It is hard to put the multi-hyphenated Eric Nam, in one category. A singer, and songwriter, he also hosts a popular podcast “The Daebak” show and is also the founder of DIVE Studios and Mindset, a mental health and wellness platform.
In his 11th year in the music business, he as an artist has proven adaptability and growth in the changing landscape of the music industry. His latest album “House On A Hill”, struck a chord with its theme of belongingness. On the eve of his performance at Lollapalooza in Mumbai, he spoke exclusively to Puja Talwar
India is very excited to host you, and it’s your debut act, which took so long 🙂 So how excited are you and what can we look forward to from you?
Eric Nam: I am very excited to be making my Indian debut on stage at Lollapalooza Mumbai. It is something that my team and I worked on for a very long time and so glad that we were able to make it work. You can look forward to a lot of dancing, a lot of music, new and old, and just really good vibes. I hope people come ready to sing and dance and whether you are a new or old fan, or maybe never even heard my stuff, you walk away with a really big smile on your face.
Whether it is your music or your podcast there is an inherent comforting vibe. How is Eric Nam the person different from him as a multi-hyphenate artist?
Eric Nam: I’d like to think that what you are getting through my music, my shows or podcasts are different parts of myself, expressed through different mediums. Whatever comforting vibe you are getting is me. Having said that, I think there are sides to myself that perhaps people don’t get to see much of – for example – I love to spend a lot of time alone and find that I get most inspired when I am alone, which many find surprising because they think I’m naturally an extrovert, but I am quite introverted.
I would describe you as someone who brings out the best of both your American and Korean heritage. But growing up it could have created a dichotomy, am I American enough or Korean? But it seems you have managed to find the perfect balance. What was that like
Eric Nam: I think it was a long time struggle – I never felt like I fit into either Korea or the US perfectly. There were always aspects of myself that I had to explain – “because I am American” or “because I’m Korean” – but I would like to believe that we are getting to a place in society and culture where we can accept people for who they are, just the way they are. I am both Korean and American, which makes me uniquely Korean-American. There are incredible nuances and intricacies in all THREE cultures and I don’t want to have to pick or choose or diminish any of them to be myself. I think I’ve been trying to embrace all aspects of who I am and my identity and to shine a bright light on all the great things that come with them. It has been a journey to get to this point, but once I was able to embrace them all, it’s become a superpower of sorts, to have all of these cultural understandings.
Also, you are someone who understands the “mindset” of people in this case the artists, their struggles, and their successes, did this also come from your own experiences?
Eric Nam: Most definitely – I think I’ve tried to be open and honest about my struggles with my trusted friends, and other artists, featuring on projects, looking for other artists to feature on mine, and ultimately hitting the studio to eventually write a brand new album. I’m not quite sure where the next album will take us musically but am very excited to find out. In the meantime, I am working on a few more film, TV, and digital media projects that should hopefully start releasing this year – so please stay tuned.
Lastly, talking about India, what’s on your to-do list? Any Indian artist whose talent or music you are a fan off
Eric Nam: My to-do list is to eat as much as possible and meet as many people as possible, have a good time and just vibe. Lol, I’m excited to finally be here! I was recently introduced to the music of Anuv Jain and Anirudh Ravichander who I think have great songs and voices, and I recently reconnected with my new friend Ayushmann Khurrana whom I met in Singapore last September for the TIME100 Impact awards, who is immensely talented in so many areas. I’m also very excited to finally see and meet Armaan Malik this week! For as much as we have texted and chatted online and even put out a song together with KSHMR, we have never met in person!
If I were to ask you a song of your own that defines your current state of mind?
Eric Nam: Only for a Moment – these days, more than ever, everything seems so fast and fleeting. It might be the travelling, it may be the ADHD, but I’m trying to take every moment in and appreciate them as much as possible.