Oceanfromtheblue may not be a household name in the world of Korean music, but it should be. The South Korean singer has been on the scene since 2016, releasing his music on Soundcloud. His debut EP Luv-fi in 2018 solidified his presence with Korean R&B fans worldwide.
At the end of September, Oceanfromtheblue released his EP forward. In a post on Twitter, he stated that the album was personal and that he worked on using different styles for it. He spoke with Aewen Radio about his experiences creating forward, music concepts he’d like to try, and more.
Oceanfromtheblue is such an unusual name. Can you tell me how you created it?
I wanted to connect the keywords’ ocean’ and ‘blue.’ I wanted to use the word ‘ocean’ because summer ocean is bright and cheerful, but on the other hand, winter ocean is calming yet cold and dark. I also wanted to use the word ‘blue’ because I like to write lyrics that bring out the deep feeling of depression. So, combining the two keywords, I came up with ‘oceanfromtheblue.’
How did you get started in your music career?
I have liked to sing since elementary school, and I was in a band when I was in middle school. As the band members started their college life, the band naturally disbanded, and after busking alone for about two years, I went to the army at the age of 21. I was discharged at the age of 23, and I made music myself and uploaded it to SoundCloud, and I have been doing it ever since.
Let’s talk about your newest album, forward. You mentioned on social media that this album is very personal for you and that you worked on using different types of styles. Can you talk about that in more detail?
I’ve released several EP albums, but I mainly worked alone or worked on albums with one or two producers in a small group. This time, I worked with a DJ and A&R guy named Fallens from start to finish. In this process, I met and interacted with seven people and received a lot of inspiration. It was a period of valuable experience.
Are you proud of how the album turned out?
Always. As much as I worked hard on the album, seeing how the fans like it makes me feel rewarded for what I am doing now.
What is your favorite song from forward and why?
I like “Snow” the most. In Korean, it is called “Seol,” and there is an expression using this word. It is ‘seol-ik-da,’ which means ‘medium.’ There is a part in the lyrics that goes, ‘I’m medium for you,’ which is a metaphor that expresses one’s ambiguous feelings toward the other person. I really like this part. Since ‘seol’ means ‘snow,’ the English title of the song is “Snow.”
How would you compare your debut album to forward?
In the case of the sound texture, it changed from vintage to formal sound, and it has changed a lot in genre. I put as much as I can into the album, so I’m happy about it.
Let’s talk about the music video for “icy girl.” How did you come up with the car concept?
Actually, Fallens played a significant role in this part. He put a lot of attention from the casting to the production. For example, the part where cars and toy cars appear was the idea of the music video shooting team and the director.
Do you have a favorite song that you’ve written/produced?
I like all the songs I’ve worked on :)
If you search #Oceanfromtheblue on Tiktok, there are over 374,000 views, some of which are people are saying you’re one of the best Korean R&B artists around. How do you feel about that?
That’s something new. It’s great to know that there are people who love my music that much. I may be treasured for a while, but I will work harder to be loved longer.
What’s your favorite part of the creative process when making new music?
After writing all the melody and lyrics, I listen to it again for a while, and only then do I look back at myself saying, “Oh, I was thinking about these things, and I wanted to say these things.” That moment is the most enjoyable.
What music concept do you want to try?
I’m trying to figure out what I can do best. As I mentioned earlier, in order to be loved by people for a long time, I have to become someone who cannot be replaced. So I’m thinking of ways on how I can achieve this.
What music are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to the music I’ve featured lately. I don’t usually listen to other songs.
What’s in the future for Oceanfromtheblue? What would you like to do next?
I want to be a big tree that won’t fall down even in floods [ meaning, he wants to be around for a long time].
What would you like to say to your fans?
I’m worried that my sincerity will not be conveyed because I say "thank you" and "I love you" too much, but I really am. I exist because of you. My first full album is coming out soon, so please look forward to it :)
Check out Oceanfromtheblue’s EP forward, and follow him on social media to stay up to date when he releases new music.