Our favourite Korean-American singer-songwriter Eric Nam has released his highly anticipated English sophomore album, ‘There And Back Again’, on 7th January 2022.
The irresistibly catchy, sleek pop record marks Eric’s first release as a newly independent recording artist, with production contributed by frequent collaborator and hitmaker Rabitt. The seven-song album features new single “Lost On Me”, as well as previously released tracks “Any Other Way” and “I Don’t Know You Anymore”.
On ‘There And Back Again’
Eric unpacks the album’s deeply personal meaning and confronts past heartbreak, and also marks Eric’s foray into music on his own terms. For him, the album’s meaning is layered. It reflects his experience of feeling like a foreigner no matter where he is, the highs and lows of relationships, and also the physical journey of Eric relocating from Atlanta to Korea for the past 10 years and returning home to become an independent artist.
“‘There And Back Again’ is my first album I’m putting out as an independent artist. It’s definitely taken a while to get to this point and to be honest, it was a very tough process, but I’m thrilled with how it turned out and hopefully my fans and listeners will feel the same. I’m looking forward to seeing how people connect with the new sounds and to see fans on the road.”– Eric Nam
Making music was something that always made Eric feel at home. As a newly independent recording artist, Eric is taking the reins of his career and building in unexpected and innovative ways. Beyond being a singer, songwriter, entertainer, and TV personality, Eric stays busy as the Co-Founder and Creative Director of DIVE Studios, a media company he founded with his brothers in 2019 that has accumulated 1.3 million subscribers. He has also been named GQ Korea’s Man of the Year and is listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia.
‘There And Back Again’ Southeast Asian Virtual Press Conference
KAvenyou attended Eric Nam’s Southeast Asia virtual press conference for ‘There And Back Again’ a few days prior to the album release, where we learnt more about the behind the scenes of Eric’s creative process for this album. Speaking about his second studio album, it is significant to him for a number of reasons and he feels like he has been working on it for a really long time, so he is excited to finally get it out to the world.
Having toured in Southeast Asia previously, Eric feels like although there is a similarity in terms of the climate, but every country has its own rich culture, history and especially food, and he feels lucky to have visited to do concerts, shoot TV shows and more. It has been really fun for Eric to meet fans from various regions and hopefully there’ll be another opportunity to meet his S.E.A. fans very soon.
Preparation Process For ‘There And Back Again’
For this album, Eric reveals that he had started working on it since about a year ago in February 2021, where he also travelled to LA to meet some producers and songwriters to work on his album. Eric had a really hard time trying to figure out the direction he wanted to go, in terms of his sound, as he personally thinks that every album, or song, should challenge what he had already created and how to upgrade it. He did try pop punk, which did not work out—though he did write around 7/8 songs! (But he decided that he didn’t have that teenage angst to scream into the mic…)
Thus for Eric’s entire music career so far, this is the longest writing process that he has ever had for any music project. As compared to K-Pop releases, where he had to literally put out an EP within a week!
To Eric, this is also his most mature album put together to date, and even people that he played his album to agreed that it is a ‘step up’, which is what he is really hoping for.
On his collaboration with Rabitt, Eric revealed that he actually worked on every single song on this album. Both of them have started working together since his ‘Honestly’ album, and they’ve been writing together since then and Eric considers Rabitt one of his best friends and confidante as well.
For this album, Eric also released a documentary where it shows more about his process of recording the songs to the conversations that took place when the lyrics were being written, to how he settled down on a certain medley for the tracks.
On Being An Independent Artiste
Also marking his first release as an independent artiste, the biggest change, Eric quipped, “is that it’s a lot of work for me!” It is equally liberating and fun, as it is to terrifying, as someone who came from a big label where you don’t have to think about all the nitty gritty details, from legal documents to supply chain; to having to make all these decisions and also be aware of finances. Although it’s not something that Eric will shy away from, he admitted that it is another level of added stress, which is a learning process to him and on the brighter side, he’s sure that it’ll get easier as more releases come by.
Eric’s Music Evolution
Eric vividly remembers the release date of his first EP, 23 January 2013, and things have changed a lot since then. Back then, he did not really have a say on what he was doing or singing (he was singing lyrics that he didn’t even understand!), but he was really excited to be pursuing his dream of being a recording artist and having his own songs. As he did not really have creative control then, he is more appreciative of what he is able to do now more than ever.
Eric Nam 2022 World Tour
Eric Nam has also announced his 2022 world tour, which will see him on the road for 51 days, performing in North America, Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand; and for the first time ever, he will be joined by a live band. Eric also admitted that he is probably going to cry when he goes on stage, as it has been so long that he has performed—as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken that chance away from performers for such a long time. He’s also hoping that he can add extra shows in Southeast Asia as well, so do keep your fingers crossed!
Eric also proudly revealed that he will be having 2 tour buses this time round, and he is very excited about finally having his own room on one of the buses. He also jokingly added that he is open to any kinds of sponsors to display their ads on his tour buses that will be travelling across many areas!
Stream Eric Nam’s ‘There And Back Again’, available now on all digital platforms via The Orchard.