Buy a Record, Make a Difference 10: Mili Hong

Buy a Record, Make a Difference is a new series we have created to help local musicians generate income during COVID-19. It is based on the principle that we should support and reward the hard work local artists have already put into recordings, as it is an immensely difficult undertaking to be creating new material under current circumstances. There is currently a lot of emphasis on livestreaming and innovation in our industry, and while those things absolutely have their place, we think it’s also important to boost projects that have already been completed.

In each post, we’ll ask a local artist a series of the same questions, give them the opportunity to talk about recordings they’re proud of, and ask them to talk about other local musicians whose work they admire. It’s our hope that you’ll take the time to listen to & purchase the work of local artists, or at the very least share their work with others.


Photo by Evan Shay
1. Who are you? 

My name is Mili Hong and I moved to Vancouver, BC from South Korea when I was 21 to study English and Jazz. I attended a Jazz Studies program at Capilano University where I met most of my friends/collaborators. About 2 years ago my husband/bassist, Eli Davidovici and I moved to Montreal.

2. Describe your music as best you can.

The music I play is very eclectic in nature, and even when I play in certain genres, like jazz, rock, or folk music, I tend to like to incorporate different aspects from different kinds of music I love into it, and the same goes for a lot of the musicians I find myself playing with. What speaks to me as a drummer is that no matter what music I play, there is some sort of underlying groove or pulse that pushes the momentum of the music, while also keeping it grounded (this even applies when playing “free” music or music that is “out of time”). What I also really love is when I can be playful and improvise with the musicians around me, because it can be very conversational in its own way, and is a really exciting way for me, as a musician, to discover what’s happening in the music.

3. What’s your latest recording (or a recording you’d like to promote)? Where can people get it?

Back in September, Eli’s project Shapes recorded an album in Montreal. It’s still in the process of post-production, but you can check out a previously released track online here.

We haven’t been able to play music with others in real physical space since COVID-19, so we created a Patreon page to provide drum/bass backing tracks of different songs and genres for others to enjoy and jam with virtually.

4. Is there another local musician whose work you’d like to give a shout out to? 

My good friend and colleague, Sara Kim, is an amazing singer in town, who has a few groups I know of that she is a part of. Omianan is one of the bands that she collaborates with, but the one I know best is her Watermill Project (which I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of), which blends songs from her native Korean folk music with jazz.