As we cross into the crisp, welcoming atmosphere that’s naturally paired with spring, there comes the consistent promise of something vibrant and new. For singer, songwriter, producer, and esteemed collaborator Seori (@iam_seori), a similar cycle of pure, organic artistry is just as unavoidable – having persistently tended to her own plentiful garden of enchanting creations. After all, it’s the defining season of Seori.
Comparable to the most fragrant, fresh flowers or lush greenery that revives the coldest of winters, her soulful spring-infused voice is fully capable of lying dormant before eventually resurfacing to rejuvenate an industry chock full of patterns or cookie-cutter spaces that can begin to feel barren. For example, over the course of her three active industry years so far, Seori has gone on to spread her roots into some of the biggest and most niche K-pop tracks in the game – getting asked to collaborate with boyband legends TXT and several fellow soloists, becoming a very sought-after artist with the ability to take a song and exponentially amplify its potential. Though, with a voice and vision as radiant as Seori, a standalone career is all but guaranteed by fearlessly showcasing her natural-born connection to music.
Even as recent as December 2022, Seori’s discography has expanded with an unapologetically confident winter pop track “Cinderella” to further develop her fresh resilient energy, and in doing so proved that despite thriving in the warmth of spring, her timeless talents are bountiful enough to keep listeners content all year long. Now, Seori is breaking down everything from her innate musicality to seasonal essentials, and what could be coming in the very near future.
You’ve been passionate about music since youth, so when it comes to your first clear, tangible memory of your love for music – what do you associate with being a crucial part of your decision to pursue this career?
Seori: I’ve loved singing since I was young. The atmosphere at my home was natural to sing. When I was young, I went to karaoke with my parents every week, and I think singing was the happiest moment. I saw artists on TV and felt something rising in my heart. I longed to be on stage like them and felt jealousy, sorrow, and eagerness. So I realized I was desperate to make music.
Prior to your official debut, you actually had a lot of prior experience in making your own independent tracks, and people immediately gravitated towards your rich, multi-faceted voice. Out of the vast experience you accumulated behind the scenes, which component helped you feel the most confident in establishing your sound as a young artist?
Seori: I always consider what only I can do, not what others can do. Of course, it’s not easy to find such a thing, but when I get to try to get closer and closer to what I want, I get rid of complacency. Of course, I respect the song with the direction anyone can think of, but I think having a sound, melody, and lyrics full of new ideas is more meaningful. I will constantly try to make meaningful music in the future.
Throughout your career so far, you’ve dropped some huge collaborations that include a Marvel OST, TXT, and many more because I feel like everyone knows it’s an honor to get your incomparable talent in the mix! Now that you’ve repeatedly had those opportunities, what’s probably the most alluring thing about creating music with other artists?
Seori: Thank you. Actually, I feel there’s a lot more to learn on my own. So when I collaborate on a new project, I flutter because I expect to challenge something new and learn from the process. I think I’ve learned and grown a lot through all the collaborations and projects I’ve done so far. As I can challenge more diverse genres and blend in with various artists, I can feel a new me of myself and delight in the process. Of course, I will show my own colors, but I would like to do a lot of collaborations in the future, too.
While groups tend to be the most recurring facet of Korea’s pop space, there’s a very solid selection of game-changing soloists you’ve become a part of that includes IU, Taeyeon, HEIZE, and Chungha, just to name a few. What other women in K-pop are currently standing out to you as solo talents influencing the industry?
Seori: It’s not enough to stand with them yet, but I respect everyone with all my heart and want to stand side by side!! I recently watched IU sunbaenim’s solo concert video and got goosebumps all over my body. I felt a lot of emotions, and I realized that’s how you impress the audience, and at the same time, I reflected on myself and thought I should improve. I want to be an artist who impresses the audience with my experiences and efforts.
At this point in time, you have nearly a million monthly listeners streaming your music on Spotify alone, quickly proving that you’re already building a lasting legacy for yourself! What is your own personal idea of what makes a song timeless, and which song from your own discography do you hope people are still enjoying a decade from now?
Seori: I want to make music that everyone can listen to for a long time and interpret anew as the listener’s time passes. I also want to do songs that are consumed explosively in a short time, but I hope that my overall view of the value of music is good to listen to for a long time. So when I make a song, when I make music, I draw the scenes in my head when people would like to listen, what kind of situations they would be in, and where they would be listening to it. When I can draw that picture in my head, I feel satisfied.
“Running Through The Night” also stands out in that capacity because it’s a beautiful blend of ethereal vocals, brings smooth, but synthy undertones, and simultaneously crosses into pop, electronic, and R&B territory. If you had to describe your mindset behind the conception of that hit song, what feelings or experiences would you say led to its creation?
Seori: Right before I wrote this song, I rode a bicycle for the first time in ten years. I hesitated initially, but then I rode a bike from the dusky evening until late night in my favorite neighborhood under the moonlight. I felt relief and ease. That tickle I felt in my heart lasted for a long time. The phrase “I escaped from my daily life” firmly stuck in my mind, and it felt like a gentle wind was blowing toward the emptiness I thought would never be fulfilled. Although I need to return to my daily life, I wrote this song with the thought that I need this tiny crack to escape sometimes. Maybe it should have been “riding” instead of “running,” [laughs].
From that album, “I Wanna Cry” might be one of my favorite tracks in the past several years for its simple acoustic nature and emotional resonance – but then you masterfully pivot and release the recent track “Cinderella” to convey a totally different feeling of confidence. At this point in your life, what style of music are you most excited to explore next?
Seori: I usually like British music, Alternative rock, but I don’t think I’ve shown it in public yet, so I really want to sing it for you! I’m also looking forward to collaborating with a band.
Whether it’s enhancing your current skillset of songwriting, composing, arranging, or perhaps trying something brand new to you, what’s one thing you’d like to expand upon or pursue in the years to come?
Seori: I don’t want to miss all three. I’m also greedy for sounds, so I’m trying to grow by making my tracks in my studio. I need to know well to share ideas that bloom in my head with my fans. The same goes for the lyrics. And in the future, rather than focusing only on ‘songs,’ I would like to make various content that goes well with the songs so that people can see, listen to, and enjoy more of the colorful and rich music.
You’ve also been known to have exceptionally versatile style as well, so as we head into Spring, what are a few SEORI seasonal essentials that we might discover in your own closet?
Seori: I love leather. Eco-leathers are well made these days, and the texture and design have become more diverse, so I recommend leather jackets in the springtime and fall.
Lastly, have you been able to carve in any studio this year – and what can fans expect to see from your current plans or projects?
Seori: I’m constantly working on music in my studio, but I’m trying to make better music. I will try to put out more music this year. Please look forward to it!