A few months ago the bedroom pop artist Su Lee referred to herself as a ‘nobody musician’ in a video she released about her life. Little did she know a few months later her track I’ll Just Dance would go viral and connect with hundred upon thousands of people who related to her relatable lyrics that perfectly portrait the situation we’re all in during the pandemic. People commented in their droves about it saying how its become their coping mechanism, how it’s the anthem for the COVID summer that we all need and how the song, despite being about sadness, has managed to make so many people feel so happy. It’s remarkable to watch.
Her awkwardly charming personality mixed with her outstanding musical ability, which she’s playfully referred to as ‘Napoleon Dynamite the Musical’ has endeared herself to many people out there. She’s become the perfect representation of what musician you can do from there bedroom and how much of an impact they can have on people as well.
Since then she hasn’t stopped either with her releasing her debut EP The Rough a week or so ago, creating her own personalised music videos on her youtube channel from the confides of her bedroom and even doing a few cover as well. She’s not let this moment slip and has continued to thrive as a result of that with more music heads flocking to her youtube channel and Spotify page to get a taste of what this exciting new artist is all about.
One thing I will encourage anyone reading this article is her video ‘My Life as a Bedroom Indie Musician’ because comparing that to where she is now is utterly incredible. As time goes on it will be only more amazing to compare this video to where she is and on top of that it shows you everything you need to know about her both as a person and as a musician. She’s quirky, she’s real, she’s insanely talented and we fully believe she’s about to blow up in a really big way.
We got the opportunity to talk to Su Lee about her new found fame online, her music, where she goes next and who some of her favourite artists are.
To anyone who hasn’t listened to your music before how would you describe it without using any genre terms?
‘Bite-size life mood’ – that’s probably the closest that I can describe my music without using genre terms. I’m a sucker for melancholy, nostalgic melodies and chords – and hopefully this shows in my archive of work as well.
But more than anything, I think it’s the raw, honest, and sometimes quite unorthodox topics that I touch upon in my songs that characterize my music. I love good-old love songs, but there are so many aspects and elements in life that I am constantly itching to write about (e.g. feeling really ugly on a particular day or being super tired and worn out in the middle of the night).
Your track I’ll Just Dance has recently blown up, how has that felt knowing that so many people are personally connecting with your music right now?
It’s honestly given me so much strength to just keep writing and keep being ‘me’ in my music. There were times when things got quite lonely because my songs would get like 10 listeners (5 of which were my family members and some friends haha).
Everything I’ve done has always been about serving MY people – the people who are already listening and watching – regardless of how many of them there are. But I couldn’t help but to ask myself at times if I was doing the right thing – making songs that sound different and have a different, more raw, honest narrative compared to a lot of the songs out there.
So it’s been really empowering and fulfilling to have many people resonating with I’ll Just Dance (and other songs) – and it’s given me a lot of confidence to really embrace my integrity for my music.
You also recently released your debut EP ‘The Rough,’ what do you hope people take away from it?
This EP has a lot of ‘firsts’ for me – ‘Shining’ is the first Korean song I’ve ever written, ‘Go My Way’ is one of the very first songs I wrote way before I even thought about becoming a musician, and ‘No Name’ is the first ever song I co-wrote with another artist.
It’s not in any way the most perfectly produced, sleek body of work – a lot of the songs have this rough, unrefined quality to it (hence ‘The Rough’) but that’s what makes it so beautiful – this EP is almost like a time-capsule of myself – rather than it being a peak representation of my abilities as a musician, it represents the beginning of what would grow to be something more beautiful, honest, and exciting!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received when it comes to your music?
I once saw an interview video with Kurt Cobain. I think he was asked what piece of advice he would give to musicians and songwriters – to which he answered, “Keep practicing, keep writing good music regardless of the ethics that exist in the realm of creating. And never give up.”
This one sentence was pretty much what got me through my journey so far. Just to keep going and keep doing and persisting in the midst of uncertainty – always striving to master the art of perseverance and patience.
A while ago you released a video titled ‘My Life as a Bedroom Indie Musician’ where you mentioned it was your dream to sell out concerts like some of the greats. I was wondering what your ideal live show would be? Where’s the venue? Do you bring on any live guests? How do you start and end the show?
I think it would be so so cool if I could do a live show where the stage is literally designed like my bedroom and lets me perform at the closest distance possible to the audience – as if we’re all doing a fun slumber party! I’d love to structure and design my live shows as if they’re like a musical with fun stories and themes.
My goals and dreams as a musician have also taken a bit of a different nuance since that video. Of course, it would be amazing to perform at big, grand venues to thousands of people. But now as long as it gives me a chance to connect and have some fun with my fans and the audience, I think I’d pretty much enjoy any gigs (big or small) – if that means doing a guerrilla performance at a fan’s front yard wearing pyjamas, I WILL DO IT!
What’s next for Su Lee?
More and more new songs and new videos (in the works as we speak)! I’m having new conversations about potential collaborations and partnerships as well – so thinking of different ways I can really spice things up for my listeners and viewers! Oh and also, it would be amazing if I can finally break free from this box room haha.
Final question, who are the artists on your radar, who’re you counting in?
Oh gosh, could I just list a few my favorite artists that I look up to and listen to a lot? I’m a big fan of Joji (his music is what made me want to become a musician). I also love Coldplay, MAX, Glass Animals, Tom Odell, and Still Woozy.