When you first start to get into Kpop and then expand into the wider Korean music scene it can be incredibly daunting. It feels like there are a million artists, producers, and content creators to familiarize yourself with. There are seemingly countless names and faces to remember and relationships to decipher. But the longer you hang around, the more you begin to realize that sometimes the same artist has a few names over the course of their career and that everyone knows each other and works together. It’s a much smaller world than it initially appears.
The other day I was lounging on my couch thumbing my way through Instagram when I noticed a couple of artists I like promoting a new release from a guy named Haeil. I’ve been around the block a time or two and I had NEVER heard of him before. How could he possibly be getting this much support from artists and producers on different labels and working in different genres? I looked up the video and the album through my streaming services of choice and loved, loved, loved what I heard. Literally, seconds after I added the album to my library, I got a text from KpopontheDL telling me to look this guy up because she’d seen him being hyped by even more folks we like on a different social media platform.
We are so in sync it hurts sometimes.
We knew this guy had to be someone we were familiar with. There is no way everyone loves him and we’ve never heard of him. We’re complete know-it-all snobs. We pride ourselves in being in the loop on stuff five minutes before anyone else has heard of it. AND WE WERE RIGHT.
Haeil, more commonly or I guess previously known as E.viewz, is a solo singer/songwriter on Sony Music and a producer in the POISONHOLYC crew with Xydo (I adore Xydo). He started his career in music as a lot of folks do – by posting stuff on SoundCloud and building a fan base before going pro. After signing with his label in 2018 he has worked steadying as a songwriter for other artists and groups – most notably for me, he has written MOST of the tracks for all of OnlyOneOf’s albums under the name E.viewz. You’ll see that moniker peppering many liner notes throughout the last couple of years. So talented. He didn’t change his stage name to Haeil until August of this year when he released the EP Five Seasons of Insomnia.
The title track from the EP is the aptly named Still Awake. It’s a dreamy little R&B inspired number with an unavoidable head-bobbing beat and some delightful staccato moments. The MV is a pretty simple stroll and then run through a large house, flipping between styling and time of day as he makes his way to the outside. The setting, despite or because of its emptiness, feels a bit dark and looming – you know, like insomnia makes your own comfy house feel in the middle of the night.
Still Awake, Haeil