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Song You Need To Know: BIG Naughty’s ‘Romance Symphony’

The track leads the rapper-songwriter’s EP, ‘Nangman’

Divyansha Dongre Jun 23, 2022

BIG Naughty. Photo: Courtesy of H1GHR Music

South Korean R&B star BIG Naughty has channeled the inner romantic in him in his latest release, “Romance Symphony.” The single leads the 19-year-old’s 10-track EP Nangman, which explores the emotional stories from the life of the young star, Seo Donghyun (aka BIG Naughty) and features rapper-producer Changmo and former CEO of H1GHR Music, AOMG and South Korea’s most prominent R&B personality, Jay Park.

Ever since his debut in 2019, BIG Naughty has established himself as one of South Korea’s most promising hip-hop artists through his dynamic rap performances. Now, with Nangman, we see the young artist step outside his comfort zone as he dabbles with smooth vocalizations that effortlessly blend with the overarching R&B production of the record, especially on the lead single. 

Written by dress, ​glowingdog and BIG Naughty alongside the featuring artists Changmo and Jay Park, “Romance Symphony” outlines the confessions of a man struck by Cupid’s arrow of love. Throughout the track, the writers pay homage to the greats like Bach, Beethoven and Vivaldi, who’ve left a mark in the world of music with their symphonies and creations. Not only the classics, but the track also mentions South Korean rappers DOK2 and The Quiett, and pianist Yiruma, along with the smooth incorporation of Jay’s hits such as “Mommae,” “All I Want To Do” and his latest release “GANADARA.”

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Nestled between a soothing jazz-lounge sonic ambiance, “Love Symphony” opens with a rich piano arrangement with an ever-so smooth saxophone softly playing in the background. Mellow percussion sounds soon take over with the piano providing a solid base for the different sonic and vocal elements to flow. BIG Naughty plays to his strengths as he switches between breathy vocalizations and melodic rap performances, creating a luxurious listening experience. Of course, Changmo’s rhythmic rap and Jay’s short-yet-sweet vocal performance play a crucial role in setting up the passionate, almost fairytale-like atmosphere. 

To a certain extent, the lyrics are reflective of the young rapper’s growth as he draws a parallel between maturity, love and leaving behind the carefree lifestyle of a teenage boy: “For those that like instant food better than home food/ For those who like comedies better than romantic movies/ It used to be me/ But I shed a tear after watching Titanic yesterday.” True to the theme, the lyrics employ the power of cliches – the kind we grew up reading about and eventually wielded to define the great love stories of each decade: “If I died in your arms, I would have no regret.” Wanting to change for his love interest, the writers exhibit the sincerity of the protagonist’s emotions through an emphasis on classical music. It’s a theme we see running throughout the track as the writers mention different composers, including in BIG Naughty’s verse when he sings “Even though I’m a boy who only knows hip-hop/ But for you/ I can be anything/ Bill Evans, Chet Baker,” to show that his feelings have managed to help him see beyond hip-hop, appealing to the sophisticated, classics-loving man that resided in him. 

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The single is accompanied by a music video in which BIG Naughty is styled in a pink suit and fedora, playing the trumpet. The golden instrument symbolizes his pesky neighbor’s piercing trumpet sounds breaching through his soundproof walls late at night, which inspired him to have his revenge using his own sounds. In a press statement, the musician reveals his thought process behind the latest release. “I thought it would be interesting to have a title that contrasts with hip-hop,” BIG Naughty states. “And much like an actual symphony, this song is composed of multiple movements and arrangements, coming together as one masterpiece.”

Capturing fleeting emotions and memories, Nangman consists of 10 tracks, six of which include featuring artists such as meenoi, Dvwn, 10CM, pH-1, Dbo, Sion, Yescoba and Dayoung Ahn. The opening track “Do You Believe in Romance” is a poem penned down by BIG Naughty and narrated by South Korea’s renowned voice actor, Kim Kihyun. 

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