Singer-model Donna Goldn / Courtesy of Donna Goldn and Darina Shaposhnikova

From Belgian roots to the Korean stage, singer-model Donna Goldn finds her artistic inspiration within the everyday tapestry of Korean life. During a relaxed Friday afternoon at The Korea Times headquarters, Goldn revealed the secrets behind her “flavorful” musical creations in a lively interview.”Interesting inspirations tend to spring up in the midst of everyday life,” the 28-year-old singer said in fluent Korean.From long commutes in Seoul to the flavors of local cuisine, her daily life unexpectedly sparks ideas.”I’m currently living in Gyeonggi Province, so whenever I visit Seoul, I inevitably find myself stuck on buses for what feels like ages. But those endless commutes, staring out at the passing scenery, always spark something musical in me, out of the blue,” she said.”I remember a time on public transport where I stood for ages, unable to find a seat. Suddenly, lyrics and rhythms about leg cramps just struck me. It actually turned into a song I’m working on right now,” she added with a playful grin.Stemming from these everyday encounters, “Mashiketta,” the singer’s debut single released last year, sparked a frenzy across the digital sphere.

“Mashiketta” — a Korean term which means “must be tasty” — features lyrics entirely in Korean. It originates from a parody of the viral video “Mooo!” by American rapper Doja Cat, and according to Goldn, the parody clip was inspired by her initial impressions upon arriving in Korea. Goldn’s Korean journey began in 2015, where she was immediately enchanted by what she fondly calls the nation’s “flavorful allure.””When I first arrived in Korea, I went to visit a friend in Daegu and they introduced me to ‘makchang’ (grilled pork intestines). I was a bit hesitant about trying animal innards at first, but after a few bites, I was hooked. So those experiences made their way into the lyrics of ‘Mashiketta.’ The ‘jeyuk bokkeum’ (spicy stir-fried pork) that my friend’s father made was also out of this world, so I had to include that in the lyrics too,” she reminisced.”During nights out with friends at clubs, when recovering from a hangover, I often craved something sweet. So I mentioned Bongbong Grape Juice and Melona ice pops in the lyrics, as they were our favorite treats at the time.”Her favorite Korean dish now is ‘kimchi-jjigae,’ or kimchi stew.”I used to love ‘doenjang-jjigae’ (soybean paste stew) the most, but after living in Korea for a long time, I came to love kimchi-jjigae more. I really love well-made kimchi-jjigae. It’s a 메이저 simple dish, but there’s nothing better for a hangover,” the singer said.

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