkey” in 2023. At the beginning of May 2024, he released his first full EP, Element, along with an official music video for the title track, “Nectar” (feat. Jay Park). 

K-Pop Concerts recently had the opportunity to sit down with Big Matthew ahead of his performance at Karma D.C. to hear more about the <After The After Party> tour experience. Relaxed and freshly styled for his pre-show VIP meet and greet session, BM spoke candidly about his first solo tour, what it means to be “in his element,” and how he stays true to himself with such a demanding career. 

Cr. Sarah P.

KPC: Hello BM, nice to meet you. Thank you for speaking with K-Pop Concerts today, and congratulations on your first solo tour! 

BM: Thank you very much! 

KPC: The <After The After Party> tour has been highly anticipated and well attended, and today is the last stop! My first question is, why was it so important for you to have a tour specifically for 21-and-over fans?

BM: I think it is important for adults to also feel comfortable at a K-Pop concert. Mind you, my songs aren’t really the conventional K-Pop type of songs, but I’m still considered a K-Pop artist. I want fans of all ages, even adults, to come to the show and feel like they belong there too. I often hear online and on Twitter about K-Pop concerts consisting of such a wide demographic, where the younger people kind of give older people a vibe like, “Why are you here?” I feel like that’s something you just don’t see at a show like this, where everyone is welcome. I’ve had such a wide demographic from 21-and-up come to my shows, and you’re all welcome the same way. I feel like I wanted to address and emphasize the importance of that with a 21-and-over show.

KPC: It is such a great concept! Based on everyone’s enthusiasm, delivering your tour in this manner seems to be really appreciated. Being part of the older crowd, I am definitely looking forward to the show later too!

BM: I’m old too! It’s starting to hurt here and there, I’m getting old! (laughs)

Cr. Sarah P.

KPC: Don’t worry, we are growing old together! So, the <After the After Party Tour> is your first solo tour without KARD, and the official social media posts have described it as where we could see you “in your element.” Element is also the title of your latest EP. What does “being in your element” mean to you?

BM: Feeling like yourself, feeling confident, feeling comfortable. I think those three things combined bring out the best “you” possible. And it is really what “being in your element” means, you know? Together, all those factors are apparent in how you feel and carry yourself.

KPC: Endeavoring to be the best version of “you” is always important, thanks for explaining. Now, considering this is the last show of the ATAP tour, what are you most excited to share with your fans tonight?

BM: Oh, gratitude, lots of gratitude! Just how thankful I am to be able to not only finish the show here in D.C. – where there is so much love and positive energy – but just to be able to kind of embrace the fact that I’m able to do this as a solo artist right now. One thing I was really concerned about for a very long time is being one out of four artists in a co-ed group. I thought I was going to have one-fourth of the ticket sales! So, I was really worried if people would come to the shows or not, or if I would be entertaining enough on my own. I think this tour has instilled in me such a great amount of confidence, and the direction I want to take my music in as a solo artist is just so clear to me now.

Cr. Sarah P.

KPC: Amazing! I’m sure Hidden KARD are very happy to be supporting you in your solo journey as well. As you mentioned, this is the last stop of your tour. What have been some of the most memorable moments meeting fans over the last couple of weeks? I know it may be hard to choose!

BM: I think as memorable as it is for me, I’ve definitely given a memorable experience back to the fans as well. It goes both ways because these are all things that I’m doing for the first time, you know? I’ve given a lap dance to fans in each city, and I’m having fans come up on stage to have twerk battles. Where have you heard about another K-Pop artist doing that? I feel like that is where you can distinguish the type of show mine will be, as opposed to others. Not to say one kind of show is better than the other, it’s just different. It gives people another option – it gives you a choice based on your own preferences. I’m sorry, I completely forgot the question! (laughs)

KPC: I asked what the most memorable moments during the tour have been, but I think you’ve answered it pretty thoroughly!

BM: Oh, yeah. Basically everything! (laughs)

KPC: I understand – everything has been a first for you, so it’s all going to be memorable! Another unique quality of the ATAP tour is that your shows have been notoriously phone-free. Why did you choose to go this route?

BM: I think the idea behind it was to make sure fans are more focused on the stage and interactions with the artist rather than, you know, having their phones out and worrying whether or not they got a good shot. I do understand that people want to take those memories home with them to revisit later and whatnot. But I think it is way better, both for the artist and the fans, without the distraction of phones. With all of the energy and interactions during the show, the overall experience compounds together and it feels ridiculously intense.

KPC: I agree, focusing on the surprises and emotions enables a show like this to really resonate with people! Okay – let’s talk about the Big Tiddie Gang for a second. Five years ago, it was just a meme. Since then, it has become a whole movement benefiting breast cancer research, and you recently released a BTG light stick! What has it been like to see the Big Tiddie Gang grow like this? 

BM: Oh man, it’s definitely one of those things where it wasn’t planned. It wasn’t anything that we wanted to become this big. It’s literally so big in K-Pop that anyone who sees a male group – well I feel like it’s just the culture now. Fans look for a member who can be a part of the BTG and I feel very blessed about it. I feel even better that I’m able to turn it into something that creates awareness for people struggling with breast cancer. When we first created BTG we didn’t really know what it would entail, which was [to raise awareness for] breast cancer. My mom was diagnosed early last year. Luckily she beat it and finished her chemo around September. Now it’s personal to us – now we know what it does, what it can do, and what it is doing to other people. My mom is in a group chat with about 120 other women who have gone through it, are going through it, or can potentially go through it. It’s all people who are affected by it very personally, so to be able to not only be an ambassador for that but also be one of the founders of the Big Tiddie Gang is just amazing! The BTG – I hope it goes a long way because there are a lot of people affected by breast cancer. 

KPC: Well, we are very glad to hear that your mom is well now! Thank you for sharing your story and for supporting such a great cause.

BM: Thank you! She is much better now, thank you.

Cr. Sarah P.

KPC: So, your fun personality and unapologetic realness are well-known both among fans and non-fans. Whether you’re hosting a podcast, tweeting about your day, or releasing new music – please tell us how you stay true to yourself in such a demanding career?

BM: I think I just stopped caring so much about pleasing people. I stopped trying to put on a face that I thought other people would like, a face that wasn’t me. What you are seeing right now when I’m on Twitter, when I’m on stage, when I’m with my friends – those are all just different versions of me. Those are the realest versions of me right now. I don’t want to spend more time during my career adjusting to preferences that don’t align with me, just for the sake of becoming more famous or making more money. I think the best part about this job is being the most authentic “you” that you can be – it really is the best part about being an artist.

KPC: We definitely see that through your social media posts! You’re so real online. It’s genuinely entertaining! 

BM: Thank you! I think I’m starting to get a little too real sometimes! (laughs)

KPC: Honestly, it’s refreshing to see an artist be this authentic with their fans! Well, that is all the time we have, thank you for chatting with K-Pop Concerts today. We are looking forward to the show tonight! Would you like to share a final message with the KPC readers and your fans?

BM: Thank you everybody who pulled up to ATAP 2024! And thank you to everyone who has been listening to my new EP, Element. I feel like this is a start to a very, very bright and long future as an artist. I’ve got more coming! Also, another KARD album is on the way too, so please be on the lookout for that. Thank you so much and I hope you enjoy the show! 

Thank you to BM for his time, and Konnect’d Entertainment and HY LIVE for the interview opportunity. Stay tuned for a full recap of the BM 1ST CONCERT TOUR <After The After Party> show at Karma D.C.!

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.