Se7en is one of the longest standing Hallyu artists: however, 2016 sees his first release since his discharge from the military and the subsequent cancellation of his contract with YG Entertainment, with whom he was signed since he was fifteen years old in 2003. Since, he has founded his own label named ‘Eleven Nine Entertainment’, Se7en released his first self-produced EP on 14th October 2016, named “I Am Se7en”. The six track EP builds on various genres from R&B, electropop, funk and dance, and is what one would expect from someone of his talents and experience.
‘Eleven9’ is the intro into the EP, with that fabulous R&B resonance and drumbeat that pulls you from the first few seconds. The track is sung in English, asking his listeners to forgive him that it’s been such a long time that he’s released any music but welcoming them into this new era of his career. Overall, it’s a convincing beginning to this EP.
Goodnight ft. Reddy
‘Goodnight’ is an absolute winning track. It opens with Justin Bieber-esque electropop sound before smoothly transitioning into a piano-rooted R&B track with a solid drumbeat. It’s calming and mellow, a sentiment that’s only accentuated by Reddy’s rap lines which add to this soothing track. It’s a winning track and fits so perfectly with Se7en’s style.
Give It To Me
Things speed up with the EP’s title-track a funk-pop track that, on the one hand is a big contrast to ‘Goodnight’ but fits perfectly: the movement between the tracks is not dramatic and eases you in quite nicely. Produced with help from The Stereo Types, who have worked with major US artists like Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Alesha Dixon, and even Ne-Yo, whilst most recently working with K-Pop artists like BoA, EXO, and U-KISS, the track has a good underlying R&B sound whilst being distinct sound-wise.
Of course, there always have to be a track that stands out completely, and ‘5-6-7’ is that track: a heavier dance-pop track without being dominated by overwhelming bass, it’s a track that really highlights Se7en’s smooth vocals and gives a sound that is unique to him.
11:30 ft. Masta Wu
’11:30’ is also a unique track. It has an American R&B twang which is only made more so by Masta Wu’s input into this track! It’s a relatively standard track, but Se7en’s vocals are really great in this track and stand out. It’s a slick, smooth, and soft.
The EP ends with an electropop-like acoustic guitar track, which maintains that same smoothness as the previous tracks, but just has a completely different sound. It completes the EP perfectly and highlights Se7en’s very well. Overall, this track is a perfect conclusion to Se7en’s first self-produced EP.
This EP is a winner. It exemplifies Se7en’s talents and sound, despite his long break from YG which one might think would have stunted his sound a bit. But this EP proves otherwise: as a veteran in the industry, he is able to play around with various genres and make them his own, and that’s precisely what this EP seeks to do. It’s not particularly experimental on the one hand, but on the other we can completely identify it with Se7en, and that’s what makes it so appealing. If you haven’t already bought it, then I’d definitely say that this EP belongs in your music library!
Review written by Tariq