Music Monday | GSoul— Natural

Music Monday | GSoul— Natural

It’s Monday y’all~ Time for another Music Monday post~ Originally I was planning on continuing a winter/holiday-themed Music Monday, but I’m obsessed with this track and wanted to share it. So today’s track is GSoul’s ‘Natural’ from his Natural EP. Honestly, the whole EP is amazing, but I just absolutely love the track ‘Natural’ so much. It’s been my main track the past week or so. Anyway, let’s get to it!~

Kim Ji Hyeon (김지현) is a Korean R&B artist heavily influenced by R&B, gospel, and soul. He’s been known throughout his career as G.Soul, Golden, and back to GSoul (지소울). He was originally under JYP Entertainment. He had been one of the most anticipated trainees there, and also one of the talents that trained the longest there. He made his official debut in January 2015. However, he was already somewhat known even before his debut due to his participation in the renowned K-Drama Full House soundtrack with [‘늦게 핀 사랑 (Too Late)’]. Even before his debut, GSoul gained attention for his extremely talented and soulful vocals at such a young age. He was basically like 15-16 when he sang that song for the soundtrack. He was also part of JYP’s attempt to break into the western market even before K-Pop really took off internationally before names like Big Bang, Wonder Girls and Girls’ Generation caught international attention, and even before big names like BTS and BlackPink cemented K-Pop’s mainstream status in the western market. At the time, K-Pop was starting to get some attention thanks to the internet. Aside from being the founder and main producer of the label, JYP (Park Jin Young/JY Park, aka AsianSoul) already had ties in the western music industry as a producer. Like, you can hear his “JYP!” in R.Kelly’s ‘I Believe I Can Fly’. At the time, JYP decided they would make an attempt into breaking into the US market, and established JYP USA back around 2007. They were banking on debuting [Lim Jeong Hee (aka JLim)], [Min of Miss A] (random fact: GSoul and Min used to date each other a while back), and GSoul in the US. Lim Jeong Hee became the protege for Big Boi of Outkast, Min became the protege of Lil Jon (random AF, I know…), and finally, GSoul became R.Kelly’s protege. If I remember correctly, at the time GSoul also went to perform and win amateur night at the Apollo Theater. I’m sure this is a lot of forgotten information that people aren’t even aware of, especially since many of the clips and things are gone now. But trust me, I have a good memory of first and second-generation K-Pop. While they were all very talented, JYP was a bit too ahead of it’s time. I also think the western market was just not ready or open enough to accept Asian talent yet. It was around the time many Asian artists (Utada Hikaru, Se7en, Rain, BoA, etc) tried to break into the western market, and it wasn’t that great because it was just too difficult at the time. It wouldn’t be until like Big Bang, Girls Generation, Wonder Girls, and 2NE1 that K-Pop started gaining some interest from the west. And we all know K-Pop only finally cemented it’s mainstream status into the western market thanks to artists like BTS and BlackPink. But that topic is for a whole other discussion, and I’m more than happy to talk about all that if y’all want. Anyway, GSoul didn’t make his official debut until 2015. That’s basically 8 whole years later. He left JYP in 2017, and ended up joining [Jay Park]’s [H1GHER Music]. At that time he changed his stage name to Golden, because he wanted to become an artist that shone brightly like a golden color. He also actually competed on [The Voice Korea 2020] as well. However, he did leave H1GHER earlier this year when his contract ended in January. He is now currently under Warner Music Korea. He has since gone back to using GSoul as his stage name. GSoul has such an amazing voice, and I would definitely say he’s one of the most talented and soulful R&B singers in the Korean music industry. You can really tell he takes a lot of influence from gospel. Anyway, some o my favorite GSoul tracks are [‘술버릇 bad habit’], [‘Circles 제자리’], [‘Broken Record’], [‘For You (Prod. WOOGIE)’], [‘Tequila (Feat. Hoody)’], and [‘Hate Everything’]. I also absolutely love his collabs and features for other artists such as Code Kunst’s [‘Fire Water (Feat. GSoul, Tablo (Epik High))’], Epik High’s [‘End of the World (Feat. GSoul)’], Whee In’s (Mamamoo) [‘Butterfly (Feat. GSoul)’], Lee Hi’s [‘No Way (Feat. GSoul)’], and SOMDEF’s [‘사랑이었나봐 (It was) (Feat. GSoul)’].

Artist: GSoul (지소울)
Track: Natural
EP: Natural
Genre: K-R&B, Soul
Language: Korean, English
Origin: South Korea
Release: December 2021

Okies, this is a pretty fresh release~ It literally dropped this month. Of course, it’s a very R&B EP, but you have some very different vibes from each track. It’s like you get a taste of different types of R&B sounds. Honestly, the whole EP is amazing to listen to, especially if you’re a fan of R&B like me. GSoul’s signature vocals are soulful and top-notch as usual. The runs he sings are just absolutely beautiful. While I love the whole EP, the main reason I wanted to showcase this EP today is the title track, ‘Natural’. I’ve been super obsessed with it, and been playing it nonstop. This EP has two versions. The main version is in English, while there is a Korean version as the final track. ‘Natural’ is more of an acoustic track. It’s a gentle and beautiful track to listen to. I love that it doesn’t have too many crazy things going on. It’s pretty simple with mainly just an acoustic guitar and GSoul’s vocals. It’s very…natural. It really is befitting the name of the track. The lyrics are really beautiful as well. It compares his love to his lover to various things found in nature. Things that are deemed simple and can be seen as beauty in nature. Things that are seen as subtle and beautiful, but can also be seen as a wonder. He also mentions how love is not always happy moments, but he conveys how important it is to him. I’m not really sure how to put my thoughts into words to encapsulate who beautiful this track is. All I can say is that the sound and message of the song really left an impression on me. I feel like it really captured the beauty of one’s love. Look, I’m a sucker for love in subtle and simple ways. So yes, this track is constantly being played on my playlist.

You can find Natural on Spotify, here:

You can listen to ‘Natural’ on YouTube, here:

You can listen to the English version of ‘Natural’ on YouTube, here:

Jay Park H1ghr GIF - Jay Park H1ghr H1ghr Music GIFs

I also just want to say the music video is so stunningly beautiful. Again, it’s simple, but does make quite the impression. It’s just full of simple and beautiful shots in nature. Again, it’s very befitting of the song’s title, lyrics, and theme. There are stunning shots of the forest, mountains, cliffs, ocean, a cloudy sky, a starry sky, fields, etc. There are also shots of GSoul taking in the scenes and feelings of everything as well. I particularly love that shot of him between the rocks with the starry sky in the background.

I just really appreciate this man’s live vocals~

[Verse 1]
Just like the water flowing in the river
Just like when the spring has to turn to summer
Feels like the song you‘re always in my hair
As long as you’re smiling that is all I care

Sometimes it hurts like growing pain
At times it makes me cry like the rain
But I’d cross the ocean if I have to
I’d run through the storm to get to you right now
It’s so natural to love you

[Verse 2]
Just like the gravity that’s pulling me down
I’m always gon’ be right there to
Hold you down down down
Just like the song you’re my ribbon in the sky
As long as you’re with me that is all I care

Sometimеs it hurts like growing pain
At times it makes mе cry like the rain
But I’d cross the ocean if I have to
I’d run through the storm to get to you right now
It’s so natural to love you

So natural to love you
So natural to love you
So natural
So natural to love you
To love you

Namjoon Bts GIF - Namjoon Bts Finger Heart GIFs

Anyway, that’s it for today y’all. I just had to share this track and EP because of how beautiful it is. Again, I love beauty in simple things. As you can tell, I’ve also been a long-time fan of GSoul. It’s been great to see his growth and journey as an artist. He was already amazing when I first discovered him from that Full House OST, but you can see just how much he’s really improved and perfected his craft since then. I really am happy for him, and I’m looking forward to more music from him. What did y’all think of the track? Y’all fans of GSoul? Also, anyone interested in a discussion of the history and changes of K-Pop?~ Let me know in the comments, my socials, or the BAYOG Discord. Also, I know I’m still bad at posting my other stuff. I promise to get stuff out (including a novel review) before I go home for the holidays. Anyway, I hope y’all have a wonderful start to your week! Take care, stay safe, stay warm, and have a great day friends!~

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