RxECUE SKIN X GEORGE KO
Welcome, George! When did you begin learning piano?
I "started" when I was five. "Started" is in quotes because like many other immigrant kids, I was actually forced. To be honest, I initially despised the instrument. If you told my five-year old self I'd be a concert pianist today, I would laugh so hard my stomach would hurt.
Many people who learn piano through childhood stop after high school. What made you keep going?
I actually did kind of stop after high school. When I went to college, I thought I would be an entrepreneur and find my own tech company, like many aspiring millennials. After a few failures in tech and an inspiring concert of Brahms' 4th Symphony, I discovered a visceral passion for playing music. Honestly, I only started playing seriously in college, even dropping out of Harvard to take a gap year at The Colburn School to study piano and conducting.
Was there a moment when you knew you wanted to be a pianist professionally?
Yes! I had a remote day job during the early part of the pandemic. One day while taking a break and playing piano, I suddenly was able to improvise. It was like a movie, like a jolt of lightning hit my brain, and I could play literally anything that popped into my head. At the same time, the viral app Clubhouse was gaining traction, and I would play digital concerts there from time to time. My audience grew from people to a few thousand. Fans started asking for more music, to buy merch, then wanting to see shows in person. Their support gave me the confidence to pursue music full-time.
Keeping your hands soft is essential for a pianist. Do you have any skin care tips?
Always moisturize. The worst thing that could happen to your skin is for it to dry out and crack. It makes it incredibly uncomfortable to play the piano. I bring hand balm with me everywhere. I have one in my car, my backpack, and my carry-on at all times. Any moment I touch my hands, and they feel slightly dry, I immediately moisturize.
What made you choose this Christmas song? Is there a memory attached to it?
It's a classic. The Christmas Song just invokes those fuzzy feelings you get when curled up next to a warm fire with presents all adorned around the Christmas Tree. For me, it's one of my favorite holiday classics, and every time I hear it walking around L.A., it reminds me that it's that special time of year again.
You’re so busy. I’m sure people reading this would love to get to know more about you and see you live! Where can they find the info?
The best way to follow my musical adventure is through Instagram! You can find my Instagram here (https://www.instagram.com/_georgeko/) or sign up for my email newsletter here (https://www.georgeko.co/email-newsletter) for updates on my upcoming shows, new music, and exclusive merch drops!
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful performance with us for the holidays. We hope to see more of you!
Thanks for having me RxESCUESKIN! Always a blast!