There is a huge difference between learning a talent and innately being gifted with a talent. Some things come easier to people because they are simply born with the traits that can help a capability flourish. A South Korean singer and songwriter by the name of Summer Soul said that music has been ingrained in her DNA for as long as she can remember. From the age of 8, she always talked to her family and friends about wanting to become a singer. She fulfilled that manifestation by creating a diverse discography that has something for everyone to enjoy. 

On September 20, Summer Soul released a single album called Dear.R, consisting of two songs that she hopes listeners from around the world can relate to. Just days after her comeback, Summer Soul talked to EnVi over a Zoom call to discuss her unique and grounded upbringing as a multilingual and multifaceted artist.

The Soul of Summer

Music is something that Summer Soul has wanted to pursue since she was young. When she was 8, she talked about how she wanted to be a star. “I liked getting the spotlight from people,” she explained. She reminisced about putting her favorite songs on her MP3 player, as she listened to a lot of K-pop growing up. A big influence for her music is Syd, as Summer Soul remembers being told that her voice sounded very similar to the artist. “It was very different from what I had been listening to. From that point, my music style changed.” 

Summer Soul’s multicultural upbringing shaped who she is as an artist and person today. Her five years in Malaysia encompass the person she is today.  She derived her stage name from the warm and sunny weather in Malaysia: “I was influenced by the weather. It is really hot in Malaysia even during Christmas. I have been told that I bring that warm feeling when I make music. I think that is why people like it when I sing in the winter.” Her music gives not only her listeners, but herself a warm and comforting feeling. 

An Outlet of Expression

The artist has a unique catalog that consists of English and Korean releases. A track that shows this fusion is “Kill Your Darling.” The chorus and the verse bounce back between the two languages, showcasing her feelings to an international audience. Summer Soul talked about how different it is making songs in English and Korean. “In English, the lyrics and pronunciation are more soft. There are times when I want to write Korean lyrics because it helps my Korean fans understand it more. But, when I write in Korean I feel shy. It feels like my private diary.” 

Ride” and “Ruby” are Summer Soul’s newest additions to her discography. “Ride” includes an exciting feature from Jueun, who was formerly a part of the K-pop group DIA. Their relationship formed while working together on a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Peaches.” They continued to develop the friendship when they realized their personalities matched, as she said, ‘We spent many years together, and not just as singers but human to human. We had a lot of deep talks and were very honest with each other, so it was very natural when we made music.”

The leading track of the single album, Dear. R, is a vulnerable love song called “Ruby.” It talks of a side of a relationship that can be described as obsessive. She bluntly touches on the ugly sides of love. After writing the song, she says that she felt “…very refreshed. I had to keep telling myself that it is okay to not hide her feelings.” This comes from her hopes of what she wants listeners to get out of her music. “People like to hide their feelings. They don’t want to express it. I want to do that for them. I want to be a voice for other people.” 

What to Expect 

Summer Soul has learned a lot about what she wants to bring into the world. She has experimented in many genres. She showed her soft indie side in tracks like “Barefoot”, a dance genre in “Tinder,” and even an old ballad style in “Forget Me Not.” Her future is not something that she plans, and she can’t expect what her next release will sound like. With every release is a new side of Summer Soul, and we can’t wait to see what else she will bring to the world. 

Want more Summer Soul? Be sure to follow her on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube

Looking for more Asian artists to add to your heavy rotation? Check out our interview with Cupnoodle here!