Struggling to find that new artist to fall in love with? Fear not, our contributor Kess Leung is here with the latest and greatest musical recommendations each week. This edition shines a light on the uber-cool contemporary R&B of South Korean singer-songwriter, Hoody.
Hailing from South Korea, Kim Hyun-Jung, better known by her stage name ‘Hoody’, is a solo R&B/Hip-Hop singer-songwriter rising through the musical ranks. Featuring the signature sound and distinctive producer tag of producer Cha Cha Malone – “I need a cha cha beat boy” – followers of Jay Park and his record label AOMG might find Hoody’s music to be familiar.
Having signed with AOMG (Above Ordinary Music Group) as the label’s first female artist, Hoody has collaborated with many big names in the industry and found herself a loyal fanbase amongst the Korean underground R&B scene. But despite working in the industry for quite some time, the release of her first full-length only came towards the end of 2019. Featuring her label mates Ugly Duck and GRAY, as well as fellow singer Jclef, the light-hearted Departure marks a significant shift from her previous work, and signifies Hoody’s journey towards finding her true self.
When asked about the inspiration behind the album’s title track Adios, Hoody described the feeling of giving it your all but everything not quite working as you hoped. “It’s exhausting,” she explains, “there are a lot of things that do not go according to plan, but it still has to be done. I had so many thoughts of ‘Oh I just want to go somewhere,’ so I happened to write my lyrics like that, I just want to leave now and escape too somewhere.”
On the track, Hoody’s voice is sweet and melodious, pairing well with GRAY’s contrasting blustery, boyish voice. A sauntering drum hook brings additional bounce and movement to the song, feeling like the sonic version of floating above the clouds on a perfect summer day. The lyrics are equally whimsical: “Such a sunny day, though my room is cloudy,” she saunters, “I insist to raise myself up/ Someone standing above my head, keeps resisting me from closing my eyes and going to sleep”. The song produces an overwhelming feeling of ease, and is the perfect antidote to a trying day at work or university.
In a wispy and breathless vibrato, Hoody’s silky voice dances along the layered melody, creating euphoric harmonies
For those craving a calmer vibe, the track Complex will likely fare well. Adopting a more sombre tone, Hoody explores her complex relationship with love – “No matter who you meet, in the end, I just get trapped inside me again.” In a wispy and breathless vibrato, Hoody’s silky voice dances along the layered melody, creating euphoric harmonies. Simply beautiful.
With summer nearing its end, music with this kind of spirited, light-hearted vibe seems more essential than ever. Transitioning effortlessly from the upbeat hues of Adios to the sweeter, cosier ambience of Complex, Hoody’s discography is sure to offer provide something for everyone.
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