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Crossing borders: Yusuii

When Bong Joon-ho respectfully dragged everyone at the Oscars for limiting their enjoyment of cinema by refusing to watch any film that required subtitles, it got me thinking a lot about my own enjoyment of art and media. Whilst I’ve never been one to shy away from media in a foreign language (the emo to kpop pipeline did get to me around the age of twenty), I realised I was missing out on countless incredible artists if I stuck only to music I could immediately understand; lyrics are not the only part of the song-making process and it would be remiss of me to think it was.


It’s been a few years now of trying to listen to artists in as many languages as possible and now my passion is sharing these artists with other people. This is the first in a series called Crossing Borders: Music without Language Limitations where I will explore some of the exceptional non-English speaking artists I’ve found over the years.



First on the list, and hailing from the same country as Bong Joon-ho, comes Yusuii. Debuting on the scene in September 2023 with ‘try on me’ and following up this February with ‘blanket’, the 24-year-old triple threat (singer, composer & lyricist) is only just beginning. 


It’s difficult to discuss any Korean artist without people naturally assuming it must be kpop (and  I would be so excited if she did branch into pop music) but Yusuii has firmly cemented her place in the RnB space – although she has always been a fan of Big Bang, and in particular G Dragon. There are a lot of negative connotations surrounding Korean music in particular, most of which do stem from xenophobia, when really all there is to it is exceptional and well-made music sung in Korean, or by Korean artists. There are so many interesting and exceptionally talented artists you can find when you ignore any preconceived notions and let yourself truly enjoy the sound. Negating an entire country's worth of music over a language barrier is a crazy thing to do when you can find gems like Yusuii.


With sultry vocals, Yusuii is criminally underrated and if listening to a song too much is a crime then put me in ‘blanket’ jail. A song primarily about a love that’s suffocating so much you need to be wrapped up in a blanket to sleep without them, her gorgeous voice layers so well over a soulful backing beat. When writing a song Yusuii likes to organise her thoughts in writing or conversation and pulls emotions from looking back at her own experiences; she’s mostly inspired by her own life events. Discussing the process of songwriting she starts with a mood or a vibe she’s aiming for and begins to hum and create meaningless lyrics until something really hooks; from there she finds a note that matches the melody and makes the song line-by-line come alive.


Although I will admit I am biased towards ‘blanket’, one of my closest friends is obsessed with ‘try on me’. I always find it a little wild when someone can come out of the gate the way Yusuii did – it does not sound like a first song, it sounds like someone who has been honing their sound for a long time. I wish I had more songs to talk about but for now, the two she has released have been so incredible I can cope with listening to those on repeat for now. Not to worry though, her goal for this year is to make an album (not just release singles) and we at The Sonic Hub will be eagerly anticipating when she does. 


Her next single is out today, June 13th and I was the first listener – hopefully, you will be the second, third, fourth etc.


You can find Yusuii on streaming platforms, YouTube, and Instagram under yusuii_desukedo

 

PROOFREADING BEATRIZ GOMES

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