by Annie Bastian
The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.
One of the best feelings in the world in finding new music through an artist that you already love. Recently I was listening to songs by the artist eaJ, also known as Jae from the K-pop band Day6, when I came across a collaboration he had done with an artist I had never heard of called Seori, a South Korean R&B artist. Naturally I clicked on the video to listen to it, and it took approximately 30 seconds for me to completely fall in love with her voice. The song “It just is” captured Seori’s dream-like voice that makes you connect to both the song and the emotions that come with realizing you are in love, even if you do not speak Korean. I was hooked and I needed to hear more of her voice.
Who is Seori?
Image from Amazon
After hearing this collaboration, I looked into her more and found out that she had just debuted in the music scene last year, right after the pandemic hit. Even with only one EP, ?depacse ohw (who escaped? backwards), having been released, I found myself becoming obsessed with her music. She began as a YouTuber that sang covers, before being found and joining ATIPAUS under Warner Music Korea. She is credited for producing, writing, and performing all of the songs on her EP, alongside the other ATIPAUS artist Graphix. Listening to the EP you can hear not only her amazing vocals, but you can experience her composing talents, as well. Since her formal debut early last year, her Spotify shows she has released her EP ?depacse ohw, a single “Trigger”, and a single “Lovers In The Night'' that was released recently on March 18, 2021. This doesn’t include her collaboration “It just is'' with eaJ, as it was only released on YouTube. Even with a small discography, the talent that is shown blew me away.
Diving into the Discography
One of my favorite parts about Seori’s music is her choice to alternate between Korean and English. The way that she effortlessly changes languages and has fun with the pronunciations and intonations while doing so adds something to her music that many artists don’t. Apart from the music itself, many songs are also accompanied by breathtaking music videos.
Image from YouTube
Since finding Seori, I still have not been able to get over her collaboration with eaJ and Keshi's Strat on “It just is”. The soft love song is showcased flawlessly by Seori and eaJ's delicate vocals. Seori’s hushed tone draws the listener in from the very beginning. The last line of her verse “with you with you with you with you it’s different, I don’t know why it just is” with the fade into eaJ’s verse is a smooth transition that highlights the pairs matching tones. The song's ability to still have variety while maintaining its light and tender vibe shows how well both artists understand music they are writing.
One of my favorite songs on the EP ?depacse ohw is the title track “Running Through The Night”. In Seori's YouTube bio, it explains that on the EP, “…the major theme of the album is to escape from difficult reality”. With the music being released at the beginning of the pandemic, I feel like this EP became something many could relate to. The song itself is gorgeous, with Seori’s gentle, yet almost desperate vocals that she achieves by singing high notes in a whispered tone. If you add in the lyric translation and the visuals of a desert landscaping with a striking night sky depicted in the music video, it is easy to piece together that this song is about a night of freedom that provides the ability to escape from one’s day to day realities. “Through the night I felt was a fairy tale. Though we may be lost forever. Running through the night.” These lyrics are used to describe the feeling of fleeting freedom, depicted as a fairy tale, that came with the nightfall.
Her most recent single “Lovers In The Night” is a song entirely sung in English. The best part of this song is the amazing build. Seori begins the song using a soft, almost whisper-like tone. When the new beats are introduced, they build onto one another leading into the pre-chorus where a beautiful high note is featured before dropping into the punching chorus. The dynamics of this song keep the listener on their toes, which is something very different from her usual dreamlike music. This is the first song that she has not personally written and produced, so it is interesting to see her branching into new styles of music. I also can’t write about this song without covering the music video. Unlike other videos she has released, this music video is a more vibrant and luminescent quality to it. Though it has a nostalgic feel like she has done before, it highlights the difference of the intensity of this song compared to her past, softer works. The music video also features multiple couples of varying ages, sexual orientations, and occupations. Each couple is shown in an impulsive intimate moment that is used to connect the feeling of spontaneity to the lyrics “Lovers in thе night, We could be strangers in the light, If it’s going too fast for you, We don't need to put no label on it, do we now”, which was conveyed flawlessly throughout the filming and visuals given.