K-pop star Eric Nam advocates, inspires concert fans | Lifestyle

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Hate crimes against Asian Americans around the United States continue to make headlines, with one of the most recent taking place in late February in New York City when a Manhattan resident attacked seven different Asians in separate incidents.

Against that backdrop, Korean-American singer Eric Nam uses his international K-pop stardom to speak out against hate crimes and advocate for Asian representation in the entertainment industry.

At his most recent concert in the Big Apple, the Atlanta-born singer encouraged his fans who “look like him” to bravely pursue their dreams and passions.

“Y’all being here makes it possible for other kids who look like me, who are Asian or Asian American, to dream and to pursue things that we were told we can’t do for so long,” Nam said at the Feb. 22 sold-out show, which drew 3,000 concertgoers.

His thrilling New York performance came about a month into his world tour, which launched in January in Phoenix, Arizona.

With his charismatic stage presence, Nam sang songs from his first album, “There And Back Again,” as an independent artist as well as prior hits.

After entering the stage with his ode to romance, “Any Other Way,” ha launched into dance-pop breakup tracks, such as “Don’t Call Me” about removing ex-lovers from his life, “What If,” about guilt after a failed relationship, and his lead single, “Lost On Me.”

The upbeat tracks complemented Nam’s soaring vocals as he chronicled the stages of a post-breakup experience, punctuated by bass and drum instrumentals.

After more catchy hooks and choruses, intense lyrics, and a beautifully arranged accompaniment with the aid of a drummer, guitarist and a bassist in songs like “Runaway” and “Paradise,” Nam sat on a chair and sang stripped-down tracks.

He taught the audience how to sing their parts in Korean for the first refrain of his jazzy “Good For You” before he started singing.

He serenaded his listeners afterward with “One Way Lover” — a melancholic song about a past relationship where his love is not reciprocated. Sentiments continued to run high with “Love Die Young,” an agonizingly lovely tune that began with despairing instrumentals accompanying Nam’s impassioned lyrics.

Nam then shifted the tone of the concert when he performed his next series of tracks, such as “You’re Sexy I’m Sexy,” “Honestly” and “Congratulations,” that celebrated the freedom of escaping a toxic relationship.

He left the stage on a high note with “Wildfire,” which showcased his wide vocal range, and “I Don’t Know You Anymore,” during which the artist sang and danced along with Nam Nation for the final time.

The concert underscored his musical prowess and ability to connect with his audience. He is an inspiration to many aspiring Asian artists in the music industry and represents hope for more diversity and inclusivity in the West.

Ron Rocky Coloma covers entertainment, lifestyle and artist features. Reach him at rcoloma@guampdn.com.

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