Although R&B has always been a steadfast influence in Korean pop music, from the dance numbers to the emotional ballads, it’s rare to come across an artist that can craft something fresh from the hackneyed indie-pop-R&B genre that never dies. Han Yo Han, singer-songwriter and producer cum guitarist for hip-hop label Just Music, has done just that in his debut EP, Selfmade.
Selfmade works because of the tiny instrumental choices Han Yo Han made that transform and elevate the songs from cliche indie-pop into something deliciously enjoyable. The best track by far is opener “Take Me Along” (feat. Park Soo Bin, 쟈코비). The moody duet starts of with a simple piano-backed arrangement, but the song really hits it off in the chorus when the electronic chords kick in. It’s so great even the instrumental track is well-worth replaying over and over. “Good Girl” (feat. Verbal Jint, 지현) is a sweet indie-pop ballad that doesn’t bore because of the tiny guitar embellishments scattered in the background.
Although Han Yo Han isn’t the strongest vocalist, he has a knack for featuring the right artists to craft a distinct flavor for each song. In fact, “Easy,” the only track where he sings by himself, is also the most uninteresting one.
From the producer of well-known songs such as Geeks‘ “Wash Away” (feat. Ailee), Genius Nochang‘s “All Day” (Feat. Tablo) and Block B‘s “Very Good,” this is a solid debut effort and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future.