SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 21, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Just days after Garth Brooks turned in an electrifying performance at a sold-out Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, another music giant, Post Malone — headliner for the upcoming hip-hop Hive Music Festival at the Utah State Fairpark — is most decidedly “in town.”
Posty, as he is affectionately known, was seen, making the scene, Tuesday afternoon, in a low-key setting with an intimate group of friends at one of the Valley’s favorite family-owned Korean BBQ restaurants.
Cynthia Seo, owner of EJO Korean BBQ in South Salt Lake City, told Gephardt Daily she was struck by how friendly he was the moment he walked in.
“He was so centered and nice.”
While he seemed familiar, Seo said she did not immediately know who he was.
“Our server told me, ‘He’s Post Malone!,’ and I go, oh really, and then I texted my kids, and they are like, ‘Are you crazy, you don’t know him?'”
It was then the light switched on. It’s that Post Malone, the guy who’s sold more than 60 million records and now calls Utah home.
Just last year, the 26-year-old musician, rapper, actor and entrepreneur traded a rental home in Beverly Hills for a compound in one of the canyons along the Wasatch Front.
By all accounts, he loves the place and even went so far as to pay tribute to the state in his 2019 song “Wow,” when he sang about a “750 Lambo in the Utah snow.”
Malone told Variety at the time, “Being in Utah and being away from the grind and from everybody else — it’s just me with my video games and a cold one — that feels good to me.”
In a July 2020 appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, Malone explained what it was that drew him to Utah.
“You feel like you’re a part of something bigger, but you’re so insignificant,” he said, seemingly awed by the majesty of Utah’s natural beauty.
“And then you can just say, I accept everything around me, and I’m relaxed and at peace, knowing the world is spinning around you and everything happens for a reason,” he told Rogan.
Malone added that his life in Los Angeles when he decided to make the move was simply unsustainable.
“Always something going on. I couldn’t do it. And it definitely affected my creative process. There’s a lot of people who want to drain you.”
On Tuesday, the musician, who catapulted to fame with the song “White Iverson” in 2015, seemed relaxed and jovial as he enjoyed the company, and the food, in the South Salt Lake restaurant.
Seo said the group went for the all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ special the restaurant offers.
“He loved all the meat we served him,” Seo said. “And then he even took some takeout.”
Seo said she asked him if he was OK to take a picture, and he said “Yes, sure, why not?” The musician even wore a South Korean “Hite” beer baseball cap.
Seo said serving Malone and his entourage was not only fun, but provided a bit of an emotional lift for the staff, including her husband, who is the restaurant’s chef, and two of her sons, who also work there.
Seo said the current restaurant, which has been open at its current location at 633 E. 3300 South for six or seven years, struggled like most restaurants during the pandemic. She credits their loyal, regular customers for keeping the place going.
“They’re always helping us out. That was a great experience,” she said.
Now that vaccinations are a reality, Seo said she is relieved business is getting back to normal. Her family, she said proudly, had been serving Korean food in the Salt Lake Valley for decades. Her mother was the first Korean restaurant owner in Salt Lake City, Seo said, starting the Korea House Restaurant 35 years ago on 1300 S. 145 East, though others run it now.
“Back then, it was ‘What is Korean food?’ But now it’s popular,” Seo said.
“I hope he and his friends come back. We will feed them well,” she said with a smile.
It’s been a busy summer for Malone, who released the single “Motley Crew” on July 9 with an accompanying music video featuring several guest stars, past collaborators and friends, including Tommy Lee, Tyla Yaweh, Tyga and his manager, Dre London.
Malone will be headlining the two day Hive Music Festival at the Utah State Fairpark, which is being held Friday, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Aug. 7. Posty is billed as the top act Saturday.
Local music insiders say Malone is in top form and is eager to play before a large crowd.
Cynthia says if anyone gets hungry during upcoming rehearsals, they know who to call.
For more information about EJO Korean BBQ, click here.