Kess’s Cozy Music Corner # 3: Esna
Struggling to find that new artist to fall in love with? Fear not, our contributor Kess Leung is here with the latest and greatest music recommendations from each week. In this edition, Kess highlights South Korean R & B / Jazz musician Esna.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Esther Nara Yoon, better known by her stage name Esna, is a Korean-American singer-songwriter. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in jazz vocals, Esna sings and composes ballads ranging from R&B to jazz, as well as lyrics in English and Korean. She is currently based in South Korea, where she collaborates with other Korean artists and K-Pop idols, both in production and composition.
Esna started her music career uploading covers to YouTube and participating in the popular South Korean “Superstar K3” singing competition. Her first solo release was a soundtrack called “ Bite My Lower Lips, ” which she wrote for major Korean TV series. The heirs, a remarkable achievement at the start of his career. After co-writing several songs, Esna finally broke through with “ Some ” in 2014, a K-Pop and R&B track written for Soyou, a member of the popular K-Pop girl group SISTAR, and Junggigo. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that she wrote this track, as it was a huge success, spending 6 weeks atop the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot-100: The All-Time Record. The song flows nicely between Soyou’s husky voice and Junggigo’s velvety presence, with an infectious rap verse from Lil Boi of the Hip-Hop duo Geeks.
Silky and breathable, his voice is well suited to this jazzy piece, sometimes emitting high notes while keeping control of his pitch in a masterly way.
“ Some ” may have pointed out Esna’s promising talent as a lyricist and producer, but I have personally discovered her music through her solo releases and collaboration with the now popular girl group MAMAMOO, in which she co-wrote, composed and even appeared on several of their songs. . Some of these that stand out include “ Piano man ” and “ Gentleman ” from the band’s second EP. Piano man, and “AHH OOP!” from the album Funky Pink. The track “Gentleman” has two versions: the Korean version a collaboration between MAMAMOO and Esna; the English version a solo track. In both versions, Esna’s voice is a highlight, blending in perfectly with the harmonies of the other girls in the Korean version and brilliant alone in the English alternative. Silky and breathable, his voice is well suited to this jazzy piece, sometimes emitting high notes while keeping control of his pitch in a masterly way.
Rich and soothing at the same time, the piece is one that pairs well with a hot cup of tea on a cold night.
2014 also saw the release of “I, I Love You”, still in English and Korean. The song is a jazz ballad, featuring Esna’s intoxicating voice and beautiful piano melodies. The raw emotions in the song’s lyrics resonate deeply with the listener, and it remains my favorite in her discography. Rich and soothing at the same time, the piece is one that pairs well with a hot cup of tea on a cold night.
In 2015, Esna released her first EP, eSNa the singer, containing eight bilingual tracks largely influenced by retro and jazz aesthetics. Some of the songs include the single “A Little Lovin” and a solo version of “AHH OOP!”, As well as the single “Me, Today”. A personal highlight should be “ Better Than Average, ” a powerful song with an attitude that exudes an energy reminiscent of the musical. Chicago.
Since then, Esna has released a handful of singles and Eps, with her most recent being an EP titled Have a drink. The first single ‘You Deserve It’ has an R & B-pop feel that is similar to the work of Korean artist Dean. Thereafter, fans who appreciate Dean’s musical style will certainly appreciate this track.
With so many well-produced songs that flaunt her talents to her credit, it’s surprising why Esna has yet to gain attention in the music industry. Check it out on Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook – I promise it will be worth it.