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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kero One
Kero One playing Fender Rhodes at a concert in 2009
Kero One playing Fender Rhodes at a concert in 2009
Background information
Also known asKero Uno
OriginSan Francisco, California
GenresHip hop, rap, R&B, electro
Occupation(s)Rapper, composer/producer, DJ
InstrumentsVocals, keyboard, bass guitar, drums
Years active2003–present
LabelsPlug Label / P-Vine /
Associated actsDJ King Most, Ohmega Watts, Epik High

Kero One is a Korean-American hip hop MC, producer, and DJ from San Francisco, California.[1] He has been recognized for re-introducing the jazz rap sound in the early to mid 2000s with his jazz-hop album Windmills of the Soul.[2]


When Kero One was aged 6, he started listening to old-school hip hop on the radio. The first hip hop song he heard was by Boogie Down Productions. He has since collected records with genres spanning hip hop, 70s soul, funk, jazz, Latin, soulful house, electronica and rock.

Kero One originally worked as a web designer, making 50 copies of his first single with home equipment and personal credit cards. He released his first 12" record, Check the Blueprints in 2003 on his own imprint, Plug Label. Of the 50 copies that were eventually distributed around the world, one reached a tiny record store in Tokyo, Japan. A few weeks later, it was found by a Japanese DJ who played it at a club that night and received dozens of inquiries, including a Japanese label executive who immediately contacted Kero One and asked for 3,000 copies of the record.[3] Check the Blueprints became an underground hip hop classic in Japan, selling almost 15,000 copies, and Kero One was invited to tour the country just a few months later. He performed in cities throughout Japan.

Kero One finished his first album, Windmills of the Soul, in 2005, handling everything including playing instruments, rapping, and sound engineering. Without a strong label backing or a street team, he handled almost all the business himself. From promotions and marketing, manufacturing, finances, art direction and web design, Kero One personally handed out promos to tastemakers anywhere he could find them. Eventually the hard work paid off, and Windmills of the Soul garnered respect in many circles for its thought-provoking lyrics and musical soundscapes which fused live instrumentation with dusty analog samples.[citation needed]

Kero One quit his job as a web designer in 2006 to pursue music full-time. Since then, he has been awarded the title of Best HipHop Album of 2006 from Japan's Remix magazine; topped iTunes hiphop charts; received praise from artists all over the world like of The Black Eyed Peas, Stevie Wonder, Emmy-nominated jazz singer Jaime Cullum, and multi award-winning Korean hip hop groups Epik High and Dynamic Duo.[4] Kero One's Music has been heard in Printemps Mall in Paris, France, Takashimaya Mall in Tokyo, Hyatt hotels, and TV shows like Anthony Bourdain's The Layover and Fuse TV. Kero One has collaborated with acclaimed artists from all over the globe like Aloe Blacc, Tuomo (Finland), Ben Westbeech (UK), DJ Deckstream (Japan), Fashawn, Shing02, Dumbfoundead, The Sound Providers, DJ Mitsu (Japan), and Abstract Rude.

In 2012, Kero one released his fourth solo album, Color Theory, which raised over $10k from fans to pay for the mastering and engineering costs through Kickstarter. The album received praise from fans as his "best album to date".[citation needed] His lead single "What Am I Supposed to Do" charted on Radio Nova (France), J*Wave Japan, and WDR Funkhaus europa radio in Germany. The song received a major endorsement from Stevie Wonder, who asked Kero One to perform it at Wonder's 17th Annual House Full of Toys Benefit Concert on December 15, 2012 at Nokia Live Theatre with Bruno Mars.[5]

Later, Kero One formed a new collaboration project, Kesna Music with YouTube singer Esna Yoon. They released their single "Is It Love?" on July 16, 2013.[6]

In 2015, Kero One brought his signature jazz-hop sound to Korea, producing a song called "Ordinary Love" for Korean rapper Park Kyung of Block B and Park Bo-Ram, which hit #1 on Melon charts. Later that year, Kero One released a future soul album under the alias "Kero Uno", called Reflection (noitcelfer) Eternal which made it to Reddit's ListenToThis best of 2015 albums list.[7] Also in 2016, South Korean longboarder Hyo Joo Ko used Kero One's 2012 song "So Seductive" in one of her Instagram videos. When Kero One reposted the video on his Facebook page it went viral, reaching 26 million views. The viral video brought Hyo Joo Ko international fame and renewed interest in Kero One's older song.[8]


  • 5th Best Indie hiphop of 2004 on MSN music[9]
  • 4th Most Downloaded artist on Cnet's[10]
  • 2nd selling underground hiphop album on HMV and Tower Records Japan[11]
  • 2nd most downloaded album on iTunes Japan[12]
  • Landed on Reddit's ListenToThis best of 2015 albums list[13]



Year Title Label
2006 Windmills of the Soul Plug Label
2006 Windmills of the Soul Instrumentals Plug Label
2008 Kero One Presents..Plug Label Plug Label
2009 Early Believers Plug Label
2010 Kinetic World Plug Label
2012 Color Theory Plug Label
2015 Reflection Eternal Plug Label
2017 Kero & Azure Plug Label


Year Title Label
2018 "A New Day Dawns" Plug Label
2017 "Let Me Show You" Plug Label
2015 "Princess Diamond" featuring Kelsey Bulkin Plug Label
2012 "What Am I Supposed to Do?" featuring Suhn Plug Label
2010 "When the Sunshine Comes" featuring Ben Westbeech Plug Label
2008 "Get Down" featuring Aloe Blacc Plug Label
2006 "In All the Wrong Places/ Give Thanks" (Sound Providers Remix) Plug Label
2005 "My Story" Plug Label
2005 "Keep It Alive" Plug Label
2003 "Check the Blueprints" Plug Label

Collaborative works

Year Title Label
2017 "Bad Habits" Crazyboy of J-Soul Brothers Avex Japan
2016 "Ogeul Ogeul" featuring Park Kyung of (Block B) Seven Seasons
2015 "Ordinary Love" featuring Park Kyung (Block B) and Park Bo-ram Seven Seasons
2013 Kesna Music - Is It Love? Plug Label
2012 Kero One - Love's Gonna Getcha (feat. Dynamic Duo & DFD) Plug Label
2012 Kero One - Love's Gonna Getcha TV Instrumental (feat. Gaeko of Dynamic Duo) Plug Label
2012 Sam Ock - Pieces (feat. Kero One) SAM OCK
2010 Anan Ryoko - Forever We Will Be (feat. Kero One) Blues Interactions, Inc.
2009 Kero One - When the Sunshine Comes (feat. Epik High) Plug Label
2009 Kero One - Let's Just Be Friends (feat. Dynamic Duo) Plug Label
2009 Kero One - Keep Pushin' (feat. Tablo of Epik High) Plug Label
2009 Kero One - Goodbye Forever (Choice 37 Remix) (feat. Ben Westbeech & Choice 37) Plug Label
2009 Epik High - Rocksteady (feat. Kero One, Dumbfoundead, MYK, Rakka) Map The Soul Inc.
2009 Epik High - Map The Soul [Worldwide Version] (feat. MYK, Kero One) Map The Soul Inc.
2008 Talib Kweli - "In the Pocket" (Kero One Remix) Manhattan Records/HMV
2008 Nomak feat. Abstract Rude - "Hi, Mom! - A Prayer For World Peace" (Kero One Remix) Huge Soul
2008 Pe2ny - "Wake Up" (feat. Kero One, Myk) Mnet Korea
2008 Rashaan Ahmad - "Here We Go" (prod. by Kero One) Om hiphop
2008 DJ Motive - "Reach for the Star" (feat. by Kero One) Mohowks Records
2007 Dynamic Duo - 지구본뮤직 (feat. Kero One) CJ Music
2007 Lanu - "It's Time" (feat. Kero One) Tru Thoughts/Ubiquity Records
2007 Choice 37 - "Conversate" (feat. Kero One & El Gambina) Subcontact Records
2007 Himuki - Innervision (feat. Kero One) S.O.U.Records/Milkdipper/Nunki Inc.
2006 Surreal & DJ Balance - Yeah Boy (Beat By Kero One)(feat. Theory Hazit) Hiphop IS Music


  1. ^ "Kero One and the Kinetic Life". Hyphen Magazine. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  2. ^ "News: Kero One launches Kickstarter campaign for new album 'Color Theory'". The Find Mag. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  3. ^ JpopAsia. "Kero One’s bio" ‘’jpopasia’’. Accessed 2013-03-13.
  4. ^ Ningin. (2009-06-01) "Interview with Kero One and a shout out to Ningin" Archived 2014-12-10 at the Wayback Machine 'Ningin. Accessed 2013-03-13.
  5. ^ Ethel. (2013-01-24) "Behind The Scenes | Stevie Wonder Concert ft. Kero One" Audrey Magazine. Accessed 2013-03-13.
  6. ^ (2013-04-23) “Kero One & Esna Form Kesna Music” ' Accessed 2013-07-17.
  7. ^ "Official /r/ListenToThis Best Of 2015 - 600+ hours of the best overlooked music from the last year • /r/listentothis". reddit. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  8. ^ "Meet Ko Hyojoo"
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2008-07-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2008-07-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2008-07-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Official /r/ListenToThis Best Of 2015 - 600+ hours of the best overlooked music from the last year • /r/listentothis". reddit. Retrieved 2016-04-11.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 March 2020, at 22:03
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