GSoul, one of the biggest R&B vocalists in Korea, delivered a project to fans never attempted before — an English language EP. Previously signed by the major record label, JYP Entertainment which includes Stray Kids, TWICE and ITZY, to H1GHR MUSIC (founded by Korean artist, Jay Park), GSoul garnered global attention with his music’s undeniable international impact. In 2015, he debuted in JYP Entertainment with “You” from his EP Coming Home. Upon its release, the debut track peaked at #1 on the Melon Korea Music Chart. Since then, he found success with his follow-up releases including “Hate Everything,” his top streaming track to date with 1.1M monthly streams on Spotify. After captivating the audiences and winning The Voice Korea in 2020, GSoul further secured a loyal and dedicated fan base. His English EP, Natural, is a thank you for their support.
The first chapter of GSoul’s creative and vulnerable thought process, “By My Side,” embodies a wholesome and heartfelt feeling depicting a celebratory tribute. The R&B track professes GSoul’s gratitude for a special someone with innocence and vulnerability just as one would show when explaining their person’s value in their lives. The lyrics “Give a whole meaning to life, makes me want to start a new life” best explains the point of the song: Be thankful for someone through their highs and lows and inspire them to be better. Further emphasizing his message, he shares his low points as “messing up” through his “worst times.” GSoul’s authentic writing shines through this highly relatable track. The song instrumentally offers a comforting yet groovy atmosphere. The chorus, along with the beginning of the song, provides more euphoric layers compared to the verses where the instrumental offers more minimality to further enhance the experience.
Tapping into the emotions that come with missing an ex-partner, the relaxed second track “Natural” lives up to its name. The honest and heartbreaking lyrics aside, the instrumental and vocals alone display this heavenly lullaby. With the lyrics, GSoul clearly portrays the heartbreak after a breakup. His creative choice using the metaphors “the water flowing in the river” or him describing his tears “like the rain,” paints a picture of his feelings into words. The music video captures the aura of the song through B-roll shots of forests and water among other nature shots. The music video provides both a visual and audio aid to exhibit the feelings that arise from the song.
Transitioning into the third track, “FREE (I’M GONNA BE)” lyrically explains the much darker parts, showing the process of his internal healing. He expresses his optimism through the song, promising that he will meet the better, happier version of himself. By doing so, he acknowledges and wishes to leave behind the baggage that doesn’t serve him or his higher purpose. He emphasizes being his “own worst enemy.” His songwriting reveals his honesty not just with his muses on this EP, but also with himself. He sings of his shortcomings and his ambition of “no more keeping [himself] hostage from [his] own damn self.” Backed by a slow, complementary beat, the lyrics express his acknowledgement that the only thing that can hold him back is himself.
To end the English track section of the EP, “Another Day” radiates a more positive energy than compared to the previous songs on the album. The song gives a more jazzy gospel feel, incorporating more instruments that weren’t heard in the EP prior such as the trumpet, adding a new, refreshing addition to the album not previously heard. Lyrically, it tells the story of him aching for a love from someone he can’t believe exists in his life. Unable to process they are, “real, so so real,” GSoul closes the song with a soulful, instrumental outro.
Finally, as a bonus to close the project, GSoul ends the EP with a Korean rendition of the title track, “Natural.” In his native Korean, offering a different take on the already emotional track, GSoul satisfies the curiosity of how it would sound in his mother tongue — especially for his Korean fans. Vocally, it sounds equally as dreamy and painfully vulnerable, losing none of the emotion regardless of the language sung in.
GSoul’s first-ever English EP fulfills as intended and more with honest lyrics and a creative delivery. The variety shown in terms of the styles of sound, sounded like they fit together. From R&B to acoustic, the track order from beginning to end gave the flow of melodies justice. The track lyrically showcases nothing short of authentic and heart-spilling emotion. The overall project’s ability to resonate with his fans internationally or otherwise due to such a resonant response may lead to more experimental pieces in English or even the genre’s direction in the future.
Make sure to stream Natural on all streaming platforms!