In a world swamped with a bunch of noises, South Korean-Australian artist Peter Lee, also known as Munan, offers a retreat of sound with his debut EP, “Tranquillity.” “While making this EP, I wanted to capture the feeling of starting off calm and peaceful, slowly getting agitated, and then ending it on a high,” he shares.
This EP isn’t just a collection of songs; it’s an offering from the heart. It is comprised of five soul-stirring compositions like the focus track “Love Comes in Two,” a wonderful fluffy song that feels like a light summer rain. Peter’s journey isn’t a solo endeavor despite the solace he finds in his home studio. He says, “I used to hate my own voice, but then one of my teammates gave me the confidence to sing and write my own lyrics.” And this newfound confidence became the impact for the creation of “Tranquillity,” an album that blends indie-pop and rock, with flourishes of alternative and psychedelic sounds.
In our 7 Questions series, he talks about the challenges and joys of solitary songwriting, the influence of friendships on his musical journey, and the intimate connection he aims to establish with his audience through his compositions.
The name of the EP, ‘Tranquillity,’ seems absolutely perfect. I’m currently seeking quieter moments in life, and this release wonderfully serves that purpose. Could you tell us how the idea for the title came about and how it reflects the essence of the project?
The idea for the title came about when I was trying to find a definition for “Munan” in English. The word Munan in Korean means easy, without difficulty, and easygoing, and it’s used for describing various aspects of daily life. While making this EP, I wanted to capture the feeling of starting off calm and peaceful, slowly getting agitated, and then ending it on a high. And I think the five songs kind of did that.
“I started enjoying working by myself and would get lost in my own living room, creating ideas.”
You mentioned that the EP encapsulates a year of musical exploration and introspection. Can you share an important moment during this year that significantly influenced the record?
My friend and director Snow Jung at Rawfigures has been with me since the debut of my single last year. He and I somewhat clicked on what we wanted to capture with the songs this year. I couldn’t have done it without them. My friend Seunghyeon, who recorded the drums for “Once Upon a Time,” “Love Comes in Two,” and “Unforgettable Feeling,” went out of his way for “Unforgettable Feeling” with awesome drums.
You’ve described the EP as an ‘offering from the heart.’ Which song touches your heart the most? Is it “Love Comes in Two”?
I think all of them touch my heart. Each song’s lyrics are drastically different and tell a very different story. My favorites are “Once Upon a Time” and “Mr. Taxi Driver” because they reflect my own quirkiness.
You mentioned that a friend gave you the confidence to sing and write your own lyrics. This is such a wonderful story. Can you tell us more about this friendship and how it has been a catalyst for your solo career?
I used to be in a group called Chimmi in South Korea. I started the project with my friend Hyojeong. At first, I was only going to produce, with Hyojeong being the vocalist. She later encouraged me to write and sing on some of the tracks. I didn’t really want to, but she gave me the confidence to explore writing and singing. I used to hate my own voice, and many people told me I should never sing, but Hyojeong helped me find what I wanted to do with my music. Unfortunately, we’re no longer working together, but she did help with background vocals on this EP!
You also spoke about finding solace in recording by yourself. How do you manage to separate your personal life from your work life when your studio is at home?
It was hard at first. I used to be in a company where we all had a room. Naturally, you become really close and we used to have so much fun creating songs together. I didn’t like the commute though, and sometimes when there are too many distractions, you don’t get any work done. So, I moved my studio into my living room, and I loved it. I didn’t have to go out; you wake up and boom, you can start recording. It’s so comfortable. I started enjoying working by myself and would get lost in my own living room, creating ideas.
“I don’t take myself too seriously…”
How do you prepare mentally and emotionally for live performances, especially when the music is so deeply personal?
It’s been so long since I performed; I think I forgot how I used to prepare, haha. But I usually make sure I don’t forget the lyrics, practice my guitar parts, and make sure it’s fun for the audience. I hope to get back into performing regularly so I can get back in the groove. I’d love to go on a tour and see how different countries react to my music.
I’m really drawn to your Instagram account; it feels so authentic and unfiltered, which is increasingly rare these days. It makes me want to go out for coffee with you. Would you say that your social media presence is a true reflection of who you are?
I’m terrible at social media, haha. I think I want to show myself as an average guy and am nothing too fancy. My friends say I need to use it more to promote myself and get more followers. But I mainly post when there’s a new song or show coming up. I don’t take myself too seriously and I’d rather share funny photos and memes because I think they get better reactions than my music!
Tranquillity is out now: msdistro.lnk.to/Tranquillity
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