Watch Eric Nam Seek an Escape From Monotony in ‘Paradise’
The singer-songwriter returns with his first Korean language EP since 2018
Korean-American singer-songwriter Eric Nam made a comeback with a brand new EP titled The Other Side today. Led by the single “Paradise,” the five-track record is his first Korean release since 2018’s Honestly and follows his 2019 English EP Before We Begin.
Co-written by Nam and Korean rock band DAY6‘s bassist and vocalist Young K, “Paradise” is a synth-pop track about searching for freedom and living beyond the daily grind of a monotonous existence. It is also about finding a way out of a sad situation or state of mind: “It’s been so long/Since I’ve been trapped in a cage/I’ve forgotten all about escape…I don’t want to believe this is all/The world outside the window feels so far away/Lost in this paradise/It seems like forever, but it’ll all pass/Cause we were born to fly.” Nam urges listeners to keep their hopes up and dream of a better tomorrow even if the present seems bleak.
In the music video for the single, Nam plays an office worker who seems tired of his nine-to-five existence. He is shown boxed in a cubicle, surrounded by several other identical workers and looks tired until he comes across an advertisement for a remote control that promises he can ‘meet his best self.’ Excited by the idea, he places an order for the remote. Once it arrives he uses it immediately and is plunged into a dreamscape of sorts where he meets an elegant, confident and suit-clad version of himself. His double hands him a note with the French words ‘vis ta vie’ which translates to ‘face to face’ or ‘live your life,’ and a cup of what seems to be tea. As Nam takes a sip, he is plunged into a nightmare that loops his daily existence but finally forces him to confront himself and perhaps find what he is seeking from life.
Young K has co-written on more songs from The Other Side including “Trouble With You,” “How You Been,” and “Love Die Young (Korean Version).” In a recent vlog about the making of the EP, Nam explains that most of the songs, especially “How You Been,” reflect his feelings about the cancellation of his world tour, quarantine and what COVID-19 has put the world through. “I just… wrote [‘How You Been’] wishing that 2020 didn’t have any of the hardships it had gone through so far.”