On 6th February, San E released a music video for his emotive track ‘Counselor’ from his third EP, Season of Suffering. San E, signed with Brand New Music, has taken a different approach in his new EP choosing to open up about a time of struggle as opposed to rapping about lighter topics.
The video was filmed from the 16th January to the 22nd January and gives us a rare and honest insight into the daily life of a struggling star. Unlike your usual Korean MV, with stunning cinematography and bright visuals, Counselor consists of a series of real clips from San E’s day-to-day.
Counselor explores a time of crisis in San E’s life where he battles with his demons and struggles between two identities. We see both halves of San E’s life, the usual smiling rapper in the car and the troubled idol seeking help. Throughout the video, we see clips, some of which might be familiar to those who’ve undergone similar issues, of empty wine bottles, multiple bottles of pills and periods of depression, frustration and aggression. We also get to see San E in, what we can assume is, a counselling session.
It is rare that a Korean music video is filled with such raw honesty. San e explores the challenges in the system and criticises access to mental health treatment in Korea and I applaud him for doing so. Mental health is often overlooked so it is great to see a music video which tackles this head on from a personal perspective. I hope this video helps to increase the discourse around mental health in Korea among both idols and ordinary Koreans so more people can get the help they need.
This video does not entertain like most, it draws you in and forces you to pay attention even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. This video will be popular among fans who can relate to the thoughts, experiences and emotions expressed in the song and video. Even if you can’t relate, everyone can appreciate the honesty that went into this and the bravery it took to open up about a difficult period in his life.
Overall, this is an honest video that stays with you. This is a great video if you are looking for genuine emotion but not a video for those looking to be merely entertained.
Review written by Celena