Eric Nam Reflects on Happiness, Serendipity, and Naming His Latest Album ‘House on a Hill’
Sep 15, 2023   •   Kyzia Maramara
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Sep 15, 2023   •   Kyzia Maramara
Korean-American singer-songwriter Eric Nam sat down with us for a quick chat about his latest album, House on a Hill, made available everywhere last Sept. 8. The album is a thoughtful collection of 8 songs exploring identity, happiness, and serendipity. In other words, anyone who is experiencing a little existential crisis in life needs to hear. We got to sit down with the superstar himself and talk to him about his inspirations for this album, how the collaborations with Honne and Oh Wonder happened, and many more! Check out our interview below:[Edited for brevity and clarity.]
Eric Nam: “It came from me actually looking for a house. In my free time, I like to just look at homes. I saw this house, I was like, I think I need to get this house. The biggest downfall was, it was on top of this massive hill — so steep. I think I’m too scared to actually get this house and it made me start to question like, why do I want a house? What is it about getting a house that makes me really so attracted to it? Is it just having a place of my own? [My thoughts] started to take me down this rabbit hole of asking myself all these questions… Why can’t you just be happy the way you are? And so, it’s that kind of introspection that I think this song really took me on.”
Eric Nam: “Well, all of the songs are very special because they all come from a very personal place. But one that I’m very excited about is actually the title song for the album, which is ‘Only for a Moment’. I co-wrote that with this British duo named Honne.
“So I go to London, on the way to the studio. The second day, I was on the train on the subway, and I was looking out the window. And I remember like, I have this melody that I really want to do with these guys. And it was just this hook of ‘Only for a Moment.'”
“I got to the studio, and I explained the concept of [how] I want to do this song. It’s about how in any single moment, there are so many there are a billion things happening in the world. But there’s something about serendipity about somebody who can just happen to walk into your life, and the million possibilities that are happening. It’s kind of like the multiverse meets serendipity meets magic meets “What are the possibilities?
“I’m excited for people to hear it not only because it’s a collaboration with Honne, in terms of the writing process, but also because I think musically, it’s a departure from what I do traditionally. It is still pop music, but it’s not as pop as it has like, I don’t know what how to describe Honne’s type of music. I think is very interesting. And I think and I hope that listeners will love it.”
Eric Nam: “We always see each other in festivals and concerts. And we always run into each other [and we’re like], ‘Let’s really do it.’ Honne and I, we wrote for like two days. [But] because I flew all the way to London, I would love to write with some more people. It so happened that Oh Wonder [shares] a studio space with Honne and so it was like they’re downstairs, Honne is upstairs… We ended up working for three days with Oh Wonder. And the styles were very different, but I really liked all the songs that we did. And just like the most the nicest people, incredibly talented people, obviously.
“I was really self-conscious because I’m always self-conscious about writing. But it felt very easy and natural in many ways. So, they’re just like incredible musicians, period. But for me, I was just, I think my role was trying to tell a story from a point of view, in my experience, but also, I’m very heavy on melodies. So, in any in any room in any session. I feel like that’s usually my biggest, strongest contribution. And so that’s kind of how it worked out.”
Eric Nam: “I think outside of you know, performing and seeing my fans — which is obviously the highlight — I enjoy touring, because things are actually a lot more simple when I’m touring. Because it’s very clear. I’m in a city, I’m performing, it’s a schedule. Whereas when I’m not doing that, I’m doing a million other things at one time. I know exactly what to expect. And it gives me a little bit of like comfort just to like focus on that.
“I’m hoping to work on some other projects on the side as I’m on tour. Typically, it’s always been like music-related projects, but this time I have like a couple of things that I have like piled up that I need to get back on so I’m excited to dive into those.”
Eric Nam: “Oh my gosh, I think everybody’s searching for that answer. And it’s hard. But that’s what life is. Life is about finding happiness and finding fulfillment.
“I think, for me, the answer is coming to be like, yeah, I think maybe we are happy. Maybe we should all learn to be happy with what we have right now. We could always look for more, we could always point to other people and say, I want that, or they have more than me. But perhaps the solution is to think of how grateful and blessed we are already. That’s kind of how I’ve been trying to change my thinking, especially with the release of this song. Not to say that like we shouldn’t be ambitious, and we can want that and have the ambition and want more, but we don’t have to be discontent or unhappy because we don’t have everything and I don’t think we’re supposed to have everything.”
Watch our full interview with Eric Nam here:
Eric Nam is currently on his House on a Hill World Tour which has dates until 2024 and will take him around North America, Latin America, Europe, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Southeast Asia, and India. Stream House on a Hill on all platforms. Visit his website for updates and tickets and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
Interview by Chuchi Azurin
Kyzia spends most of her time capturing the world around her through photos, paragraphs, and playlists. She is constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and a great paperback thriller to pair with it.
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