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Philadelphia musician pays homage to Korean-American heritage

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WPVI) — Judah Kim, a Philadelphia-based indie musician, pays tribute to his parents with every guitar stroke.

“When I think about what they did, I guess that told me to do something amazing with my life,” he said. “And that thing is music.”

Kim’s father was born in North Korea and eventually fled the country to settle in South Korea. There he met his future wife through the Boy/Girl Scouts.

“Korea was so bad back then,” Kim’s mother Deborah said. “After the war, no food, no water. A lot of things were messed up. So people wanted to go to different countries.”

The Kim family chose to come to America. There they sold bread and clothes on the street to support their 8 children. Judah was the seventh born.

“I think what keeps me going is my mom’s drive to provide for her endless family,” Judah said. “It’s built into everything from playing the instruments on my record, to recording, to learning to mix.”

Judah found success in his music career licensing songs for TV shows with his first band, “Stonethrown”. As a freelance artist, he hit the radio airwaves in Philadelphia, Delaware and the UK. He also performed at the Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and will return there this summer.

This year, Judah Kim releases a single every five to six weeks. Her latest, “The Real Kind,” evokes emotions about her family’s immigration history.

“When I sing it, I think of the spirit of my father because he always sought authenticity and truth,” he said.

Judah hopes the lyrics will encourage people to appreciate what they have and spend time wisely with those who love and support them.

“It’s living my life like my last day alive,” he said, quoting the song. “Nothing can hold me back.”

To learn more about Judah Kim’s music, visit his Linktree page.

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