Meet Svng: Hip-Hop’s Independent Gem
The label-less rapper talks ‘Our Holiday’ EP, collaborations and more.
You’d be forgiven if svng’s Our Holiday EP hasn’t quite made its way onto your playlists yet. The eight-track offering; although a solid blend of trap, vibrant hip-hop stylings and band sounds, has undeniably slipped under the radar, and, for now, remains a hidden gem in a market very much saturated with dregs. Nonetheless, the South-Korean independent artist is happy to have his first official extended play released to the public.
“It’s exciting! It’s my first EP project, but at the same time I feel little bit disappointed with the promotion, because I’m an independent artist and I think that the album is good,” explains the rapper. They’re simple, honest words that tell a story of an artist waiting for his moment. It’s not as if it isn’t deserved, either. Our Holiday was carefully constructed, consistent throughout, and showed moments of sheer brilliance. The sole producer on the record, Moocean, was the perfect partner too, creating the correct balance on every song and emphasising the strengths svng has.
“We were friends before we started to work together. I thought that this album should be made in a comfortable environment and free flowing, and I wanted a cohesive sound. I trust him, he can create the beats that I want,” says the rapper of his choice to stick with Moocean for all eight songs.
In regards to the EP’s other features, one of which coming from fellow Sat Got crew member and worldwide star Loco, he said: “I need them in some tracks and they did great things. In “Warm & Cold” Ja Mezz wrote the lyrics with a new perspective. And, “Last Summer” is the song about me and my friends’s summer, so I had to work with Loco and Moocean. I sent them the music with my idea and lyrics, and they did it perfectly. It was simple. I’m thankful for their energy.”
Of the songs on the release, none is more telling than the aforementioned “Warm & Cold.” A candid look at mental health—a taboo topic around the world—it’s a simplistic track instrumentally, with a warm, consistent melody accompanying svng’s signature deep-voiced, low-register delivery perfectly, but one that finds its true weight through the masterful lyricism. The chorus, a graphic look at the effects poor mental health can have on a person, helps shape a compelling, introspective look at depression from a completely new lens.
“I had a friend who was in that situation so I wanted to give a little comfort to people like that. Sometimes life is so hard, but nobody cares about us,” the South-Korean rapper says. “We need to know how to ask for help. We must express what we feel in any way.”
But, it’s not always heavy subject matters covered. The rapper, one who name-checks Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Verbal Jint and The Quiett as influences, is more than willing to explore anything in his music. Without constraint to a label, svng is capable of making the songs he wants to create, and is never restricted to one uniform sound.
For example, the EP much of this article has focused on was all about showing the artist’s calm side: “I have clear messages for each track. I focused on delivering that in this album with warm sounds. It’s distinguished from current hip-hop music trends.” He continues: “I wanted to express myself with my calm vibes in this project, so I was influenced by band sounds rather than the current hip-hop sound.”
Fortunately, despite the lack of widespread attention garnered by his July release, svng refuses to be demotivated. Ask him about his aims for the future and you’ll get a simple, poignant answer of “I just want to live as myself.” There’s nothing that isn’t down-to-earth about the high-potential rapper, and it’s clear that music is just as much of an outlet to express himself with as it is a full-time career. And, with plenty of time for him to get his well-deserved break into the mainstream, it’s evident that the future will be more than bright for svng.