NAMSAYN released “something to look forward to” on November 4th, 2020. Following that, Melanie and I sat down with the artist to talk about the EP, his background, and more.
B: So you started making your own demos in highschool…what made you want to start making your own music?
N: Very good question. Up to high school for me, music was something I did for fun. Like something spontaneous that I would just do with other friends, you know. It was on my own and because it was very spontaneous, it was never really complete stuff. The level of quality wasn’t there, it was very rough. During university, I thought of challenging myself…Like “hey, why don’t you try to do something from A to Z, a complete song where the quality is there, right?” So, it was just a challenge for me…Like I said. It was something for fun. Like 100% for fun. I didn’t think of creating my own songs, I was just jamming and playing some instruments but then, at some point, I wanted to prove myself. I wanted to prove to others that I can do this on a serious level. Something where you hear it go “ok, he’s got it now. He makes music. I see what he is trying to do.” Obviously I don’t think I am on a professional level like that. I still have a lot of things to do to reach that level but at least anybody can listen to it (my music) and say “okay, like, I see what you are trying to do.”
“ I didn’t think of creating my own songs, I was just jamming and playing some instruments but then, at some point, I wanted to prove myself.”
B: So you just released “something to look forward to” this month. What was the inspiration behind it, and what kind of message were you trying to convey?
N: “Something to look forward to” is actually my second EP. My first EP which was released a little bit more than a year ago…the perspective when I was creating the first EP was purely like I wanted to prove myself that I can do music so I would say that the first EP was totally different from this one. Rapping, almost zero singing…it was purely rap. For the second one, “something to look forward to” was not so much about me, but more about the listeners. It took awhile to make. Almost before the pandemic, to about August or September I was just brainstorming ideas. It was in September when I really started working on the actual songs, building the ideas, making some lyrics and melodies but it was more about finding comfort through music…Everybody wants to find comfort in the midst of a pandemic…you know, in the difficult times. So, it was more about the listeners. You listen to it and you should feel like it is something that is very familiar, very relaxing, chill, laidback, but at the same time, comforting. That’s what I would say.
B: I really liked something to look forward to and how different it was from your first EP. I listened to your discography earlier today and it was so different but I like that you can do those two different things, that’s really cool.
I really enjoyed it.
N: I am glad! For me it’s something that I have been debating for a long time, because I have passion in both ways. So the first [EP] was hard hiphop and rapping…like aggressive almost…on the other hand, something that I look forward to was light and mellow, chill, singing, and at first, I was not sure which direction I wanted to go but the more I would do music and the more I would try different songs it gave me bigger motivation in pursuing other genres. You know, I am kinda hungry for trying out new things. That’s why it really pushed me to do totally something different.
“Something to look forward to” was not so much about me, but more about the listeners.”
B: Okay. That is all from me…Your turn, Melanie.
Melanie: Aside from Jay Park, who is your musical influence?
N: So, I come from a very musical background. I would say that I started with instruments when I was younger…pretty much all of my life I have been playing instruments but rapping or trying my own songs I wasn’t really thinking about it, so it evolved from instruments and more of the playing side then it became more like the rap and hiphop and R&B side of it. But I think my influences are, if we try to name some artists…definitely Jay Park. He is a big one. But I do also have… not necessarily in the KHiphop genre, but for me, one of the artists that really gave me a lot of influence is Taeyang from Bigbang. I am sure you are familiar with him. Technically, he is a kpop idol, but I do see him as more than a just a member of a KPop band. I think of him an artist as a whole. And lately, when it comes to really its technicality, I would say offonoff. He is a big inspiration, especially when it comes to layering, putting harmonies on top of rapping or just having like five, six, seven layer of his voice. When I was listening to offonoff’s album Boy, I really took a lot of inspiration. A lot of people mentioned DPR. I do see it but personally I was not really that inspired. I couldn’t say that I was really into DPR, But we may have a similar tone, in a way.
Melanie: One word to describe your music.
N: That’s hard because, as I said, my first EP was very different than my second but if I were to choose just a word, just focusing on Something To Look Forward To, I would say…cloudy.
B: Yeah…it does make sense, actually.
N: The whole vibe is very cloudy, I would say.
M: Can you share with us the story of your first EP?
N: For sure! The whole EP was produced with one of my good friends. He is one of the first friends that I talked about my music with. I told him that I wasn’t so sure what I wanted to become as an artist, and we decided that (for him) he really wanted to go down the producer’s path. For me, it was more like singing and rapping. So actually, he was the one processing the whole EP – everything from start to finish. I would work with him creating the lyrics. It means so much for me because everything I was doing wasn’t really that great, to be honest. It was something like freestyle, jamming, you know the quality was not there but we really worked hard with the first EP. So, okay, let us try to create something that has a certain amount of quality that we can put out and show to everyone. For me, it means a lot. We started something together and then from that, we just went forward.
M: If you had a chance to collaborate with a Korean or foreign artist, who would it be?
N: That is a hard question. There are so many artists I would love to collaborate with. Well, obviously, I would like to collaborate with Jay Park someday because he has been a role model for forever. That would be the ultimate goal.
M: If you are given a chance to sign a contract with a Korean company, which Korean label and why?
N: I wanted to be part of a big one for the longest time and the more I would think about it, I’d actually want to go on a smaller label and really work closely with just a few members. AOMG is so big, with like 15 members, so there isn’t any space for me. I would like to work on a smaller label where it is less defined and really work closely with the members, and work with the sound and image of the label. It is in the kpop circle, but I would love to work with Henry’s label. I think there’s only one member under him.
B: You said that you play instruments, what instruments do you play?
N: I started off with piano, then I got interested in guitar. Acoustic guitar. And then, I got interested in drums. And then when I was in high school, I actually was part of an orchestra for five years where played clarinet. I wouldn’t say I am really that good on bass, I am just playing here and there…but yeah, the main ones are piano, guitar, drums, and clarinet.
B: Okay. Awesome. I was just curious about that.
N: Now, I create them electronically. I don’t really have to play alone but yeah, those are my background.
B: I think that’s all. Thank you so much for doing this interview with us!
N: Thank you and keep safe.
Listen to “something to look forward to” on Spotify.