A Conversation With Su Lee

Kate Anderson-Song Head Interviewer

Introduce yourself! 

Hello, my name’s Su Lee. I’m from South Korea, and I make music to deal with my overthinking habits.

How did you first get into music?  

I’ve always wanted to do music but never really had the courage to. So after finishing school, I finally took the courage to give myself a year to start writing/producing music.

Your single, “I’ll Just Dance,” went viral on Reddit. How did that song come to be? And what was it like to have that viral internet moment? 

I was at a point where I was closing in on the year mark of pursuing music full-time. But I still couldn’t figure out how to turn music into a viable career. So I was like, “Fuck this,” and poured out all my confusion and anxiety into the 4 hours it took to make “I’ll Just Dance.”

The “viral moment” definitely felt weird. I saw all these numbers go up on my screen, but then I also had my mom screaming at me from the kitchen to help prepare dinner. So there was this weird dissonance between reality and what was happening on the internet that made it hard for me to believe what was going on.

Your latest single, “Socially Alive,” came out on July 29! What is this song about? How did it come to be? 

“Socially Alive” is basically about my realization of having forgotten how to socialize and make friends. I’ve become a sort of a room hermit in the last year and a half, just making music and videos alone in my room. Now that the world’s slowly starting to open up again, I want to go out, make friends, and interact with others. But I can’t really figure out how or where I should start.

Where do you find inspiration? And what are your first steps when beginning to create something?  

I find inspiration from creative people who do their thing super passionately. It doesn’t matter if they’re a musician, gamer, teacher, painter, or even a fictional character—when I see a passionate person just rocking their craft/skills, I get very inspired. 

My creative process usually starts with a really brief note or a sketch—written during walks, right before I go to bed, or just at random points throughout the day. I sometimes feel so strongly about an idea that I start elaborating right away. But most of the time, I let these notes sit for a while and revisit them whenever I’m in a creative zone.    

What does self-care mean to you? How have you taken care of yourself, especially through this past year? 

Tracking my mental health (and physical health, too, of course) and prioritizing nurturing it over anything else.

I’m still trying to learn how to take better care of my mental health myself. But one of the crucial things I learned is to be more verbal with how you’re feeling. Sometimes people don’t really know what you’re going through unless you tell them honestly. Being a people-pleaser, this isn’t an easy feat for me. But I find that being more verbal helps me so much in the long run. 

We know the COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly difficult for people. How has this time affected you and your work?  

I’ve always been quite prone to feeling lonely. And the world closing down due to the pandemic has definitely added fuel to the fire. But I think looking back at the past year; this predicament has pushed me to learn how to deal with being on my own better than ever.

I’ve learned how to turn pain into songs with a little more lighthearted and humorous approach, which I think is a skill that could come in handy.      

Here are some rapid-fire questions: 

Your go-to coffee shop order?  

Iced Americano plz! 

Any special or secret skills (i.e., wiggling your ears, etc.)? 

I can play the cello 😀

What TV show/movie did you last enjoy? 

I watched Pixar’s Luca, and it made me tear up real good :*)

Ultimate comfort food?

Instant ramen with poached eggs

What has been the highlight of your day today? 

Having a long chat with my sister about conspiracy theories 

Lastly, what is upcoming for you and your work?  

My EP, Box Room Dreams, came out on August 26! It’s the first package of originals that I’ve put out in a long time, so I’m super excited for people to hear.






Head Interviewer

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

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