Author: Andrea Ramírez
In South Korea, music reality shows have been a platform for finding new talents for several years. There are numerous programs of this kind, such as Produce 101, Superstar K, and one of my favorites, Show Me The Money, where some of my favorite artists have been judges, such as Tablo from EPIK HIGH and Mino from WINNER. Certainly, many beautiful voices have been discovered after performing on these types of programs, and today I come to tell you about a male voice that has been on the music scene for more than a decade. If you have watched K-dramas like Let’s Eat (2013), Uncontrollably Fond (2016), Prison Playbook (2017), or Men are Men (2020), or you have listened to the song Everything Sucks, where he accompanies Vaultboy, without a doubt you have listened to his voice. Do you already know who I’m talking about? That’s right, it’s Eric Nam.
Eric Nam, whose Korean name is Nam Yoon Do, was born in 1988 in Atlanta, and he is the eldest son of a South Korean couple. He studied international business at Boston College, graduating in 2011, and that same year he published on his YouTube channel a version of the song Lonely by 2NE1, which changed his life, as he was invited to audition to be part of the program Birth of a Great Star 2 of the MBC network, and he was immediately accepted. In this competition, he did very well, being in the Top 5. Later, he participated in another competition called Kollaboration Boston in the United States in 2012, where his voice caught the attention of the agency B2M Entertainment, with whom he signed a contract as a solo artist in September of the same year. His debut was in January 2013 with the mini-album Cloud 9, which has five songs, the main one being Heaven’s Door, which not only has a very refreshing instrumental part but also Nam’s voice is soothing, giving a warm feeling, despite it being called a winter ballad.
Eric Nam is not only known for his beautiful voice and his career as a singer, but also for his charisma as a host, after being in After School Club of Arirang for three years. This program is still on the air, and Eric Nam was on it until 2016, when he said goodbye in episode 207, as he wanted to devote himself fully to his music career. A particularity of the program is that every week they interact with different groups, allowing fans to connect with them. In addition, Nam sang the show’s theme song along with Kevin from U-KISS.
After leaving the After School Club variety show, several collaboration opportunities came up between 2016 and 2017 with several artists, such as Tablo from EPIK HIGH and Wendy from RED VELVET, with songs like Cave Me In and Spring Love, respectively. In 2018, another side of the artist became famous with songs like Honestly and Potion in his mini-album; in fact, that year was quite busy for the artist because he also collaborated on the soundtrack of the drama Encounter. He also released three singles at different times of the year. These were Float, Miss You, and I Don’t Miss You in June, October, and November, respectively. Undoubtedly, his musical career was boosted by his decision to leave the Arirang variety show, but in recent years, his discography has only grown.
2019 was a significant year for the artist because it was the first time he released an album in English, in the month of November. This one was called Before We Begin, and it has eight songs, two of which have collaborations with artists such as Mark E. Bassy and Steve James. This album undoubtedly shows the versatility of the artist, who deals with themes such as breaking up and moving on. This album also represents becoming better known in the West. In an interview with The Korea Herald, Eric Nam talks about his desire to make music in English, and that, although he was grateful for the opportunities in Korea, he wanted to explore other sides of himself. To promote this album, a world tour with the same name was planned and, for the first time, included Latam countries, but unfortunately, the tour was canceled because of the pandemic.
In June 2020, Erim Nam released his fourth mini-album called The Other Side with five songs, including the Korean version of Love Die Young, which was a single released on October 30, 2019. The following year, he released three collaborative singles called Attraction with Bunny and Guys, Have We Met Before with Sarah Barrios, and Everything Sucks with Vaultboy. Also, in 2021, he released two singles in October and November called I Don´t Know You Anymore and Any Other Way, which are actually my favorite songs from the artist, not only because of the beat and lyrics, but also for the emotions they transmit to me when I listen to them. In 2022, he released an album called There and Back Again with seven songs, including Wildfire and What If, as the two singles from the previous year.
2023 has been full of pleasant surprises from Eric Nam, as he not only released a new version of his 2022 album There and Back Again in a re-imagined version in March, but in the month of June he also released his single House On A Hill. This is also the name of his world tour, which will begin in September of this year and last until April 2024. Eric Nam will be on four continents and visit more than 70 countries, including Latin American nations, so Latin fans will be able to listen to him for the first time in November. Eric Nam will be in Sao Paulo on November 20th, Buenos Aires on November 22nd, Santiago de Chile on November 23rd, Lima on November 25th, and Mexico City on November 28th.
In this blog, I briefly talked about Eric Nam’s musical career, his discography, and his latest tour as a way to invite you to explore more about this artist that I particularly love. Eric Nam has a unique voice that can accompany you at any time of the day and in different situations, as he is not only versatile, charismatic, talented, and unique, but his music is too. If you are not familiar with him, this blog is an invitation to listen to him and enjoy his work, and if it is already in your playlists, go to Spotify to listen to his music!
Reader: Anna Franco Ucar
Reviewed by: Luisa Quintero
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Dam-young, H. (2019, November 14). [INTERVIEW] Eric Nam talks about first English album, hopes of winning over global fans. The Korea Herald. https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20191114000737
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