[Interview] 서사무엘 Talks On His New Album ‘The Misfit’ (Samuel Seo)

Did you naturally come to accept the concept of ‘age’? I love it. I love getting older. It’s so nice, but you know, how can I explain this? I carefully thought back to my twenties. Now, looking back, nothing really seems memorable. There’s nothing left in my memory, and I don’t remember anything but what awards I received and the work I did. I think I’ve had enough of making music as if though it’s an exam and I’m a student. From now on, I’d like to focus on making sure my music reflects more of my life. Your third album, ‘The Misfit,’ is coming out and I want to open with a broad question. What kind of album is it? First, I have to explain from the release date. I purposely wanted to release it at the end of October. Because, like I said, when I was in my 20s, I didn’t remember much. My first album meant a lot to me.
So I wanted to create an environment as similar to the first album as possible and work as if I was starting fresh. I thought I’d change my mind if I delayed it another month. I had an idea that I wanted to release it at the end of October, similar to when I released my first album. To explain more about the album itself, I thought about what Samuel Seo has wanted to do all along. Looking back, when I talked about myself in interviews, I was literally talking about myself But I realized I had made music without a clear understanding of exactly what I wanted to do. Which led me to have many thoughts. For the three years that I’ve been working on this, did I really think about what I wanted and if what I thought wanted was truly what I wanted? But I realized that 8-90% of what I believed I wanted was that I just wanted the music to be made, and that comes out in your work. I shaved my head early last year. Because I used to have a dread hair. I shaved my head early last year because I had gotten dreads. It is a form of cultural appropriation and I had gotten reprimanded by many people. By foreigners? I was scolded a lot by the local fans. I thought I had a good understanding of the music that I feel and the music genre that I play. The truth is, it was only methodologically understood. I realized that I lacked cultural understanding. That’s when I started to think about “what is Korea?” So I thought, “Let’s shave and start again.” But I realized I was just a wannabe copying pop culture. There was nothing I had for which I could say, “I’m a Korean musician.” So I wondered how I could put more Korean elements into my music. There are actually a lot of ways. Korean traditional music can be one of the methods, but the method I chose The way I choose to do it, I think. is to discuss topics that are more comprehensive and understandable in a Korean context, that I need to take a more personal take, so I put together small things that I have collected in Korea for 3 years, I thought I’d start my life as the 2nd Seo Samuel. So I made this album. To continue about the theme and flow of the album, “The Misfit” means “unfit.” I’m an extreme misfit. In fact, I’m a human being who doesn’t really like what everybody else likes. I started drinking a little this year. What was it’s name? Highball! I finished one bottle of Highball I don’t really like the culture of getting together and playing together, and I don’t really get along well. I think I enjoy being hyped on my own. In that way, music is the same because I’ve collaborated with a lot of different people and tried different styles of music and tried to make more mainstream music but looking back, it wasn’t fun for me, it wasn’t fun The most enjoyable time for me was when I played music alone in my room and made something that truly satisfied me. So I became naturally alone. But I’m not the only one like this. It’s also true that there are more people who are more talented than me who are not noticed. It’s actually amazing to think about how colorful the music will be when those people get the spotlight they deserve. I’m looking forward to harmonizing with these people. I want to be the first human being as a ‘misfit’ because no one has has come out and said “I am a misfit.” I hear peaceful songs, for example, ‘Coastal wave’ is very peaceful. And like you just explained, it sounds like a song you wrote after visiting the East Sea, and ‘Olive Session’ sounds like a song asking to give more fuel I wrote it because I was so angry. I took out the anger on my instrument. It also sounded like the anger was in your voice. I actually didn’t use much anger in my voice. I feel it when I hear it. Yeah, I think that’s a good feeling. I’d like to ask you this question. I made an album, and it’s like throwing stones at the world. Is throwing stones as hard as you can satisfying in itself or do you want to go out there and see the cracks happen? Of course I want to see the cracks. Tere are people who need to see the result and there are people who are satisfied just by throwing a stone as hard as they can. I’m sure if I threw a stone like this, someone would follow my steps. There are a lot of musicians I respect, even those who were unknown 10 years ago. Even if they are not pursuing music anymore, I’m sure there’s an impact I’ve had on them. Even if they performed in front of a crowd of 10 people, they had an impact on someone, and you never know how the impact will remain with anyone, so I’d like to leave that possibility open a lot. Is ‘Playaplayaplaya’ to a certain extent an homage to D’Angelo’s ‘Playa Playa’? That’s too obvious. The first D’Angelo song I listened to was ‘Playa Playa.’ The coolest part of the song was the word “Playa.” Do you know what I’m talking about? Back then, I didn’t know how to fully appreciate that song. I was stuck in a word, and I was like, “What’s Playa?” All I thought about was a big house, a nice car, and how cool I am.. Now that I think about it, my reaction to that song was laughable. So I thought, “Well, this is a good ingredient for a self-dis,” so I decided to make the title ‘playaplaya’ Then I decided “No, two times isn’t enough. I’ll write it three times.” Kind of like emphasis on emphasis on emphasis. I’m asking myself “What ‘playa’ did you want to be?” “Do you know what it is?” Like I’m dissing myself. That’s why I like this song the most. This song? Yes. I wrote it on the first song of the album, ‘Misfit’s Anthem.’ “Freer than ever before.” Is that how you feel now? Yes, exactly. “I’m a misfit, but I’m free.” And I formed a lot of values by meeting many people. Too many of them to list. I’m very grateful because they made me who I am. And I have to enjoy how thankful I can be. Did you want to release your third album before you turned 30? Before I turned 30, I wanted to release an album that could really satisfy me. But I didn’t have a satisfactory album until now. So I worked harder. And I’ve finally released an album that I’m satisfied with. Actually, I’m curious about the your overall review of the album. I feel like I’ve said everything, but I’m just going to say this. Perhaps the perfect introduction to this album would be “Samuel Seo has come back changed.” There are a lot of emotions and factors in this album, so it’s not fun to know beforehand. Because it sounds like one album when you first hear it. It’s a naturally flowing album. So I think it’s an album that allows listeners to feel and realize something on their own. Do you like it? I love it. The running time is 59 minutes and 14 seconds. I think it would be nice to listen to this album with the idea of watching a movie.

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