Eric Nam has opened up about his experience growing up Korean-American and how it has influenced his career.
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The 33-year-old singer-songwriter recently appeared in an episode of The Zach Sang Show, where he opened up about his Korean heritage. During the interview, Nam confessed that he previously thought of being a Korean-American as a “hindrance”.
“I think for a long time, being a Korean-American, or being Asian-American in the States, it felt as if it was a hindrance, or it was like, something that was supposed to hold me back,” he shared. “Because we were never seen, we were never heard, I never envisioned myself in certain pockets of industry, or situations, or society.”
Yet, Nam also revealed that he often felt like a “fish out of water” after starting his music career in South Korea, revealing he never truly felt like he fit in anywhere. “I couldn’t fully understand the language, or speak the language, or know what I was doing,” he continued. “And so, I never felt like I belonged in either place.”
However, the singer added that he has since changed how he thought of his identity as a Korean-American as he’s grown up. “[Korean-Americans] have a very unique perspective in that we’re third culture. We have a little bit of both sides, and what used to feel like a hindrance now feels like a superpower,” he said.
“We understand both cultures better than anybody else can, and we also can kind of play to the strengths of everything,” continued Nam. “It sounds almost too opportunistic to say, like, we’re taking advantage of it. But I feel like it would be dumb not to, because we are best equipped to kind of bridge the gap in cultures and countries.”
Back in January, Nam released his English-language album ‘There And Back Again’, which had marked his first album as an independent artist. “It’s definitely taken a while to get to this point and to be honest, it was a very tough process, but I’m thrilled with how it turned out,” he said, per a press statement at the time.