Eric Nam is in the stage of his career where his answer to the question of where he is based is “I have no idea.” Born and raised in Atlanta, he keeps a home there, as his family is still in the area. He also has places in Los Angeles, where work has drawn him lately, and South Korea, where he began his music career.
This fall, Nam isn’t getting much time in any of these homes, however. After releasing his new album “House on a Hill” in September, the 34-year-old is on a massive tour that will take him through spring 2024, with more than 80 dates.
Not that he minds this schedule at all.
“I just really love performing. I think it’s a lot of fun. And I think as I do that I get to see my fans all around the world, and some people are new, but then every once in a while, every show, there are people who’ve come to every show or multiple shows and to see them develop and grow and mature as I think I do as well, that’s also been kind of a weird trip to see that, getting older together,” Nam says from inside the Sixty Thompson Hotel, where he’s resting up ahead of his New York show.
“And then of course, just going to places that I normally wouldn’t go. Honestly, no offense to Kansas City, I probably would never go to Kansas City. But I heard it’s great,” he adds. “I’m really excited to go. And then I get to come to cool places like New York and play Pier 17. We’re doing India and all these interesting places, and so that’s probably the coolest part.”
“House on a Hill” is described by Nam as his “most existential crisis type of album to date.”
It’s been more than a decade since Nam signed his first record deal, and in that time he’s done some questioning of what it all really means.
“I think as I was writing, I was trying to figure out what makes me really happy, working my butt off, doing everything, why, what does it all mean? And as I started to ask myself those questions, all these songs kind of came about,” he says. “‘House on a Hill’ really literally asked those questions of ‘What if everything that I have right now is the peak of life, and is this what happiness is and I just can’t even recognize it, and when is more and more and more enough?’”
The name came to him during his house hunting process in Los Angeles, which also inspired the short film he made to go along with the album.
“I found this house on this hill, this ginormous hill. This is the best house ever, and I really want to get it. I ended up not getting it, but it was through that process that I started asking these questions,” he says, “and so we kind of dramatized it, making it a little spooky. We wanted it to be ‘White Lotus’ meets ‘Doctor Strange’ because there’s a fantastical element to it.”
Upcoming, Nam will make his acting debut in the movie “Transplant,” from the production company behind “Fruitvale Station.”
“I think music, oftentimes, it’s more about the self. It’s about myself and about the stories or the experiences that I’m going through. Acting is interesting because you’re given a role or a character, and you have to best understand the motivations and the thinking and the personality and the history behind everything that this character has gone through or is going through. And that just is a completely different way of processing,” Nam says. “I’ll say it’s really scary, but I think I enjoy the challenge of trying to understand where other people come from, and that’s what makes it really fun.”