Meet saranghae, who is a Chinese Hyperpop/Korean R&B singer and songwriter from Sydney, Australia. He debuted on August 2nd, 2021 with the single “time is real” which was a collaboration with mis4ortune. Since then, saranghae’s discography has grown and his music has shown multiple sides to his musical sound.

At midnight, saranghae released his ninth single of 2024 titled “problems” which is a song with myno. Behind The Beat had the opportunity to interview saranghae and discuss his musical journey, the meaning behind “problems”, future goals and more.


Can you introduce yourself? What do you do?

saranghae: Hiiiiiii! I’m Andrew, but my artist name is “saranghae”. I make music in my room for fun, I go to the gym, I play volleyball with my friends, I troll on league with my bros and sometimes get into a bit of tomfoolery with them in the city too lol (nothing sinister I swear laughs).

Honestly I’m just a normal dude in university.

Why did you choose “saranghae” as your artist name?

saranghae: Hmm lemme think of how I’m gonna explain this laughs. “Saranghae” in Korean means “I love you”. A lot of people think this means I’m saying I love you to some girl, but it’s actually to my listeners and to myself laughs.

I make all my music completely on my own – from the production, to the mixing, to the promotion etc. sort of like how my grandmother makes food to show love to me. I hope that people can feel the love I put into even the smallest parts of my songs.

I also have this obsession with really small dead artist pages (I KNOW THAT SOUNDS WEIRD laughs), but I mean artists that either retired or just randomly disappeared. There’s just an aura about a 100 monthly listener page being a time capsule into a random period of a random person’s life. I hope that when I’m a geriatric 80 yr old that I can look back on my page and see an 18 yr old me saying “I love you” back.

Why do you choose to not show yourself when promoting music?

saranghae: I do sometimes show myself – I’ve tried to be a bit better with it nowadays because a lot of people keep asking me what I look like.

When I started promoting my stuff I was really self conscious about my body image, I used to be really fat and I pretty much lived in my room making music and eating an unholy amount of food. when I went out, my parents would sometimes order enough for 4 people just for me. I started going to the gym and now it’s gotten a lot better laughs and smiles I’ve lost over 25 kg of fat.

How did your musical journey begin?

saranghae: Oh my goodness this is such a stupid story laughs.

Ok so one day, on summer break in high school me and my friends were bored. We had already played video games to death and had gone out to the point of having no money.

One of my friends suggested we make a silly movie for fun. It was just a dumb little unfinished 12 minute video and the police actually had to take a look at it for criminal evidence a year later laughs – another story for another time.

For the movie, we needed a song for the credits and I had to make it. I picked up GarageBand on an iPad and made a beat and even rapped on it. After that I dabbled in LogicPro X, but kinda took a break from it until university. Then I figured since I had more time I should try music out more.

“problems” with Myno SONG BREAKDOWN
What is the inspiration behind this song? / What is the meaning?

saranghae: Oooo yea, this song was made super quickly – me and myno make things really fast cuz we’re always in vc (voice chat) and we are in similar time zones with broken sleep schedules. I don’t think it took more than 3 days [to make].

There isn’t a deep inspiration for my songs – I’m not intellectual enough to think that much laughs. my friends keep telling me that my songs are always about breaking up and toxic relationships so I thought I would try to change that.

The songs about a girl I know – the relationship is totally platonic, but she’s very special. She reminds me a lot of my younger self in many ways; she hates people, she loves compliments because she has a huge ego, but she’s feels alienated and a little lonely because she’s still learning how to get along with others.

When I talk to her, involve her in things and look out for her it feels like I’m doing these things for a younger version of myself. It’s honestly been a healing experience.

So, yeah this song is for her and hopefully she isn’t reading this, but honestly she may not even know it’s her.

What was the writing and production process like for this song?

saranghae: For most of my songs I just freestyle a couple times and chop it up – I don’t think I’ve ever written lyrics before singing them.

I sampled “Sunny Shower” by Whee In and Colde (I LOVE SAMPLING KOREAN SONGS OH MY GOD) and put drums and a guitar bass over them. That sounds very simple, but there’s many secrets and little details I include that a lot of people don’t do/know about with their production. Unfortunately I can’t talk about all of them otherwise this interview would never end laughs. I’ll talk about one of the more normal ones I tell everyone.

I took the guitar from the Korean song and also chopped up another part of the song based on the chords. The other chop had vocals in it and as I’m chopping it up, I’m intentionally trying to get rid of any drums/guitar slaps etc. and keep the vocal parts. I’m also widening the chop with a flanger.

By doing this I can add a layer of soft consistent texture that fits really cleanly in the mix because each of the chords are aligning. By widening it, the chop has a different stereo channel making it pop out a little more, but also lets it still hide behind other things to give space for vocals.

Can you describe this song using a colour and why you chose that colour?

saranghae: Oh my god, oh my god light blue!! The song sounds like the sky. There’s literally no other reason laughs I just like the colour of the sky.

What do you want your fans/listeners to feel and take away from “problems”?

saranghae: When I was in high school, I was very depressed particularly towards the end of it. There were many days where the only thing i looked forward to was listening to music on the train home. However, I feel like my interest in music was a little bit different from others. Unlike most people, I actually don’t have any real defined “favourite artists” – more so just individual songs. I cared very little about artist lyrics, or what they looked like or who they associate with. All I cared about was finding cool sounds.

For as long as I can remember I would constantly jump from many different circles of artists and pretty much took an interest to almost everything that Spotify/SoundCloud radio gave me. Even now, I don’t really ever skip songs unless it’s harsh to my ear and usually give them 2-3 listens before moving on.

I was just fascinated by everyone’s individual take on their sound and on music in general. I never really cared about a deep message or anything that could be written or spoken. You can just tell which songs have been made with love by people who love music and which songs are made just to keep the fans satisfied.

I hope that somewhere in the world there’s another kid like how I was, confused and sad on a train, simply looking for a nice sounding song to take their mind off the stress of school, family etc. I hope that they find not only this song, but my music in general. I hope they can smile like how I would when I found something cool. I hope they purposely walk slowly back home from the train just so they can enjoy what they are listening to.

No amount of lyrics or intended meaning compares to the simple yet profound joy you get from something that just inexplicably sounds good. I just hope my sound can speak for itself.

How did you find your sound? And can you describe your general genre?

saranghae: Firstly anyone can find their sound, anyone can make music. Trust me I’m literally THE DUMBEST MUSIC PERSON ALIVE laughs. I accidentally panned my headphones to the left and I couldn’t even tell for 6 months, my voice sounded like a broken robot because I had 4 autotuners when I started and didn’t know that you can get free sounds online so, I used the EXACT SAME SNARE FOR 3 MONTHS laughs.

I know music people can tend to gatekeep music by making it seem really confusing and hard, but Imma be real it’s totally doable.

Honestly I don’t really believe in the idea of “finding a sound” because it implies that the process is fixed and it finishes. I think “finding a sound” is a constant journey primarily fuelled by boredom to be honest. I constantly get bored with what I make and permanently scour the internet looking for random things to inspire my sound.

My main goal is to make something that is unique yet palatable and familiar. Something that you want to play all the time, but no matter how many times you listen you just can’t quite figure out exactly why it’s better than everything else (kinda like my grandmas food). Something simple enough to understand but complicated enough so no one can copy you.

I actually didn’t sing originally, I spent a lot of time just making beats. That time was incredibly fruitful because I made a wide range of producer friends with all kinds of sounds and tapped into a lot of production techniques that I reckon a lot of people in my scene aren’t familiar with. I spent a great deal of time quietly watching Discord streams of lo-fi people, bass nation people, scream rappers, hyper-bounce people, trap metal people, hyper-pop people, jazz people, wave people, sound designers the list goes on.

In that sense I think my journey of making music has been a rather strange yet unique one compared to other artists. Even if there are other artists that make their own beats, they probably don’t mix with people way outside their related artist circle, and they probably have a more narrow corridor of influences. I get to pick apart things that i want and i draw from all the sounds i’ve come across to innovate. It also helps that I don’t need to wait on a beat maker or a guitar, I don’t need to tell anyone anything.

As to what genre I’m in, it’s probably something between hyper-pop, bossa nova, indie-pop and R&B, but honestly I don’t think that’s 100% accurate .

I hope that people can name a couple genres to try to encapsulate my sound, but I hope that it’s too difficult to describe.

What is your favorite song from your discography so far? And for first time listeners, what song would you recommend them to listen to out of your discography?

saranghae: I’m gonna be real, I hate all of my songs laughs. It’s not necessarily because I think they’re bad or anything, but I guess when you’ve made it from scratch and you’ve listened it to death so many times you get sick of it. “boyfriend” gives me a headache now laughs.

For the first time listeners, damn honestly I have so many songs at this point. Uhhh I reckon you should listen to these three songs; “hate me haha (juice wrld remix lmao)”, “sweater” and “is it better if i’m gone?”. I feel like they really summarize how my sound has grown.

Without giving away too many details, what can listeners expect for the rest of 2024?

saranghae: Oooo this is a good question! Me and riensu are working on an EP 👀.

There’s a crazy cool song I made, but i’m actually waiting for sample clearance on it.

If things pan out, expect a really dark aesthetic in the future. I’m currently working on a deep rapping voice thing – I’ve actually used it a couple times before, but I’ve never really released them.

Honestly expect the unexpected – whether it be the sounds you hear or the people that are featured, anything can happen!

“problem” is now available on all digital streaming platforms, so make sure to listen to it here.

Special thanks to saranghae for taking the time to do this interview with us!

Check out saranghae on Instagram: @saranghaelmao

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