Childhood & Early Life
Eric Nam was born on November 17, 1988, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. His father is Nam Beom-jin and his brothers are Eddie Nam and Brian.
He was passionate about music from a very young age. He started playing the piano when he was four and switched to the cello when he was about nine. He would memorize Korean folk songs from the beginning to end. When he was in school, he was a part of the Atlanta Boy Choir and toured in Italy, where sang at the St. Peter’s Basilica mass in Rome.
While in middle school, he started listening to K-Pop and followed musicians like Shinhwa, BoA, Fly to the Sky, etc. He watched shows like ‘Music Bank,’ ‘Inkigayo,’ and ‘Music Core.’
Eric went to Mexico after 9th grade, and spent two months in Panama in a rural village, where he did community development services. Next summer he worked a few weeks in Guatemala in a soup kitchen for the elderly and homeless people, and also taught trade skills to elementary kids.
As a teenager he recorded cover songs and posted them on YouTube. A JYP representative called him after watching his cover songs, and asked him to participate in a JYP audition in New York. However, he decided finish his studies first.
In 2007, Eric graduated from the Lovett School, where he played soccer and was involved in the orchestra band. He graduated from Boston College in 2011 with a major in International Studies, and a minor in Asian Studies. He also studied for a year at Peking University in Beijing, China.
While he was studying in Beijing, he realized the impact of Hallyu on the Chinese culture, and started following groups like Wonder Girls, Big Bang, Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, 2PM, and 2AM.
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Eric Nam obtained the position of a Business Analyst at Deloitte Consulting in New York City after completing his studies. After sometime, one of his YouTube covers went viral, and Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation invited him to Seoul to take part in a competition program, ‘Birth of a Great Star 2’. He was placed in the Top 5 contestants. After the show was over in April 2012, he got an offer from a music company to start his career in South Korea.
After resigning from his New York job, he moved to South Korea in June 2012, and started meeting more companies. He released a digital single ‘Blue Night in Jeju Island’ with a project group named ‘Namaste’ through his mentor’s label during this period.
In September 2012, he signed with B2M Entertainment, a South Korean management agency and music label, as a solo artist. In January 2013, he released his first mini-album ‘Cloud 9’, with the title track ‘Heaven's Door’.
For 2013 to 2016, he served as the MC of Arirang TV's popular live programs, ‘After School Club’, and its spinoff, ‘The ASC After Show’, a show for K-pop artists and their fans, which was broadcast in 188 countries.
He interviewed several celebrities in South Korea like Miranda Kerr, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Noel Gallagher, and many others while he was on MBC's Section TV, ‘Entertainment Relay’. His international and Korean interviews have garnered positive reviews due to his wit and ability to connect with the interviewees on a personal level.
In April 2014, he started concentrating on his music, and returned to Korea's music scene with his first digital single, ‘Ooh Ooh’. He did a stage show at the Seoul Jazz Festival, along with Chris Botti, Jamie Cullum, Damien Rice, Paolo Nutini, and Craig David. The show was a major hit.
In December 2014, he released his second digital single ‘Melt My Heart’. He was featured on Amber Liu's mini-album ‘Beautiful’ on the song ‘I Just Wanna’ in February 2015. He released a new single ‘I'm OK’, along with a music video in March.
In May 2015, he released his single ‘Dream’ that featured 15&'s Park Ji-Min for Charity Project. In December, he signed an exclusive contract with CJ E&M.
On March 4, 2016, Eric took part in SM Entertainment's digital music channel SM Station, and released ‘Spring Love’, a duet track with Red Velvet's Wendy. He released his second mini-album, ‘Interview’ on March 24, which included the title track ‘Good For You’.
Wanting to penetrate the US music scene, he collaborated with the electronic band, KOLAJ, and released his first US single, ‘Into You’, on June 10, 2016. The single premiered worldwide on Beats 1 Radio and The Fader.
On April 16, 2016, he hosted and performed at SNL Korea, and received one of the highest ratings of the season. In the same month, he joined the virtual marriage show ‘We Got Married, a South Korean reality variety show, where he was paired with Solar, a South Korean singer and actress. He was nominated for an MBC Entertainment Award for the show.
In July 2016, he released another digital single ‘Can't Help Myself’, the lyrics of which was written by Epik High's Tablo. It also featured AOMG rapper Loco. He participated at KCON LA 2016, an annual Korean wave convention held in different locations across the world. He performed ‘Can't Help Myself’ and ‘Into You’ with KOLAJ, and the show was a great success. In November 2016, he along with comedian Yang Se-Hyung hosted a new Mnet's talk show ‘Yang and Nam Show’.
In January 2017, he worked with Gallant and Tablo, and released a single ‘Cave Me In’ and its music video. On March 9, 2017, he collaborated with Jeon So-Mi for the release of the single ‘You, Who?’ Eric Nam was featured on DJ/dance producer, ARTY's single ‘Idea Of You’ on June 9, 2017.