Character Concerts: Run River North Breaks Out of the Comfort Zone

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In collaboration with AT&T, Character Media presents “Character Concerts,” a new video series that brings the live music experience and “backstage” interviews to audiences at home. We’re kicking off this new series with a special appearance from indie stars Run River North.

Brought together by a love of indie-folk rock music and mutual friends at church, Korean Americans Sally Kang, Daniel Chae and Alex Hwang didn’t expect that they would soon be rocking out in the music industry. Though their band, Run River North, originally started with six members, Kang, Chae, and Hwang never stopped the music. Ever since, the trio has gone on a journey of breaking boundaries, getting out of their comfort zones and persevering to reach their dreams of becoming professional musicians.

Run River North quickly rose to fame when the band released its first original song, titled “Monsters Calling Home,” in 2011. Afterward, the group received positive attention from audiences and agents, which led to selling out live shows and promoting online content. In 2012, they signed to the Nettwerk label, went on tour and recorded their very first album. Needless to say, things happened very quickly for the band. “We didn’t have time to think, ‘Oh wow, we’re so lucky,’ we just said we need to make the most of this,” said Hwang. Some of the band’s most popular songs include “Run or Hide,” which has almost a million views on YouTube, and “29,” which has over five million listens on Spotify.

When the band lost three of its founding members in 2017, Kang, Chae and Hwang took on different roles to make things work. “The biggest thing that I’ve learned is not boxing yourself into just one thing that you’re comfortable with, but to be open to learning anything,” dsif Kang. “We’ve had to put on different hats and figure out what we can do to keep our music going.” The three members compromised by switching roles during different parts of songs, or playing different instruments. But after adapting to such drastic changes, the group was able to release two EPs and a full album the very next year.

Watch Run River North’s full performance and interview above!