Exclusive Interview: Dabit Shares Life After Coming Out, Discrimination, The Love Story Behind ‘Habit’

dabit kpop
Credit: KoffeeDream Entertainment

You may recognize him from His Man 2, but the well-known candy-eyed Kim Jungwook (aka Dabit) isn’t just an actor. The emotional singer Dabit is a popular artist under KoffeeDream Management who recently made a comeback with his latest track “Habit” after coming out almost a year ago and is looking to relate to the hearts and minds of fans once again.

With a melancholic tone and piano mimicking the same expression, “Habit” starts off simple but carries us into a deeper space with its heart-breaking lyrics and realism. The song has a lot of history and build up leading to its creation and is a story no one would want to miss!

Dabit was kind enough to meet with us and share all of his stories and discuss what it means to be an LGBTQIA+ identifying singer in Korea as well as how much being an artist and appearing on a ground-breaking web drama like ‘His Man’ has changed his life.

Credit: KoffeeDream Entertainment

Read more about Dabit, his humble beginnings, emotional triumphs, and goals for the future in our bubbly, fun exclusive interview.

Thank you for meeting with us, Dabit. You debuted back in 2013 with “When the Wind Blows”. 11 years later, what is something you would say to your past self?

Dabit: “Thank you for having me. It’s been a huge change since 10 years ago. If I saw my past self I would tell myself to not be so hesitant and afraid to express myself a little more. I found myself holding back a lot when writing music then. Ironically my happiest song is my most depressing song but it turned into a love song I love. I think holding myself back for so long was a roadblock later on and I could’ve avoided a lot of frustration if I had been able to live more freely.”

During your debut, you had also been training to debut with boy group 24K – were things different then too?

Dabit: “When I was training with 24K I realized I had to blend in. They always told me to blend in and I realized I lost my identity as a singer and a songwriter and wasn’t enhancing my strengths. I became a people-pleaser and this sort of industry isn’t for everybody. These past few years have been all about breaking down the barriers I made from those 10 years.”

You last released “Panic” in 2023. Can you tell us what was going through your mind when creating the song? You took a long break before releasing this song too. How did the composition come about?

Dabit: “Music takes a lot of money. So since I was self-funded I couldn’t release multiple songs a year. I tried to release one song a year but Corona was the biggest moment that put everything to a halt. Even my tours. I let things go for a bit and took a break because even though I was depressed on top of that I was going through my breakup. But that’s when I went through a thought process [of understanding emotions] and started to slowly build from point zero again.”

Dabit revealed just how much COVID-19 impacted his career in life. Instead of keeping the ball rolling, what felt like a break soon became a lull in creativity and development. He felt like he was cocooning but finally emerged again.

Dabit: “Panic is my declaration to the world that I am a hot mess. Everyone had a set image of me as a happy-go-lucky person when it was not at all how I felt and far from the truth. This song helped me communicate my darker side.”

Panic had a more upbeat swanky tone contrasting the melancholic mood of “Habit” Can you tell us about your new changes through song “Habit” – what is the message behind the track and what did you love most about creating this song?

Dabit: “‘Habit’ is a song I wrote two weeks after breaking up. It wasn’t meant to be public at first. My ex said to me ‘When it comes to showing emotions, you’re like a robot’ and it’s true. I never cried in front of my ex. I wasn’t moving on either. I had trouble processing emotions. I could only express it by writing lyrics and the melody popped into my head and I finished the song in record time. I called the producers and we were set to go but I had to wait to release it until I was ready. Now I’m ready.”

You debuted with a Korean song but your latest tracks are in English. Which language do you feel more comfortable singing in? Can you express more in one language than the other?

Dabit: “Definitely English. It sounds different and I like to be comfortable in my music and language style. English feels at home for me and helps me feel authentic.”

Everyone wants to know, how was your experience on His Man 2? Do you keep in contact with any of the cast? How has it changed your life?

Dabit: “I thought it was a chance to take my life back after my breakup with my boyfriend of 8 years. However, everything I worried about came up during my public breakdown and it knocked down a lot of walls I had around me. After my public breakdown, I saw it as an opportunity to be authentic and genuine. A lot of people couldn’t understand why I was sad or crying too but everything was real. Not scripted.”

Emotions don’t always have to make sense or be explained or have a reason.

Dabit: “I also do keep in touch with the cast. The relationships are the biggest reward I got out of it and one of the couples is still successfully together. I visit their bars and restaurants whenever I’m in Seoul.”

Did you ever face any limitations as a gay artist in Korea? From things like discrimination to missed opportunities?

Dabit: “Kind of. Everyone has been very respectful of my style and process. But I once had to do a radio gig that wanted me to discuss heterosexual relationships and be neutral with my responses but I felt forced back into the closet so I rejected it. I’m practicing being unapologetic. Maybe I can be more open and make a love song about guys later.”

Credit: KoffeeDream Entertainment

What do you think of gay culture and society in Korea? How does it differ from America? Is it getting any better?

Dabit: “Honestly, I moved here in 2010 and America was not the same then and now. Especially as someone from Ohio. It’s conservative. Gay marriage wasn’t even legalized then. I built a life here and I want to protect that life. I think there are more gay media outlets now in Korea and people will learn that homosexuality isn’t a genre or BL concept. So I will try to be an example of authenticity.”

Now, aside from the serious talk, I wanted to ask you more humorous and light-hearted questions. From more personal ones to downright silly ones, I hope you don’t mind this fun lightning round of questions!

First, Boxers or Briefs?

Dabit: “I’m not big on boxers anymore. So briefs. They do not wear nicely and are only good as pajamas.”

Are you an Itaewon Gay or a Jongro Gay?

Dabit: “I didn’t know this was a thing! I heard about it but do not know. I heard they all have different images and I think I’m an Itaewon gay? Maybe? I’m not so sure. I don’t even know what that means at this point.”

Credit: KoffeeDream Entertainment

What do you think of shows like Ru Paul’s Drag Race and famous Drag Queens in Korea? Any Drag Queens you are a fan of?

Dabit: “I watched it of course. I started in the middle then got addicted and had to watch it again from season one. I binged everything I could for a year. I still watch Katya and Trixie. I follow Kimchi too and see Bob The Drag Queen on TikTok too. I will start the new season soon because Ru Paul left an impact on me. However, I’m a fan of Manila Luzon.”

BL is currently all the rage in Korea. Would you ever act or participate in a BL series? Do you have any favorites you enjoyed seeing?

Dabit: “I’ve been watching so many BLs, especially with my fans on TWITCH live streams. It is a safe environment for me and I would definitely love to act in a BL. So many of them became friends in the comment sections and I love our little community. My biases are ZEROBASEONE Kim Ji Woong and SEVENTEEN Mingyu. They are my Roman empire!” Greaaaaat choices!

Now let’s circle back to some less comical questions. Are there any LGBTQIA+ Artists inspiring you as of late?

Dabit: “There are so many other artists like Sam Smith and Troye Sivan, but the biggest one to come to mind is Holland. He really is pioneering the movement in Korea and society wasn’t ready for other previously debuted gay artists. Holland is the first singer to really do something big. I hope to meet him one day because I have never met him yet!”

Credit: KoffeeDream Entertainment

What is the goal you have for yourself this year? What do you see yourself doing in 2025, too?

Dabit: “To make more music as my authentic self for a long time and be more vulnerable with my fans.”

Before we finish, can you take a picture and tell us what’s your favorite selfie pose?

Dabit: “I know there are cute ones with puppy and kitty ears. I like those. But what is gyaru pose? I will try them.

(Gyaru pose: A trending pose from the summer of 2023 where Koreans would post with their arms straight out making a peace sign. It means “girl pose” and originates from the Japanese pronunciation of girl.)

Are there any things you’d want to say to the readers, allies, and the LGBTQIA+ community of Korea?

Dabit: “There is a bigger community you might not know of so don’t get lost in your box. A lot of queer folks choose their families so I hope people remember how much we can relate to each other. Seek them out and find your allies!”

Credit: KoffeeDream Entertainment

With that, Dabit concluded the interview and shared so many precious details about himself. After spilling his emotions for all to see, anyone could feel how genuine and vulnerable Dabit is even through this interview.

Dabit seems to be walking on air since taking a route of freedom in expression. Now, fans can learn a little more about him and realize his identity is important to him but there is more to Dabit than just being a gay singer in Korea. Dabit is filled with remarkable talent, a giving personality, and is loving to his fans and friends. If you want to experience his charismatic charms, follow him on Twitter, head over to his live streams on Twitch and don’t forget to follow us for more exclusive interviews!

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  • OMG! Thanks for this interview and thank you dear Dabit for letting us know more about you. Panic is my absolute favorite song, it really expressed how I felt as well during those hard times last year, but thanks to you I’ve been able to put words to it 🫶
    Hope we can see you on more projects, I will pray to the universe so you can have a BL OST 🥺💖 and also hope you can meet HOLLAND as well 💖
    We, your fans love you and always wish all the best, love, health and happiness for you 🫶

  • This was a pleasure to read. It was nice to walk down memory lane with him and find out Habit was actually written years ago and held close to the chest until he was ready to set it free. A beautiful story.

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