From20 and HELLO GLOOM have a lot in common. The soloists are founders of THE FAKER CLUB, an entertainment agency without artistic restrictions. Additionally, they are former Korean pop idols who trained and debuted with the boy groups BIGSTAR and IMFACT, respectively. Furthermore, they were both contestants in the 2017 KBS reality show The Unit. Now under THE FAKER CLUB, the former idols have had the opportunity to create their ideal music, taking charge of every aspect from conceptualization to marketing. On a late Thursday evening in Seoul, from20 and HELLO GLOOM chatted with EnVi via Google Meet about their influences, their life as trainees, and their artistic direction as soloists. 

Both tired after a busy day of interacting with fans overseas and doing a press run, they sat with their legs crossed for most of the interview. As an icebreaker, EnVi asked the members about their day, to which from20 replied, “It was a special day to share the energy and music.” HELLO GLOOM, on the other hand, revealed he felt loved after talking to international fans. 

Music Memories From Childhood

When asked for fun stories of music from their childhood, from20 faced HELLO GLOOM and asked, “Do you have one?” Before answering his FAKER CLUB co-founder and EnVi, HELLO GLOOM threw the question back to from20, also letting out a “Do you?” 

HELLO GLOOM, born Na Ung Jae, proceeded to share his story. His aunt, who lived with his family, introduced him to hip-hop at age eight. At the time, he listened to Korean groups such as Epik High, BIGBANG, and some American pop stars. HELLO GLOOM recalled “dreaming of becoming an artist who gives happiness” after seeing his aunt happy while listening to music. 

From20, whose birth name is Kim Rae Hwan, had a different story. “I pretended to be a singer using toys while watching H.O.T. and god,” he said. “I  remember dancing on my bed with a head mic,” he added. 

Music Born in School

From20 and HELLO GLOOM’s decisions to make music professionally came from experiences in high and middle school. From20’s turning point was during the finals of a baseball tournament in high school. In 10th grade, the entire school had converged on Dongdaemun, Seoul to cheer on the school’s baseball team. “While watching it [the game], I was drinking water,” he explained while making hand gestures. “It’s the finals, so people cheer and shout, right? At that moment, the scene of a singer drinking water on stage while people were chanting in a video I saw overlapped with that situation. That’s when I thought, ‘Ah! I want to be on stage as a singer!’” The vision he saw during the baseball game motivated him to audition. 

After that incident, he gathered his family and told them about his newfound dream. To the family, consisting of his parents and older sister, that was an “emergency meeting.” Vividly describing the meeting, from20 said, “My sister was a university student abroad, but she got summoned. Everyone gathered and talked about my future.” He recalled his family being shocked at his decision and asking questions like, “What should we do with him? He wants to be a singer?” 

The meeting ended with his mother giving him a six-month ultimatum. He recalled his mother saying, “Do whatever you like to do for six months and then come back.” Speaking on the outcome, from20 said, “And I never went back,” to which HELLO GLOOM emphasized, “Until now,” a phrase repeated by from20. 

For HELLO GLOOM, venturing into music came from a difficult period in his life. While in middle school, he got into trouble with friends and spent time alone. His situation was so dire he could not tell his parents. “Then, I was already writing music, ” he explained. “So I wrote the music and let it all out. I invested a lot of time in music.” After overcoming that phase, he tried to become a professional. “I got curious about what I would become if I went out into the world and did music from that moment on,” he added.

HELLO GLOOM’s parents reacted differently than from20’s. After HELLO GLOOM informed his parents of his dream, they immediately supported and encouraged him. “If that is what you want to do, go ahead.” The support from his parents was a confidence booster for HELLO GLOOM. To this day, the family supports him a lot and continuously sends him words of encouragement like “You will do well.” Aside from being a source of confidence, his parents’ support motivates him to take his craft seriously. “I’m working hard not to disappoint my family.”

A Network of Support

Aside from their family, many people have encouraged and supported from20 and HELLO GLOOM in their journeys. Admitting he loves receiving encouragement from others, from20 mentioned his FAKER CLUB mate as a support system. “It’s HELLO GLOOM for me. It was him who made me notice my potential while I was going solo.”

After pondering a bit, HELLO GLOOM uttered “ex-girlfriends?” in response to people who had encouraged him and immediately clarified it was a joke. ” I have many music teachers,” he said, back in serious mode. “Thanks to many people, I can do music I like now.” HELLO GLOOM acknowledged the producers he has worked with, noting he learned a lot from them. “So, I’m doing fine now. And, thankfully, from20 is next to me. I’m doing well, thanks to everyone.” 

Idol Days

Before adopting the stage name from20, forming THE FAKER CLUB, and debuting as a soloist, from20 was a member of the group BIGSTAR. The five-member boy group debuted in July 2012 and disbanded seven years later. At the time, he was known as Raehwan and was the main vocalist in the Brave Entertainment group. Having trained under the agency, he tagged patience as the one thing that left a mark on him during his trainee days: “I learned patience, and that is the most important thing.” 

Referring to making music, he said, “I’m not in a hurry. It’s not like I’ll only do this for five or ten years. I’m going to do this forever.” To from20, popularity is not a goal. He aims to “keep doing his thing.” Despite claiming his days as a trainee were precious, he clarified he did not want to return to being a K-pop trainee or idol. 

As a vocalist, rapper, and youngest IMFACT member, HELLO GLOOM “learned a lot musically.” A strong memory from his trainee days is having different opinions from those of his agency, Star Empire Entertainment. “I was trying to go in one direction, and they were like, ‘No, do the opposite.’” The conflicting opinions greatly influenced HELLO GLOOM’s music today. “Whenever the company made certain choices, my thoughts were different. With that experience, I’m doing what I want to do now.” 

HELLO GLOOM added, “I think I’ve chosen the right path,” speaking on his transition from idol to soloist. He, however, admitted his transition has not been void of trial and error, but with time, he has made fewer errors. “After observing what the company was doing back then, now I can notice what might be the wrong choice and do the opposite.” 

from20’s Journey to Independence

While both artists had been taking turns to answer the questions EnVi asked, they decided to answer the next set of questions together. When asked to describe the process of transitioning, HELLO GLOOM called his colleague “an artist meant to make his music.” Agreeing with him, from20 added, “I always wanted to do music as a solo artist. And I thought about it all the time. I started doing that after my contract ended. There were many hurdles along the way. But thanks to HELLO GLOOM and the staff at THE FAKER CLUB I’m slowly getting to the right place.” 

During the conversation, HELLO GLOOM brought up from20’s solo debut in March 2021 with the two-track EP 1st Single [20; still greedy for juicy, i’m kissing this 20]. He explained his colleague had one resolution while working on the album: “He will now do whatever he wants. That was our first promise.” Chipping in, from20 told EnVi he took charge of his hair color, outfits, music, and music video for his solo debut. “I did everything the way I wanted to do it,” he stated. “After being restrained for ten years, I will do whatever I want.” 

Despite gaining creative freedom, from20’s solo debut had some hurdles. “Challenges? Money problems? I mean, there is a picture in my head, but to make it come alive, you need money, and I never earned money,” he said in response to the challenges he faced while transitioning. From20 explained he was not looking to get rich but needed a certain amount to make his creative dreams come true. To him, that was the hardship of being an independent soloist. 


HELLO GLOOM’s transition process was characterized by anxiety and uncertainties. While working on IMFACT’s mini-album, L.L, he thought of it as his last album as an artist. “For my group’s final album, I put everything into it—my producing and music skills. I didn’t want to do music anymore.” Shortly after the album’s release, his members, Jian and Jeup, enlisted in the military, intensifying his anxiety. The state of his group led him to momentarily think of quitting music until there was an intervention from from20. “At that time, from20 was next to me and told me to continue being an artist; if not, your talent goes to waste.” 

As a member of IMFACT, HELLO GLOOM, then known as Ungjae, faced many challenges. While on the team, he never felt that he had reached the limit of his potential. He found himself constantly doubting the limits of his efforts. While working on his solo album, Because I Was Young Boy, he had one mindset: “Let me just push this to the limit. If it fails, then it fails.” 

From20 was not the only person who helped HELLO GLOOM out of his slump. Star Empire also lent a hand after noticing his mental state. The agency also believed in his solo abilities and pushed him to continue creating music as a soloist. He revealed he has a good relationship with Star Empire even after his contract ended and has had the chance to collaborate with them for his solo endeavors. 

Living as a Soloist

From20’s career as a soloist began in March 2021 with the two-track project, 1st Single [20; still greedy for juicy, i’m kissing this 20]. The project had the self-titled English song “from20” and the Korean-English song “Cigarettes&You.” On the other hand, before releasing his debut solo album, HELLO GLOOM had dropped the singles “Drama” and “TV Star.” 

When asked for musical influences as soloists, from20 pondered for a while before uttering, “This is hard.” Rather than being influenced by a particular genre or sound, HELLO GLOOM revealed they were motivated by their desire to “step out into the world.” They sought to be loved globally, not only in South Korea. The duo thought it would be “more meaningful.” 

In pursuit of a global audience, HELLO GLOOM indicated the pair sought to make content that is both enjoyable and relatable to the listeners. To him, that was the most important factor of their creative process as soloists. “Back then, we used to write what we wanted to write and say. But these days, what’s crucial for us is whether our music can resonate with people and whether they can have fun listening to it.” 

For the songwriting process, writing what they feel and intriguing people with their story is essential to THE FAKER CLUB’s artistry. When conceptualizing their music videos, they ask themselves, “What can people enjoy without getting sick of?” “What can draw people’s attention to listen to our story?” What can resonate with them?” In addition to creating fun content for their listeners, the duo’s goal is to make every part of their work enjoyable. 

From20 added onto these thoughts, admitting the creative process is more complicated than meets the eye. “Writing lyrics means including personal stories, but broadening the perspective towards delivering our message while considering people’s taste,” he explained. From20 also described the process as “part of marketing.” Now in charge of every aspect of their music as CEOs of THE FAKER CLUB, the duo has to “consider more than just releasing an album full of self-inspired music.”

from20’s Discography 

From20 boasts a diverse discography characterized by an innovative blend of pop music with other genres. In the self-titled single “from20,” he fused pop and rock with elements of indie, while he dabbled in electro-pop with an indie twist in “Bad Revenge.” From20 tapped into his love for R&B with the single “TMI,” incorporating it with pop. His love for R&B stems from his days in BIGSTAR when he dropped a mixtape on SoundCloud titled 1st Mixtape [20/25; start to prefer blue, cuz sometimes I feel so blue.] Released in 2017, the R&B and Soul project featured eight self-produced songs with features from Ahn Soo Min of Unpretty Rapstar fame, fellow BIGSTAR member FEELDOG, and others. 

Although he was known as Raehwan at the time, he released the mixtape under the name “from20,” which he has been using since 2021. “It’s a name that I am very fond of, but at first, the fans were quite confused,” he told EnVi. Despite the initial confusion, he believes fans have gotten used to his stage name and identity, as he has released about seven albums under his new stage name.  

Since his debut, from20 has released two double singles, one mini-album, and seven singles. On July 21, he released a new single titled “Beat It.” The single, written by himself, HELLO GLOOM, and THE FAKER CLUB’s frequent collaborator, dogshampoo, is a retro synth-pop song highlighting from20’s vision and aspirations. Lyrics such as “I’m A Survivor,” “Going Next Level,” and “Who Lied?” evoke an image of a seasoned fighter in a military and war setting. 

HELLO GLOOM’s Discography

HELLO GLOOM made his official debut with the mini-album Because I Was Young Boy on May 28, 2022—which was also his 24th birthday. His latest single, “Eyes On Me,” was released a year later on the same day. For the artist, that was his way of reciprocating the love he receives from fans on his big day. “I am not sure if this will happen every year, but releasing my album on that day is me repaying what I received.” 

With the singles “TV Star” and “Drama,” HELLO GLOOM showcased his ability to dabble in different genres. On “TV Star,” HELLO GLOOM leaned towards hip-hop, fusing trap and pop rap to sing of his ambitions of being a “TV Star.” As an artist who seeks to appeal to global audiences, he settled for a blend of electro pop and reggaeton on “Drama.” Likewise, his releases since his debut, HELLO GLOOM has fused pop with other genres like indie, dancehall, and more.

Legacy and Memories

“You can’t do this” and “I bet you can’t do this” were among the phrases HELLO GLOOM and from20 heard before starting THE FAKER CLUB. While these words sought to discourage the artists from exploring new territory, they inspired them to pursue their dreams. Speaking on the essence of THE FAKER CLUB, from20 said their goal is to inspire others: “You can do it because we can do it.” In terms of inspiration, their target audience consists of artists and fans. Through their story, they hope people will muster the courage to try the impossible. “We are asking, ‘Do you think anyone can do this? Then try it!” from20 told EnVi

“There are so many,” from20 answered when asked about special memories with fans at THE FAKER CLUB. “I can’t choose one.” After exchanging looks, HELLO GLOOM proceeded to narrate a performance of theirs in South Korea. “Many Korean fans came, but also foreign fans came to see us. We were so touched since they came to Korea to support us and our concert.”

Chipping in, from20 recalled the meet-and-greet session after the concert. “There were fans from Japan, France, and the United States.” If there was one thing both of them wished for, it would be interacting with foreign fans in their home countries. “I hope the day when we can meet them all in their country comes fast,” HELLO GLOOM said. To which from20 added, “Now we would love to go to your country and meet you in person.” 

Check out from20 and HELLO GLOOM’s latest projects, “Beat It” and “Eyes On Me” on your favorite platforms. 

For updates on from20, follow the artist on Twitter and Instagram. You can also keep up with HELLO GLOOM on Twitter and Instagram

Want to discover more artists? Check out our Artist Spotlight on West here.