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avatar for Big Phony

Big Phony

Big Phony is a Seoul based Singer/Songwriter. Born Robert Choy, to parents who immigrated to the United States from South Korea in the late 60's. A New York City native, he started learning the guitar at age 12 and wrote his first song at age 14. At 14 his family relocated to Los Angeles, leaving him in New York so he could attend the legendary School of Performing Arts and Music and Art. Living alone at such an early age, Big Phony devoted his time to writing in his New York City apartment. His friends and family know him simply as “Bobby.”

With strong religious conviction, Big Phony left for Boston to attend a Christian college to study to be a pastor. He quickly realized that this was not the path for him and returned his focus to his music. After college, he moved to Los Angeles to be closer with his family. It was in Los Angeles where Big Phony began his pursuit to be a singer-songwriter. He quickly built a devout fan base with his songs and performances. In early 2006 he returned to New York to build that same kind of following and began to split his time between both cities crashing on couches and aerobeds.

In 2011 Big Phony made the decision to relocate to the country his parents originally hailed from - South Korea. He’s since been able to create an unexpected bridge between himself, his parents, and a people & culture he now adores and identifies with. With determination Big Phony has been able to find acceptance in the Korean music scene. He’s performed in more than 50 Korean live venues as well as on Korean TV & Radio. He currently resides in Seoul, where he continues his journey and commitment to be an artist.

Big Phony delivers honest lyrics and natural talent. There’s a fragile but controlled quality in his voice, which he attributes to thin apartment walls and easily disgruntled neighbors. Fans of Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, and Death Cab For Cutie will instinctively gravitate towards Big Phony’s sound.

Hi latest albums "LONG LIVE THE LIE” (Debuted #10 on iTunes Electronic Chart) and "BOBBY” (Debuted #75 on iTunes Singer-Songwriter Chart) Both Released Feb 2014.

Press Quotes:

"For many musicians here, the subject of artistic identity isn’t limited to what is inscribed on a passport... Korea’s Bobby Choy, an appealing folk singer who performs as Big Phony, was born in New York. He said that when he relocated to Seoul, the indie musicians in the Hongdae area knew well the music of Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, his major influences.” ~ Jim Fusilli, Wall Street Journal

“...be sure not to miss South Korea’s Big Phony. You may have heard of the bubblegum K-pop that is ubiquitous in most of Asia but what about K-indie? Big Phony sounds like a Korean Elliott Smith with tunes like "I Love Lucy" and "Girls Like You Don't Go For Guys Like Me" - his melancholy lyrics and quiet, gifted way with chord changes.” ~ Alan Miller, Culture Collide / Filter Magazine

“Spin Magazine SXSW 2014 Picks” - Big Phony listed as “Safe Bet” ~ Spin Magazine

Five bands you must see at Culture Collide - “Big Phony (Korea), singer/songwriter - Melodious and soulful, hopefully acoustic, from a Seoul-based musician raised in New York City.” ~ Kate Wertheimer, Time Out Magazine, Los Angeles

“The theme song for “My Way” (penned by Bobby Choy aka “Big Phony”) will also appear on Andrea Bocelli’s live album that will be released on December 15. Andrea Bocelli had stated, “This song’s beautiful lyrics and melody moved my heart.” ~ Soompi.com

“Born Robert Choy in New York, he now lives in South Korea and plays beautifully low-key songs that are much more real than his stage name suggests.” ~ Austin American Statesman

His music gets compared most often to Elliot Smith - and like Elliot Smith, Choy is soft-spoken and awkward in person. But when he's performing, listeners are struck by his beautiful voice and engaging, heartbreaking lyrics." ~ 944 Magazine

“...like Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, and AImee Mann - all of them great - Big Phony continues to surprise listeners who don’t know quite what to expect from someone with the name Big Phony” ~ MTV News w/ John Norris

"Big Phony - Singer-songwriter channels Holden Caulfield" ~ Theme Magazine

Be sure to see Big Phony as part of the main cast of KTOWN COWBOYS The Movie: Official Selection SXSW 2015 - World Premiere

My Bands Sessions

Thursday, March 19


Friday, March 20