On our last trip to Seoul, Korea, we were invited to spend a day with Eric Nam. Who? Yes, ERIC NAM! The guy who we want to meet at Heaven’s Door and the one who we want to spent the lovely spring weather with!! One and the same! Eric was kind enough to bring us around his favourite place and hang out together.
We started out walking around Garosugil. Garosugil is a street with Ginkgo lined tree which is a popular, high scale street in Seoul. You can find many designer shops, cute and charming cafes, which have an artistic feel to it. It is also famous as one of the streets where K-Idols like to hang around.
Tired of walking around, we stopped at a quaint coffee shop, bought some coffee for Eric (chocolate for us) and we went to Eric’s favourite hang out to have a chat on life after debut, future plans and duet with Hoya (of Infinite).
“I got skinnier after debut, due to irregular eating. After debut, I’ve done TV, radio, and basically jumped into a world which I’ve only dreamed of being in. I’m just lucky and thankful to be working in the music entertainment. My Korean has improved a lot, my English has become considerably horrible: P. It’s just a different life, sometimes its stressful, sometimes fun, but overall I’m just trying to enjoy it and I’m thankful” chimes Eric when asked about how life has changed after debuting.
We’ve seen Eric in music videos and as the talkative and quirky host of the Arirang’s After School Club, so is it hard for him to walk around alone? “No, before my official debut it was harder. I was on a TV show and the audience was bigger then. When I walk around then, I was recognizable. But now I’ve lost weight and if I don’t have my glasses on, people don’t recognize me. I think glasses has become a signature look for me. Like last week I was having dinner with friends and some new people I’ve just met. They mentioned that they like a song from Eric Nam and they asked whether I know him. So I say “Yeah, I know him pretty well..” It’s weird but I’m Eric.. and when I wear my glasses, they recognized me. When I go out, I try to stay low key, put a hat on, a jacket and just walk around.” So we mentioned to Eric that the glasses thing is just like Superman and Eric was “Owh ya! Super Nam! I could work with that!”
Born and brought up in Atlanta, Eric came to Korea to pursue his dreams. “Coming to live in Korea was very difficult, a big transition for me. All my friends and family are back in the States, and being so far away from them is definitely a challenge. And definitely cultural and social misunderstandings that could lead to misconceptions. That was a bit stressful in the beginning. I’m in a much better place than I was 2 years ago.”
“I don’t really know. My company was telling me that I was gonna be on Simply Kpop and I was OK, and I go and Hanbyul (of LedApple) was there, so I said “Hi, I’m your co-emcee, for Simply Kpop right?” and he said “No, its for After School Club” and that was my first time hearing about it. That was kinda how I got the job. We started on April 18, so its almost 1 year, since we’ve started. It’s been a fun year. There are many challenges to the show, as its a live show. Any live show is very challenging.” said Eric when we asked about him hosting programs.
When being asked about his relationship with other English speaking artistes, Eric said “We’re pretty close, and its very nice to have someone to communicate with, someone with the same history and having the same background like we live in the States and came here, alone. A lot of them have families here but we can all relate to each other. So its very easy to get close to them. We don’t hang out together all the time but there are days where we hang out. Like last week, I hang out with Peniel from BTOB, Kevin and Henry, separately. We go for dinner, watch movies, whatever friends do.”
Talking about his new album.. “Its a digital single due to be released on April 8, is very funky, upbeat, a mix of Bruno Mars, Daft Punk, and Jamiroquai feel to it. Which makes me nervous cause it might be too trendy, but with the teaser released, people were excited, makes me very relieved about it. And I personally just love the song, and its easy for people to enjoy. The song is produced by Sweetune and it also features Hoya of Infinite, who is awesome. He wrote really fun lyrics which are really good. I was nervous about working with him previously.”
“We got connected through Sweetune who wrote most of Infinite’s songs. I asked if we can get Infinite H and he said we’ll talk about it. Then one day he said, Hoya can do it. So I was really excited! (Eric screamed OMG when telling us this.lol). The way I got to know them is that I promoted with Infinite H previously and I think that they were really good performers. That was when I heard about Infinite. I was nervous about our first meeting because they were like cool sunbaes (seniors). Obviously whenever I see him, I was very polite but Hoya said “Hyung, don’t worry about it, do it American style, just say whatever you want.” From then on, they were cool and nice. It’s a pleasure to work with them.” Says Eric enthusiastically when asked about the collaboration with Hoya.
And that’s the end of Part 1 – A day with Eric Nam. Stay tuned for our next journey with Eric Nam in Part 2!
In the meantime, let’s enjoy Eric Nam’s new music video Ooh Ooh featuring INFINITE’s Hoya!
Read on our previous exclusive interview with Eric here!
Special thanks to M.E Malaysia and B2M Entertainment for the exclusive!