K-pop artist E the opens up about his inspirations, his music and more
Lee Ye-rin, better known as E the, started her journey as a K-pop artist in 2019 with the single Wake me up. The 27-year-old is signed as a singer and songwriter under Cozy Bread Entertainment. Her stage name comes from the English word “either” because she values her choices. With her soft and versatile voice, she has found her place as an indie and R&B singer in the industry.
Although she made her official debut in 2019, it wasn’t Ye-rin’s first outing in the industry. She released her first song under Alpha Music Company in 2016 titled Spring.
She began her academic life as a major in politics and diplomacy. It didn’t take long for Ye-rin to realize where her heart really lay, and that was to be a singer.
In a candid and exclusive interview with SK POP’s Aashi Sengar, E opened up about his ambitions, the stories behind his music, and his inspirations.
The singer recently contributed to the 2022 Us, Earth Festival ESG Compilation Album. Talking about his song, From nowhere, E the said it was a message to people that they were not alone.
“I want my music to convey the message that ‘you are not alone’ to those suffering from depression fueled by climate change.”
K-pop artist E talks about his change of direction, his musical inspirations and more
Q) For our viewers who may not know you, could you introduce us to your music and you?
I am E Le. I have a Maltese and a Pomeranian and I love dark beer. I am very outgoing and make friends with everyone I meet. As for my music, I’m a singer-songwriter who makes music ranging from R&B to acoustic to jazz. I make music that is great for relaxing and connecting with your emotions.
Q) Please tell us about your latest single, “Love Story”. How did the inspiration stay with you?
Love story concerns my parents’ relationship. I used to talk to my dad about his marriage, and the way he talked about my mom was so inspiring that I knew I had to write a song about it. Not only was it love at first sight, but it was also a story of compromise and growing together and becoming more similar and in love over time. The whole video is a tribute to them and their story (and you can see me as a kid!).
Q) Your participation in the ‘2022 Us, Earth Festival ESG Compilation’ album is a very noble effort. What inspired you to do it?
These days, I try to pay more attention to the environment. I used to think that I, as an individual, couldn’t change anything. I know a lot of people think like that. I watched a documentary on Netflix about plastic and it changed my mind. Then, right after, my agency asked me to write a song about the Earth and the environment.
Q) Could you describe your creative process for “Out of the Blue?”
The song “Out of the Blue” is about depression caused by climate change. Over time, the climate crisis has become increasingly serious. So, I feel like the climate catastrophe seems “out of the Blue”. Also, I read an article about the rise of depression among young people today. We feel frustration, fear and helplessness about the problem and because it is so big, we believe we cannot easily change its course. The article states that as extreme weather events continue to occur and we cannot enjoy beautiful sunny days, people tend to be more depressed. So, I want to let people know how serious this issue is, and I want my music to convey the message that “You’re not alone” to those suffering from depression fueled by climate change.
Q) What happens in your songwriting process?
It’s different every time. For example, I am inspired by many things: a sunset, a conversation with my friends, beautiful photos. Sometimes I get inspired by little things like my friend’s characteristic or everyday life with my dogs. And then I write lyrics and draw a picture in my head. After explaining all these things in our sessions, we work on a song together. I have good friends who help me a lot. Sometimes I make a melody first, then I write lyrics. In this case, when I’ve finished the melody, I look for images that match the song to come up with ideas.
Q) Moving from a major in politics and diplomacy to music is a big step forward. What made you switch to music?
I always liked to sing and play instruments since I was very young, but I never knew exactly what I wanted to do. Time is up; I wasn’t brave enough to challenge myself. So I went to college and majored in politics and diplomacy. Sure, that’s really interesting, but for me, that wasn’t what I wanted to focus on. Then I started asking myself, “What do I really want to be?” I knew that I had always liked to sing. So I decided to follow my passion.
Q) What artists are you looking for to inspire you?
When I first started practicing my singing, I sang Ariana Grande’s songs a lot, and she’s still one of my favorite singers. These days I try to listen to as many different singers and songs as possible. So, the artists who inspire me change every day, but recently I fell in love with jazz. I listen to Ella Fitzgerald, Bruno Major, Laufey and Baek Ye-rin songs these days.
Q) As an artist, involved in lyric writing, composition, performance and production, what does the process of creating music look like to you?
Composition always comes first. I started out as a composer, and it’s still a big part of my process. But every song is different. I usually write the lyrics first, which helps me create a mental picture of what I’m trying to express. I then explain this image to my band which really helps me complete the song as a band.
Q) After being in the industry for over six years, how do you think your sound has changed or evolved over time?
I think I’m getting to know myself better. In the past, I was confused and didn’t know what kind of music I was good at or what my weaknesses were. After six years, I got closer to myself. And I mostly improved with my vocal skills. I have better control of my voice and myself.
Q) Is there a specific genre that you would like to explore more in the future?
As I said earlier, I started listening to and focusing on jazz music recently. I would like to be more jazzy and apply jazzy elements to my songs.
Q) Last but not least, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
I really want to say thank you. I know how precious your attention is. Every time you listen to my songs, come to my concerts and watch videos about me, it motivates me to keep making music. Every time my fans send me a DM, I tell them: “Even if you support me and send me love, I support you and love you.” I really want my fans to know how much I care and love them! I hope you are always happy and healthy. Thanks a lot.
E’s most recent release is the single Love story. The indie pop song is inspired by her parents’ relationship. She wanted to show two different perspectives of people in love through this song. The song uniquely incorporates a variety of points of view, a love song that is not necessarily limited to the gaze between lovers.