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Five Things You Need to Know About Singer Eric Nam

Looking for something to do on February 22nd in Philly? Look no further, because the one and only Eric Nam will be coming to Union Transfer for his tour Before We Begin. Who is Eric Nam you may ask? Scroll down to find out!

Eric is Korean-American.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Eric had moved to Korea to pursue his dreams in singing. He also went to college at Boston College, where he studied international relations. Why did he decide to become a singer in Korea instead of America? According to his interview with MTV, it was due to the lack of representation and opportunities for Asian Americans in the United States. “When Asian Americans aren’t represented [in the U.S.] and we don’t have the opportunity, but you still want to pursue the arts, what are you going to do? You’re going to go where you are accepted”.

Eric was going to be an accountant.

Before Eric decided to pursue his dreams and become a singer in Korea, he had graduated cum laude from Boston College and received an offer to work at Deloitte Consulting in New York City. It was only when Star Audition: Birth of a Great Star 2, a singing competition show similar to American Idol, noticed his covers on YouTube and invited him to compete that he decided to pursue the world of entertainment.

His new album, Before We Begin, is all English.

Before his album Before You Begin, almost all of Eric’s songs were solely in Korean since he was working in an industry where Korean was the primary language. However, while he was writing his songs for a Korean audience, he originally wrote the lyrics in English and then reversed engineered them to Korean. But what prompted the shift? According to Eric’s interview with the Times’ magazine, it was largely because he wanted to push for Asian-American representation in mainstream America. “…I think representation is something that’s absolutely needed. I felt like with K-pop being so hot, we could leverage that to potentially do something bigger with music in the States that people could latch onto.” We love a man who advocates for representation!

Eric is a seasoned talk show host.

For three years, Eric was a host on the talk show After School Club, or ASC. ASC is a Korean live talk show hosted in English as a means for international fans to communicate with their favorite idols. Since Eric is fluent in both English and Korean, he often interviews many Hollywood celebrities, such as Emma Watson, Paris Hilton, Chris Pratt, Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch for Korean media companies. Lately, Eric has been hosting his own podcast called “The K-pop Daebak Show with Eric Nam” in which he candidly interviews with English Speaking K-pop artists regarding their journey and experience in the K-pop world. Additionally, Eric also talks about his own journey and thoughts about the direction of the K-pop industry.

Eric is not your typical K-pop star.

Many K-pop artists often promote in groups where each member has their own designated role, whose bright and energetic songs follow with intricate choreography. Even many other solo artists such as Sunmi or Chungha often follow this route of choreographies with a “point” move, or the most popular move in the song. However, Eric is a singer-songwriter and usually does not dance in his performances. As a result, Eric has struggled being accepted in Korea, as his style of singing and music can be perceived as “too American” or not Korean enough. 

Have you fallen in love with Eric yet? If you have, be sure to check out his latest album, Before We Begin and see him in the city closest to you! Hurry! Tickets are selling fast!

Aanandi is an Anthropology major at Bryn Mawr college. She enjoys writing about various aspects of the music industry such as K-pop.
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