Eugene Ahn, a.k.a Adam WarRock is a self-described “overly enthusiastic” hip-hop artist. Adam writes songs inspired by his favorite shows, comic books, films and video games. From House of Cards and Parks & Recreation to Veronica Mars, Pacific Rim and Avatar:The Last Airbender – Adam WarRock dedicates songs to pop culture characters, stories and icons. With over 4,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than a million views, Adam has become a respected artist among pop culture fans as well as entertainment professionals.
The Daily Bud: How did you start making music?
Adam WarRock: I started making music in my college years. Back then, all music was very emotional, deep and thoughtful – maybe a little too much. I went to law school, and that’s when I started making music again. I wanted to talk about what I was into: comics, shows, and pop culture. I started making music for fan blogs and pop culture sites, almost as a joke. I wrote a song about This American Life’s Ira Glass. It got a lot of attention from Public Radio International, and became a little phenomenon in the radio world. I realized there was an audience on the Internet who enjoyed this dialogue I was trying to have, this communal approach.
TDB: Why do you write songs inspired by existing stories?
AW: I love music. When I make a song, it is usually because I wish that song existed. It is me creating things that weren’t before, and I consciously try to make my songs very personal. This requires writing fiction. I get inside a character’s head to describe his emotions and mindset. Take Jaime Lannister for instance – my favorite Game of Thrones character. The song I wrote for him doesn’t describe Jaime from the outside; I am impersonating the character.
TDB: How do you feel about using copyrighted material to create your own pieces?
AW: Most of my songs talk about copyrighted characters and also use other people’s beats. When it comes to music, I always credit the people’s whose beats I use, and my songs are free. I never use other people’s work for commercial purposes, and I believe it is fair use. When it comes to stories, it is fair use too. Smart people understand my songs are a promotional vehicle for their movies, shows, comics etc. What does Marvel have to lose by letting me write a song about Thor? Actually, most of the time everyone is very supportive of my work. Marvel always got behind my songs, NBC loved my Parks and Recreation song, Dan Stevens – who plays Matthew Crawley – loved my Downton Abbey song, etc.
TDB: If IP owners were to open source part of their IP, what content would be most useful to fans who create fan art and fan fiction?
AW: I typically loose a lot of time trying to find an ok-quality video track editable in the video editing software I use. I think fans would benefit from having quality content that allows them to bypass the middlemen and avoid spending hours online tying to find a high-resolution image of a character. A media API could be populated with anything from high-resolution images and videos to sound files etc. Think about it this way: what would you need to build a Mindcraft level of Game of Thrones?
TDB: What do you think would be the value of having APIs for TV shows and comic books?
AW: I think it would be great for people who want to be part of the conversation. Personally I am not sure I would use it because I am doing professional level work. I wish Marvel directly came to me and asked me to do a mixtape about a book, or something like that. But I can definitely see the value in something like this.
Eugene is currently touring on the West Coast! If you’d like to check our his tour dates, click right here.