Eric Nam is a South Korean singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur of Korean descent. As of October 2017, he had released two extended plays, six singles, six collaboration singles, five soundtrack appearances, and 12 music videos. Nam’s tracks are infused with jazzy funk and feel-good electro-pop. He does not limit himself, unlike many prominent Korean performers, and experiments with many genres such as alt- synth-pop and R&B, as well as collaborating with other singers. He believes himself to be a little older than most in the profession, and he has not received any of the training that most K-pop singers receive. He’s also interested in music production and gets active in it. Although he confesses that he cannot imitate Korean singing because he was born and raised in the United States, his singing style is distinct from that of others in the industry, giving him a distinct advantage. While he has never made his Korean-American upbringing the focus of his songs, it has a significant impact on his creative process. He was voted Man of the Year by GQ Korea in 2016 and was included to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2017.
Childhood and Adolescence
Eric Nam was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 17, 1988. Nam Beom-jin is his father, and Eddie Nam and Brian Nam are his brothers. From a young age, he was enamored with music. He began playing the piano at the age of four and switched to the cello at the age of nine. From beginning to end, he would remember Korean traditional music. He was a member of the Atlanta Boy Choir when he was in school, and traveled Italy, singing at the St. Peter’s Basilica service.
He began listening to K-Pop in middle school and idolized artists such as Shinhwa, BoA, Fly to the Sky, and others. ‘Music Bank,’ ‘Inkigayo,’ and ‘Music Core’ were among the programmes he watched. After 9th grade, Eric flew to Mexico and spent two months in a small hamlet in Panama, where he provided community development activities. He spent the following summer in Guatemala, working at a soup kitchen for the elderly and homeless and teaching trade skills to elementary school children.
He used to record cover songs and upload them to YouTube when he was a youngster. After hearing his cover songs, a JYP manager contacted him and invited him to audition in New York. He, on the other hand, resolved to finish his education first. Eric graduated from the Lovett School in 2007, where he participated in sports and the symphonic band. He earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a minor in Asian Studies from Boston College in 2011. He also spent a year studying at Beijing’s Peking University. While studying in Beijing, he became aware of Hallyu’s influence on Chinese society and began to listen to groups such as Wonder Girls, Big Bang, Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, 2PM, and 2AM.
Career of Eric
After finishing his education, Eric Nam got a job as a Business Analyst with Deloitte Consulting in New York City. After one of his YouTube covers went viral, Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation invited him to Seoul to compete in the ‘Birth of a Great Star 2’ competition program. He was chosen as one of the top five contenders. He received an offer from a music label to begin his career in South Korea after the show ended in April 2012. He traveled to South Korea in June 2012 after resigning from his New York position and began meeting with more companies. During this time, he released a digital single called “Blue Night in Jeju Island” with a project group called “Namaste” on his mentor’s label.
He signed as a solo artist with B2M Entertainment, a South Korean management agency and music company, in September 2012. He released his debut mini-album, ‘Cloud 9,’ in January 2013, with the title single ‘Heaven’s Door.’
He hosted Arirang TV’s popular live shows ‘After School Club’ and its spinoff, ‘The ASC After Show,’ a show for K-pop artists and their fans, from 2013 to 2016, which was broadcast in 188 countries. While on MBC’s Section TV’s ‘Entertainment Relay,’ he interviewed a number of superstars in South Korea, including Miranda Kerr, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Noel Gallagher, and many others. Because of his wit and ability to connect with interviewees on a personal level, his international and Korean interviews have received great feedback.
He began focusing on his music in April 2014, and he returned to the Korean music market with his first digital single, ‘Ooh Ooh.’ Along with Chris Botti, Jamie Cullum, Damien Rice, Paolo Nutini, and Craig David, he performed a stage show at the Seoul Jazz Festival. The show was a huge success. ‘Melt My Heart,’ his second digital single, was published in December 2014. In February 2015, he was featured on Amber Liu’s mini-album ‘Beautiful’ on the song ‘I Just Wanna.’ In March, he released a new track, “I’m OK,” along with a music video. In May 2015, he released his single “Dream” for Charity Project, which included 15&’s Park Ji-Min. He inked an exclusive contract with CJ E&M in December.
Eric debuted ‘Spring Love,’ a duet with Wendy from Red Velvet, on SM Entertainment’s digital music platform SM Station on March 4, 2016. On March 24, he released his second mini-album, ‘Interview,’ which featured the title track ‘Good For You.’ He partnered with the electronic band KOLAJ and released his first US single, ‘Into You,’ on June 10, 2016, in order to break into the US music scene. The tune debuted on Beats 1 Radio and The Fader around the world. He hosted and performed at SNL Korea on April 16, 2016, and achieved one of the season’s top ratings. In the same month, he appeared on the South Korean reality variety show ‘We Got Married,’ where he was matched with Solar, a South Korean singer and actress. For the show, he was nominated for an MBC Entertainment Award.
In July 2016, he released ‘Can’t Help Myself,’ a digital single with lyrics written by Epik High’s Tablo. Loco, an AOMG rapper, was also featured. He attended KCON LA 2016, an annual Korean wave convention that takes place in various locales across the world. With KOLAJ, he performed ‘Can’t Help Myself’ and ‘Into You,’ and the show was a huge success. In November 2016, he and comedian Yang Se-Hyung co-hosted the ‘Yang and Nam Show,’ a new Mnet chat show. In January 2017, he collaborated with Gallant and Tablo on the single “Cave Me In” and its accompanying music video. He partnered with Jeon So-Mi for the release of the single ‘You, Who?’ on March 9, 2017. On June 9, 2017, Eric Nam was featured on DJ/dance producer ARTY’s tune “Idea Of You.”
Major Projects of Eric
On the music blog aggregator ‘Hype Machine,’ Eric Nam’s first US song, ‘Into You,’ reached number one. Following the track’s success, he gained notice from outlets such as Buzzfeed, TIME Magazine, LA Times, NBC News, Hypebeast, Fuse TVFusion, USA Today, and others. In January 2017, his tune ‘Cave Me In’ was aired worldwide on Zayn Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio Show. It was a global trending topic on YouTube and Facebook for nearly 72 hours following its debut.
Achievements & Awards
In 2016, Eric Nam was selected GQ Korea’s Man of the Year. He was named on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list the following year.
Personal Experiences of Eric
Eric Nam keeps his love life a closely guarded secret. He keeps a low profile as an individual and does not discuss his personal life with the media.
Estimated Net Worth
Eric Nam is one of the wealthiest pop singers and one of the most popular. Eric Nam’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.