We had the pleasure of interviewing Susie Suh over Zoom video!
Indie/electronic artist out of LA named Susie Suh, recently release a new video for, “Invisible Love”, which is her new album’s title track. A traveler and a seeker, her album...
We had the pleasure of interviewing Susie Suh over Zoom video!
Indie/electronic artist out of LA named Susie Suh, recently release a new video for, “Invisible Love”, which is her new album’s title track. A traveler and a seeker, her album chronicles her journey over the past few years studying meditation and alternative modes of healing at various sacred sites around the world, and the video for “Invisible Love” was inspired by a moment of spiritual awakening. Her experiences resulted in an interest in ritual sound healing using crystal bowls, which is featured throughout her album and during Susie’s live performance.
Following her self-titled debut on Sony Music/Epic Records, Susie independently released 'The Bakman Tapes,' which saw her signature style crystallize. The single “I Do” eclipsed 51.4 million Spotify streams as “Feather In The Wind” generated 4.1 million Spotify streams. Her music was also featured in numerous TV shows and films around the world, all as a result of her own pitching as an independent artist. Along the way, she assembled what would become her new album, 'Invisible Love.' Rather than create the album solo, she collaborated with an eclectic mix of producers, including Mitchell Froom [Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainright], Scott Campbell [Stevie Nicks, Annie Lennox]. “This album chronicles an inner journey that I’ve been on, a pilgrimage of sorts,” she explains. “With all of the noise in the world, this album was about going inward and finding healing from within.”
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Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with Susie Sue over zoom video, Susie was born and raised in Los Angeles, and she talks about how she got into music. Picked up piano at an early age was always in singing and acapella groups up through high school. Really, she went to high school in New Hampshire, went to a boarding school, always very studious. So education was really important to her. She went to a boarding school all four years of high school, and that's where she came out of her shell. As far as performing and songwriting. When she graduated from college, she took a shot at music said, I'm going to move to New York. 2 (1m 40s): I'm going to give myself this window of time. And if something doesn't happen, then I will move on. But if it does, we're going to pursue music. Shins of landing, a deal with epic records gets a publishing deal and puts out her first record through a major label. She talks to us about that. Putting out her most recent records, everything from there independently, having two songs on Spotify hit over 50 million plays and all about our new record, which is called invisible love and the path she took to to write the record, really moving to France, actually living in different parts of the world, studying meditation and sound therapy and using elements of what she learned in this new record. 2 (2m 21s): And she's got this really cool live show that she's put together, which is more of a, a healing event slash concert. Instead of standing next to, you know, 1500 sweaty people, you have your own yoga mat, eat the relax, enjoy the music. She talks a lot about that as well. You can watch our interview with Susie on our Facebook page and YouTube channel app, bringing it backwards. It would be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and TechTalk at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify or apple music, Google podcasts, we would love it. If you follow us there as well, and a hook us up with a five-star review, 3 (3m 4s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 2 (3m 10s): We're bringing it backwards with Susie Sue. Amazing. My name's Adam, by the way. And I appreciate you doing this. 4 (3m 18s): Yes. Nice to meet you. I've been watching some of your podcasts, so I'm familiar with you. 2 (3m 22s): Oh, very cool. I appreciate that. Thank you so much. So first off, where are you in LA? Correct? Or from LA? Are you from LA or no? 4 (3m 30s): Yes. Are we starting? Is this officially beginning? 2 (3m 33s): Yeah. I just kind of go into it unless you, yeah. 4 (3m 37s): Can we, yeah. Can we start, can we just start over? 2 (3m 40s): Of course. 4 (3m 41s): Okay, cool. 2 (3m 42s): No worries. Again, my name is Adam and this is about you and your journey in music and how you got to where you are now. 4 (3m 49s): Hi, Adam. So nice to meet you. Thank you so much for having me 2 (3m 52s): Of course. First off, where were you born and raised? I saw you. You are from LA. Are you, were you born and raised in LA? 4 (3m 59s): Yeah, I'm, I'm from Los Angeles and I was born here and I lived, I've been living here on and off since I was young, but I went to like school, high school and college out on the east coast. 2 (4m 12s): Oh, okay. So you went to even went to high school in east coast. Wow. Okay. So I'm from Southern I'm from San Diego. So I was, I know Southern California quite, quite well. So how long were you in LA? All the way up until high school. 4 (4m 25s): Yeah. So I went to, I actually went to a boarding school for high school, so I was up, I was in LA until eighth grade and then ninth grade to 12th grade. I went to a boarding school and in New Hampshire and then I went to college out there as well. And then I came back here to work on music. So I've been here. 2 (4m 44s): Did you go to by choice to New Hampshire? No, 4 (4m 48s): I did actually. Yeah. 2 (4m 49s): Oh, okay. Well, we'll get into that. 4 (4m 51s): Yeah. 2 (4m 53s): Okay. So first off, talk to me about being born and raised in Los Angeles. What part of LA 4 (4m 58s): I'm from like Los Angeles, Los Angeles. A small suburb, like 30 minutes outside the city, but yeah, I'm pretty much from the city. So 2 (5m 8s): How'd you get to music? 4 (5m 10s): I got into music because I guess like when I was like eight years old or something like that, my mom, she enrolled me into a, like a children's choir. And then from there on, it was like in school choirs and then acapella singing groups. And basically it was like singing from a really young age. And then, yeah, I also like took piano lessons and guitar lessons. And so I was always really into like singing and music. And so it was something that I did when I was really young. 2 (5m 41s): Okay. And you obviously can continue doing that. Were you, how old are you? We learned piano. Was that the first instrument learn? 4 (5m 48s): Yeah, it was the first instrument I learned. I was probably around the same age. I started saying anything can around that age. And then I, I picked up the guitar when I was about 13 and that's when I really started like writing songs and wanting to actually like make music. I actually, I think I knew pretty young that I wanted to do music. So 2 (6m 9s): Was there something that sticks out in your mind like, oh, I went to this concert and I saw this person and then I was like, I haven't, I need to do this. 4 (6m 17s): I, you know what, it's funny. I actually think it was just really like learning how to play the guitar, learn other people's songs. And then just kind of naturally wanting to like write my own songs. It came, it came like really naturally to me and I, and I really liked it. So I kinda just started writing my own songs like right away after I knew how to play a couple chords. So yeah. 2 (6m 41s): You sharing those songs with anyone or is it kind of your thing? Like just something that you did for yourself? 4 (6m 47s): No, I did. I started, I mean in high school is when I kind of started, you know, writing songs and like performing and playing them for people in addition to like being like in an acapella singing group. And then I also played the harp. I was learning harp as well. Yeah. So I was, yeah, I was just like really into music when I was younger. So yeah, it was, it was like a really, it was a really fun outlet for me. I always, I always just really loved singing actually. So 2 (7m 14s): Was that what took you to New Hampshire then? Or like, it was like, why they're like, tell me about that and you don't feel like getting into it. I'm just curious. 4 (7m 23s): No, it's fine. Yeah, no, I went to school out there just because I was actually like, you know, pretty studious as a kid and I wanted to go, I kinda just wanted to get outside of LA, get outside of California and experience different parts of the country. And my parents were willing to send me to the east coast. And so I went to a boarding school out there for four years and I loved it. That's actually really where I feel like I started my whole music journey writing and performing and stuff. So 2 (7m 55s): Yeah. What was that, I mean, what were you? 13, 14 years old. And you move all of it across the whole country and you're living almost by yourself. I mean a boarding school with what you're living on, on campus and everything correct? 4 (8m 5s): Yeah. We know we lived in dorms. We, you know, we had like these, like they had them obviously separated, like, you know, boys and girls were in separate dorms, but it was really cool because, you know, we got to hang out in this sort of like unusual environment. And so the people that I became friends with, we became, we were like sisters, we became really close because we were like growing up together. But without like our families and parents around us. So it was actually a really, it was a really cool experience. I really enjoyed it a lot. 2 (8m 35s): Yeah. I would imagine that you're kind of you're with these people all the time. Right. I mean, is there, like, how did it, how is it structured as far as like your free time, like outside of class, like when you are, you've done it three 30 and you can kind of just hang out with your roommates or your friends, like about the campus. Like how does that even work? 4 (8m 53s): So the school that I went to was like really academically rigorous, we had schools six days a week. We had like, yeah, we had school half days, Wednesdays and half days Saturdays was like, kind of based, I think, on the French system. So we were like, always in school. We had like school from like morning, till evening. And then like half days, Wednesdays and Saturdays. And then the other half of the day we were doing like sports or extracurricular. So they did, they just kind of like, jam-packed our schedules. It was like, it was actually kind of intense, but it was, it was a really great experience. Yeah. 2 (9m 26s): I mean, did you have any time to, like, I mean, on the weekends, say Sunday, if you don't have anything going on, where were you able to leave the school? Like, what was that like? Are you you're there, you're there for four years and you don't go 4 (9m 39s): Well, I mean, I think there is, there was some free time, but not a lot. So, I mean, I think most of it was really kind of like everyone was just really busy with like all their extracurricular activity. I also ran track and field and yeah, I was like, we were just really big and, you know, it was like learning all these different instruments and I was in this group, you know, everyone was just super busy, but I think, yeah, there was some free time here and there, you know, like for vacations, I would come home for like winter and summer and stuff, but now it was a, it was a really, it was a really special and memorable experience. Yeah. And yeah, that's actually really where I started to, to just, I feel like the music aspect of me started to come out. 4 (10m 21s): So 2 (10m 22s): Where are you sharing songs with people? They're like, I mean, okay. So tell me about that. 4 (10m 26s): We, we just had, you know, we had like different opportunities for us to like perform and stuff. We had this thing called evening prayer, which was like this once a week, but it was like this really cool experience where you could go into this church and people would, you know, speak their poetry or sing their songs, but it was like pitch black. 2 (10m 50s): Oh, wow. 4 (10m 51s): Yeah. And you would go there, like, 2 (10m 52s): Did you know who was going up there? Or if you only, if you recognize their voice. 4 (10m 56s): Yeah. Not really. You would just like, and every time it was like different people. So like sometimes I would, I would do that and I would perform in front of everyone, but it was really cool. Cause it was like, it was just like candle light. It was super dark and it was, yeah, it was kinda magical actually. 2 (11m 14s): That is, that's really a cool experience. What was it, were you terrified the first time you had to do that or were you pretty confident performing in front of people? I mean, to go in and be like, okay, I'm going to, if I'm, I'm what I'm picturing is like, you know, candle light, dead black. I D you know, dark, everyone's sitting there just fully just paying attention to every note and everything you're going to be doing. Like, was that terrifying to go up there and be like, okay, here we go. Like, it's very, it sounds like a very intimate situation. 4 (11m 43s): I actually loved it. 2 (11m 44s): Okay. 4 (11m 45s): I thought it was so cool because you had like all these people in a room and it was like super dark and, and everyone was just really, and so, and I think it didn't even really matter, like what, whether it was good. Like people weren't like there to like judge in a way they were just there to kind of have this experience. So I felt, for me, it felt very like liberating for me because also they couldn't really see you. So it was sort of like, you know, you're, you're kind of hidden from the cats. They, you know, it was, it was dark. So, yeah, so that, that was actually, and it was called evening prayer, which is funny because later on down the line, I ended up putting out like a live VIP called evening prayer. 4 (12m 25s): Just sort of as a, as a, what do you call that? Like, I forget the word, but as a, like a kind of a scholarship. Yeah. Those dollars towards that time. 2 (12m 38s): Sure. 4 (12m 39s): Yeah. Yeah. That's really cool. It's funny. You're asking me this because it's like, all these memories are starting to, to, to bubble back up to the surface, but I actually haven't thought about it in awhile. So 2 (12m 49s): I love that. That's why I love doing this. Just kind of seeing how, you know, you, you did this and everyone's got their own story. I love, I love that. Okay. So you school high school at this boarding school was really where you started to kind of shape your, your sound maybe, and you just like getting comfortable performing in front of people and you're writing your own songs. And then how do you get like, validation that this is something you want to do? And are you performing outside of school or are you mainly playing to people at the school? Are they telling you that you're doing like, they, like what you're doing? I don't know. There's 50,000 questions there, but I'm just, I'll let you take it as you. 4 (13m 26s): Yeah, no, no, no. Well, so I think, so I guess like those kinds of formative years, those like high school years was really when it sort of all started for me, but I remember, you know, like, like even in college and stuff, like, I, I took like a summer and I just like played at a lot of open mics and I played it a lot of different, like in New York city, actually, it was in New York city for a summer. And I just decided that somewhere I was going to really try and, you know, play my music for people, meet people. And so I ended up, I ended up in that summertime actually, that sort of led me to like my first publishing deal. But 2 (14m 8s): After high school, 4 (14m 9s): Yeah. This was kind of like, like right towards the end of college right before I graduated college. But it kind of around that time period, I was, I was, yeah, I had I'd written songs and I was more ready to try and see if I could do something with it. So yeah. I went to New York city and I just started to play around a lot and I'm just like play the open mic circuit. 2 (14m 33s): Did you go to college for music? 4 (14m 36s): I did an, I actually studied English literature. I went to college for. 2 (14m 40s): Oh, wow. It's interesting. Just cause you, it sounds like you were a very studious student and you went to the school for, you know, to get a different education and then he wanted to become a musician, which is awesome. But like it was that kind of a path that was, that just kind of happened naturally or like, like what were you like re like what was the plan? Was it always the music? And then if it wasn't, what were you going to get from going to the boarding school? 4 (15m 10s): Well, I think that, you know, so my, you know, I'm Korean, I'm Korean American. My parents immigrated here from Korea and like a lot of traditional Asian parents, obviously. I think they didn't really want me to go into music. So I, you know, I was, I, I, and I also wanted to get a good education. So I was kind of doing the things that I felt were kind of expected of me, but at the same time I was kind of wanted to do music. So I was sort of trying to do both, But at the end of the music went out. And so, and I just, you know, at some point I was like, okay, I'm just going to go for the music. So, so yeah, I mean, it led to some, you know, some contention between my family and I, but yeah. 4 (15m 50s): I mean, I think that it's, it's an interesting path that I went down cause I was, yeah, I was pretty studious and I was, I was kind of like, you know, I was, I was a nerdy, you know, I liked, I liked to learn and I was, I was into that, but yeah, but music really felt like my calling. So I decided to go down that path 2 (16m 9s): And then, yeah, 4 (16m 11s): No, no, go ahead. 2 (16m 12s): I was just going to say like, when you're going to college, is that, did you choose that because of songwriting or like, you know, English literature, like learning how to write, was it more catered towards okay. If I I'll I'll learn, you know, how to write better or whatever. Yeah, no, that's terrible sentence, but I could use that in my songwriting skills. 4 (16m 35s): Yeah. I think, probably look subconsciously. That was probably one of the reasons, but I actually just really loved to read and it was just something that I really enjoy doing. And I think that, yeah, I, I kind of, at that point I had already knew that I was already planning on doing music. So my major wasn't that important to me, but, but yeah, but I love to read so. 2 (16m 60s): And so you decide what, when you, when you're done and you're like, okay, I'm going to go to New York and I'm just going to pursue. 4 (17m 6s): Yeah. I was, I gave myself a window of time to see if I could get a record deal and see if I could get signed. And so in that window of time, that was part of the thing where I went and I played at a bunch of open mics in New York city. And, and then I ended up meeting, I ended up meeting basically the Ms person named Charles Koppelman, who back in the day, he like, he had discovered Tracy Chapman, who I was a big fan of. And he, yeah, he was like the, he hit, he was running, I think like EMI records at some point. And he had a publishing company. And so some, somehow I came across across his path and that's kind of where it all started, like in terms of like professionally, 2 (17m 51s): Right? 4 (17m 51s): Yeah. So I got a publishing deal with him and then he ended up helping me get a record deal. 2 (17m 57s): Okay. With that. I was gonna say, when you, when it came to getting that publishing deal, was it something that you were like giving him songs he had written or did he come see you at an open mic and was like, okay, I really love what you're doing. Let's work together. Like how did that conversation begin? 4 (18m 10s): Yeah. I, I mean, I, to be honest, I don't remember all the details, but I had written some songs and he had heard them. And then I think as we work together, I w I wrote some more songs along the way, but yeah, he signed me, I think mostly because I hadn't developed really a following. I was just sort of starting to get myself out there. So he really signed me, I think, on my song, writing abilities. Yeah. And yeah. And then he ended up helping me get a record deal. He, it's actually really interesting story at that time. I, you know, I was just literally like on the subway with my guitar case and just showing up in people's offices and playing for like the presidents of different labels, just like for like their office meeting, you know, like them and their assistants. 4 (18m 60s): And they're in there. I played for like, yeah, a bunch of like a few different label heads and just like whipped out my guitar and just started like playing in the office, like a crew stick, like no microphone. 2 (19m 12s): Yeah. I, I worked in radio for a long time and we'd have those situations. It'd be like, oh, so-and-so is going to come in. And then we'd be like in a music meeting and somebody would first in the conference. 4 (19m 25s): Yeah. So I did, I did a bunch of those. And then I ended up getting, I ended up getting a deal with us with Sony, with epic records. So yeah. So that's what was my first record deal. And, and then I came back out to LA to work on the record. And that's kind of, yeah. 2 (19m 43s): In what year was that when you put the record out? 4 (19m 46s): I don't even remember. It was a while ago 5 (19m 52s): At Lowe's. Every pro is an MVP to us. No matter how big or small your business is earned back, when you spend get exclusive offers and paint rewards, it all adds up to help level up your business. Join Lowe's MVPs pro rewards and partnership program. Today. Minimum purchase required earnings and paint rewards awarded as low as e-gift cards, exclusions restrictions, and more terms apply filed through 12 30, 1 22. See Lowe's dot com slash L slash pro loyalty terms 70 to change us only. 2 (20m 20s): Hey, everyone, we wanted to tell you about another music podcast that we've been loving, the broken record podcast from Pushkin industries, music industry icon, Rick Rubin, along with producer, Justin Richmond and authors, Malcolm Gladwell, and Bruce Headlands. Sit down with the artists you'd love for unparalleled creative insight into your favorite music. You'll hear revealing interviews with some of the most legendary figures in music like Neil young, Andre, 3000 Alicia keys and Bruce Springsteen. And you'll learn about up and coming stars like Michelle Zonar, who talks about her big plans for her dreaming indie pop band, Japanese breakfast. This April, they're celebrating the red hot chili peppers, new album with John for Shantay Anthony Kiedis flee and Chad Smith, all in conversation with Rick Rubin, they share stories and songs from the new album, and also never before heard insights about their decades, long dynamic and chemistry, listen to broken record wherever you get podcasts. 4 (21m 20s): It was, it was many years ago. 2 (21m 22s): Was it the one that had I do on it? Was that, that album or is this later? 4 (21m 25s): Oh, that's actually later. That's actually here. Yeah. Yeah. This was my, this was my date debut album on Sony. And I worked with a producer named Glen Ballard who lived out in LA. I actually met with a few different producers, but I decided we had, we kinda hit it off. So we decided to do a record together. So we worked on that record and I put that out. Yeah. 2 (21m 48s): Okay. And from that record, did you like what it's epic and in that labeled do for your size, from kind of helping you with the record? Like you go on tour or like internship there? 4 (21m 59s): Yeah. We, I mean, we did, we did like a, a promotional run. I, I played, I opened up for some people, you know, they were able to get some of my songs licensed. We did some publicity and, and then I ended up actually going out to Korea as well and releasing the album in Korea and there and performing there. Yeah. So it was interesting being on a major label, I would say, you know, I'm, I, you know, the, after that experience, I decided to go independent and create my own label. So I created my own record label called collective records. And I've been putting out music on collective records ever since. So it's interesting to kind of, to be, to have experienced like the major label, but then also be doing it independently. 4 (22m 45s): There's pros and cons to both, there was some great things that Sony offered. And then I think there's also some great things that are a result of me going independent. 2 (22m 56s): Right. I mean, like a song like I do having 50 million, 53 million streams on Spotify, like something like that. I mean, that's, and that's like an independent release, right? 4 (23m 6s): Yeah. So after the Sony record, I just basically just started putting music out independently and, and, you know, just like owning all the music, producing all the music or collaborating and, you know, just putting it all together, putting all the visuals together, really everything was, you know, everything's been super DIY ever since then. And it's been interesting to kind of see, I've just been kind of like quietly doing it though. Like, I haven't, like, since I've been independent, I haven't necessarily performed as much in the public, but it's interesting to see how the music has sort of seeped into the world, whether it's been through sinks or through streaming or in playlist, things like that. 4 (23m 46s): I don't know. It's kind of funny. It's like, I feel like I'll write a song and then I put it out to the world and it kind of sort of takes a life of its own. So that's yeah, it's, it's, it's been a really interesting journey actually so far. Cause I don't even know how I do got that. I mean, it was literally just like one of the songs on my independent album called the backbend tapes and it got licensed a bunch of times and then it ended up on a bunch of streaming playlist and it just sort of took off, but like not really because of my marketing or promotional efforts, 2 (24m 24s): But still, I mean, that's, that's wild to see that many streams on a song. I mean, was that something that would just kind of came and you're like, oh my gosh, like what, what is happening? 4 (24m 35s): It's kind of been slowly growing. Yeah. It's been like a, I mean, I, so for me, like I've been independent and I've been putting my music out, but I would say that like, right, like right now with this new album that I have is really me putting myself out there on a whole other level kind of reminding me of when I was on my major label days. But for awhile I've just kind of, you know, been like quietly doing it. Cause I, yeah, I feel like because I'm sometimes a little bit on the shyer side, so I feel that it's, it's been like a, a journey for me to put myself out there more and more, but I want to share my music with more people and I want to, you know, I want to reach more people. 4 (25m 21s): And so I'm trying to put myself out there a bit more. 2 (25m 25s): Well, I mean, you do it again right after that first record, you have another song called here with me that also has over 50 million streams. Like what, like, are these things that like, is that another situation where it's kind of like a little slow burn and eventually just kept growing and growing and growing and growing and kind of took a life of its own as well. 4 (25m 42s): Yeah. I feel like ever since the Sony record, ever since I've been putting music out independently, it's just certain songs have, I think resonated with people that song in particular got licensed on a show called the blacklist. And, and I think from there it kind of, it just sort of went viral and then I got licensed on other shows and then it got picked up on playlists and things like that. But yeah, I mean, it's, it's been really, it's been really cool actually to see how these songs make their way out into the world. 2 (26m 15s): And you have your new record that's out there. I was reading that you've been what studying meditation and that kind of like, is that a piece of this record? Like, I guess tell me about this album. 4 (26m 26s): Yeah. So, okay. So this new album that I, that I put out it's called invisible love and it kind of Chronicles like a period of time where I sort of went on this like inner journey of like trying to figure out what else is out there besides like the modern world. So I went on this like inner journey of like, of like reflection and introspection. And I ended up traveling to different places and studying different things like meditation, studying different modes of healing, like sound therapy. Yeah. It was sort of, it's sort of this, this spiritual journey that I've, that I've been on. 4 (27m 8s): And, and it, and I think is, you know, it's like this, I guess we go through phases in our life. Right. So we have, and I feel like the phase that I've been in or been coming out of is this phase of really trying to understand the world in myself from like a much different perspective. And so learning, like, I, I think, I don't know if, what you're reading, if you're reading the bio or what you're reading, But I, you know, there was all these really cool experiences that I had, like, 2 (27m 38s): Yeah, I was, I was just touching up on the Bible. I want to, I don't want to tell your story. I wanted to hear what you had to say. So that's just, that's why I was asking a vague question about it. 4 (27m 47s): Yeah, no, I'll I, you know, I'll share like, so one of the experiences that I had was where I ended up, I ended up living with Buddhist monks for a bit in France. Have you heard of plum village? 2 (27m 60s): No, I have not. 4 (28m 1s): Do you know who tick? Not Han is he actually just passed, but 2 (28m 4s): The name sounds familiar, but I don't know, know anything about 4 (28m 8s): He's he's, he's, he's Vietnamese, he's, he's a Buddhist monkey started. He's kind of similar to the Dalai Lama. He has helped. There's a lot of people that, that have he's created like a, he created like the largest Buddhist monastery in Europe, in France and, and he's got other schools, but, but basically I lived there for a little bit and I live with the, with the monks and the nuns and just trying to understand like their lifestyle, which is, which is so different from what I know and what I've grown up in. I mean, I don't know if you, if you know anything about this culture, but the people that decide to become monks and nuns, they completely, they get 2 (28m 55s): Everything, right? 4 (28m 56s): Yeah. Even their like bank accounts, their, their IDs and they shaved their heads and they basically live wearing like the same simple robes they eat out of one bowl, a, you know, they they've spent their lives, you know, meditating every day. It's it's fascinating. And it was actually, it was, it was really, it was really life-changing to kind of experience these different ways of living in different realities and just to see also they're much more connected, you know, they're growing their own food and they were, you know, they were farming and growing their own food and kind of living more closely to the connected, more to nature. 4 (29m 44s): And so all of these kinds of different experiences, I'm just giving you one of many, but all of them really influenced my music. And also my, my perspective on everything. Yeah. 2 (29m 54s): Well, where did the journey begin? Like, what was it like, okay, I want to do this. I'm in Los Angeles now I need to go somewhere. And like, do you go to France first? And like, how do you even make that? Do you just walk up to the, to the Buddhist Evelyn say, Hey, I want to like, come just like live here with you. I mean, I, I don't even know how to begin that. 4 (30m 15s): Well, I, I did take some time where I was like living in Europe for a bit. So I did live like I was living in like France and I was living in Berlin on and off here and there, 2 (30m 24s): The first track of the journey was the first, first leg. 4 (30m 28s): So that was it. That's the first leg I kind of left. America, went to Europe and was living there on and off. And from there, I kind of like, like I went to Lord, I don't know if you've heard of Lord, it's a, it's in France. 2 (30m 43s): I'm so bad with geography and you're not going to lie to you. 4 (30m 47s): It's where there was like an apparition of Mary and, and it's a holy it's. Yeah. So a lot of like Catholic there. Yeah. I'm not religious per se, but I went to all these and I went to glass Curry. Yeah. You know, we're stone hinges, the crop circles, obviously the music festival. That's also like a really spiritual area as well. There's a lot of spiritual people living there. And so I kind of just traveled around and, and I think that's sort of where it all began, but it's kind of been like, I wouldn't say it's, it's just sort of like been underneath the surface of everything in the background, kind of influencing, you know, I would, I would, you know, take like a trip, like I said, like go and go and stay with the monks or, you know, do different things. 4 (31m 35s): And those things would kind of influence my, my every day or, and so I started learning how to meditate and start learning about mindfulness and, you know, learning about sound therapy and just all these different things. 2 (31m 50s): Tell me about the sound therapy. That's so interesting to me. 4 (31m 54s): Yeah. So, you know, you know, as, as you know, I'm sure you talked a lot of musicians, you know, obviously music is super healing and it's like this tool that we can use to help us tap into our own, you know, emotions and feelings. And so I've always known that sound and music is really powerful. And so I started to dig a little deeper and look at it more intentionally, like, how do you intentionally create more healing with sound? And so I started learning and taking different classes and courses and things that, that did the ed. I also experienced it as well. I would go to these like, you know, different sound bass, they call them or, you know, sound healings and, and just like lie there. 4 (32m 35s): And you can, you can literally like some people I can, you can literally like, feel the vibrations of the sounds like affecting your body. But as you do more research about it and look more into the science, it does actually help. Like it helps lower your, it helps basically like calm your nervous system and like lower your blood pressure. And like, there's all these different things that happen when you start to work with different, like intentional sounds and things like that. So I started actually incorporating that into my music as well. 2 (33m 5s): Wow. So is it like what, like certain frequencies will Resonate certain ways in your body or something? 4 (33m 11s): Exactly. There's something called entrainment. So if you hear a frequency, your body will actually like in train itself to it and depending on what that frequency is, there's it's yeah. It's, I'm probably not the best person to describe all the science cause I'm not 2 (33m 26s): Right now. I'm just curious. I mean, it's lemon terms as you can, and this is really fascinating. 4 (33m 31s): Yeah. As best as I can, but yeah. So like for, for example, on invisible love, I have like an intro and an outro and it's where I'm playing all these crystal bowls. And so you can hear it, you can hear the beginning of the album and the end of the album. I kind of like, I bookend it with the sounds of these bowls, these crystals that are meant to help with that healing aspect. Yeah. 2 (33m 56s): That's cool. That is so cool. It really is like, I've heard of like, yeah, you can, I've seen, even on YouTube, you haven't seen like, you've, you suppose you could wear headphones and like, these videos will help you. Like the, like, I don't know, it'll be like these weird high-pitched sounds and it's supposed to be like some word healing to your body. And like 4 (34m 16s): It's 2 (34m 17s): From your frequencies, there'll be like in this, your right ear, it's this frequency in your left ear, it's this frequency that's supposed to, you know, stimulate the vagus nerve or something like that. It's like, it's crazy. 4 (34m 29s): Yeah. And I think it's interesting. I feel like it's becoming more and more, you know, like back in the day when like yoga was kind of weird and then now yoga is like really normal. Like everyone does yoga, I think. 2 (34m 41s): Oh yeah. Like the soccer mom down the street is like class. Right. 4 (34m 45s): So I feel like that's kind of the same thing with like meditation and sound therapy and things like that. I feel like people are starting to, you know, gravitate towards it and also normalize it actually. I mean, even at my yoga studio that I go to, they they're doing like meditation and breath work and things like that. So, yeah. 2 (35m 6s): Well, that's cool. Where did you learn the sound therapy? What is it like a specific countries specific part of the world that they do this in more so than others? 4 (35m 15s): Well, they, I mean, I think they offer it everywhere. They offer it, you know, different courses online and things. I mean, I learned specifically there was one teacher that I had in LA. Actually she works specifically with gongs. I don't really work with gongs as much, but I did, I did take a course from her where it was all about the sound of gongs. And then I did a course where I learned about the crystal crystal in particular. And so just like different yeah. Different there's it's out there. If you look forward, it's out there. 2 (35m 45s): Yeah. I'm going to, after we get off this call, I'm going to just deep dive into this. Cause it's really interesting to use, obviously the crystal balls on the record. Anything else that kind of came from what you had learned? 4 (35m 57s): Well, I'm actually also like incorporating it into my live performances as well. So there's depending on the show and like I'm doing a show in Los Angeles that is kind of a, sort of a, more of an experience, a music experience. And it's going to incorporate some of the sound therapy that we're talking about. Well, yeah. People can see I'm actually, I actually did. I've been like quietly doing them. Like I did one in Paris. I did one in Ojai and, and they've, they've really, they're really amazing people come and it's, it's really, I feel like a lot of times when you go to a show, it's like, there's a lot of drinking and there's people are really standing for long. It's like a comfortable, you know, and then you're standing there and you're, everyone's like, so I wanted to create an experience where it was like, I mean, not all my shows are going to be like this, but you know, but I wanted to create an experience where you could come and you could just literally just like, relax, lie down. 2 (36m 52s): Yeah. That's a cool concept for sure. 4 (36m 55s): Yeah. You could watch the show, but it's like in this really like comfortable, you know, you have your own space, you know, so, you know, everyone has their own yoga mat and you can just like lie there, bring your blankets, you know, bring your pillows and just get kind of get cozy and just kind of experience music and a little bit of a different way. So, cause I just feel like for myself, even like there's certain artists that I love that I'd want to go see that I love to go see, but sometimes the actual like, event of going there and then standing next to like 5,000 people, you're just like really uncomfortable. And so 2 (37m 30s): Yeah. Yeah. 4 (37m 32s): So for me, I, you know, and I, I'm not sure how many of these I can do cause obviously it requires us to like have to bring in the whole setup. It's a whole thing, but yeah. I, you know, I, my goal is to try and incorporate more and more of these kinds of shows into my live performance. Just because I think that there, you know, it's, it's a nice alternative to what's out there. 2 (37m 55s): No, definitely. I think this is such a cool idea. I think it's no, I'm surprised. Like I've never heard of this before. Like this is so like really, really fascinating. Like 4 (38m 4s): I'm going to my show. I think we're doing one in may. So come to my show in 2 (38m 8s): Maine you in LA, but I'm in Nashville. Then I moved. Oh 4 (38m 11s): You did. Okay. You're not in San Diego anymore. 2 (38m 14s): If I was I'd come cause this is, this sounds really awesome 4 (38m 18s): Cathedral. 2 (38m 19s): Really? Yeah. 4 (38m 20s): That's beautiful cathedral near downtown LA. So it's an, it's a one night it's a one night performance, like a special event. It's good. There's going to be like a meet and greet and reception and everything, but it's going to be, yeah. I mean, I hope to do more of these in the future. We'll see. What happens? 2 (38m 37s): Are you the only performer? Do you just do like a lung set or how does it work? 4 (38m 41s): So for this show coming up, we're going to, I'm going to have like a string, a trio, like a violinist, a cellist in a Viola player and it's going to be me playing guitar. And one of the string players will probably pay, play piano as well, do some background singing. So it's going to beat me plus a few other musicians. Yeah. 2 (39m 4s): And 4 (39m 4s): Then there'll be a whole aspect of it. That's an actual sound sound, Beth. There'll be a section of it where you can just like close your eyes and just listen to, 2 (39m 14s): It reminds me like it kind of, for me, it goes back to what you were talking about in the beginning with the boarding school and just being dark and candle lit. You know what I mean? Like people are just sitting in there kind of like absorbing what's happening instead of like, oh, I've got to worry about this dude next to me. And I got my, somebody spilled a drink on me and like there's 10 million people around me. Like, it seems like it's just a more of like go in, like you said, relax. And it sounds like that's kind of how that prayer 4 (39m 43s): Evening prayer 2 (39m 43s): Evening prayer sounded a little bit similar to that. 4 (39m 46s): Yeah. I feel like I wanted to create an experience that I actually would like to go to. So that's, that's my goal, you know, with these kinds of shows is to create this sort of like hybrid wellness. It's like, it's a music concert, but there's kind of like a wellness aspect to it. So yeah, I'm super excited about, you know, offering this to whoever feels inspired to come, but 2 (40m 11s): Very cool. That's I think it's an amazing idea. And I appreciate you taking the time today to chat with me. Thank you so much. 4 (40m 19s): Oh my pleasure. It was so lovely to meet you and thank you for having me on your show. 2 (40m 23s): I have one more question for you, Susie. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 4 (40m 29s): Oh yes, definitely. I mean, cause I've been independent for a while now. So I have, I have lots of advice. I think it, and I think that it doesn't even really matter whether independent or on a major. I think that the more that you can understand and learn about entrepreneurship, I think is the way to go. I feel that what I love to do is write the music, but actually when you're doing it professionally, that's really sort of a small part of the bigger picture. And most of it really is learning how to be an entrepreneur and learning how to grow a business and just have those kinds of DIY skills to be able to like, you know, obviously when you're independent, your budgets are smaller. 4 (41m 12s): You know, there's lots of different parameters that you're working with. But I think at the end of the day, if you can understand more about like how to grow a business and how to, you know, learn those business skills. I think that that would be really, really helpful.
You may not be able to see music, but you definitely hear it and, hopefully, feel it. Susie Suh traffics in these lanes of unseen emotion, grasping for raw feeling in between the echoes of warm keys, plaintive acoustic guitar, and even crystal bowls. As if materializing out of thin air, the Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter connects through a sonic haze. Creating an organic rippling effect, Susie has quietly forged a bond with audiences through a series of fan favorite releases. Following her self-titled debut on Sony Epic, she independently released 2011’s The Bakman Tapes which saw her signature style crystallize. The single “I Do” eclipsed 51.4 million Spotify streams as “Feather In The Wind” generated 4.1 million Spotify streams. Her 2014 single, “Here With Me” amassed 48.5 million Spotify streams. Singles and EP’s followed, including her 2015 Everywhere EP and 2019 Evening Prayer EP. Her music was also featured in numerous television shows and movies like The Blacklist, Parenthood, Awkward, and many more. Along the way, she assembled what would become her 2021 full-length album, Invisible Love.