The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Singer-songwriter Oohyo keeps her distance

By Hong Yoo

Published : Nov. 11, 2023 - 16:01

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Oohyo (Enough Enough) Oohyo (Enough Enough)

Singer-songwriter Oohyo hopes to maintain a “safe distance” between music and her personal life to make relatable songs for those who tune into her songs.

“I want to tell a good story through music at a safe distance. By keeping a safe distance, I mean that I want to convey an abstract but easily relatable story instead of sharing my personal experiences. I want my music to remind one of a good story,” said Oohyo in her interview with The Korea Herald.

Nine years into her singer-songwriter journey, Oohyo now takes the lead when producing music as she has established her musical conviction and direction toward where she hopes to head.

“As I grew older and more experienced in this field, I found my musical taste. These days, I try to add depth and warmth to my voice. I also lean toward using real instrumental sounds as they go well with my voice and feelings, and I find them appealing these days,” explained the artist.

To delve deeper into her own composing and producing style, Oohyo decided to establish her own agency in 2021.

“Oohyo Returns” which dropped on Oct. 23, is Oohyo’s first release since announcing her new beginning.

“Just as the title of the album says, I wanted to show that I am embarking on a new journey. Most of the songs in this mini album have already been released but I wanted to come back with them after re-arranging them” introduced Oohyo her new album.

Her third EP carries five tracks and is led by the title track “Perhaps Maybe Returns.”

“This was the title track of my first LP. I decided to include the rearranged version of this single in the new album because my fans loved it when I performed the rock version of this song at the Pentaport Rock Festival last year. I added string instrumental sounds,” said Oohyo.

“Another reason I returned with old singles is because I was confident that they were good songs. But because their arrangements and the sound designs were not trendy anymore, I renewed them by improving some parts.”

Oohyo was brought to the public’s attention this year with her single “Dandelion” which soared back up local music charts after its release in 2017.

“The song is about grasping hope again after facing devastation or difficulty. I think the public could relate to this song because for most people hope is something valuable,” Oohyo said.

She also made a name for herself by contributing to the lyrics for NewJeans’ hit single “Ditto.”

“When I work on music for other artists, I try to become that person to make music that best suits that artist. But the music also has to be honest and genuine,” she said.

“I hope to work with those that love live band recording as I think that is quite rare in the industry and it would be great to have more music with such sounds in it.”

The artist points to establishing her agency Enough Enough as the turning point in her career.

“Music is not just about composing, writing lyrics and producing but also about planning. I can now plan for my own releases and how to promote them which adds more personal identity to my music,” said Oohyo.

The artist’s ultimate goal is to make a name for herself as a music producer.

“I enjoy singing but I realized that I enjoy producing music more. There are lots of good musicians in Korea that I would love to work with. I run an agency now, ao I would love to produce an artist in the future,” said Oohyo.