Soundcloud Gems: Thama
International fans experience K-Pop differently than Korean fans. With the oversaturation of artists in the industry, it can be difficult to find up-and-coming, underground artists who have yet to break into the mainstream. Western music streaming services like iTunes and Spotify are doing a better job at incorporating extensive K-Pop catalogs, but for these lesser known artists, a site like Soundcloud helps connect them with their potential audience. There are so many talented artists swimming around this platform, so we’re highlighting artists that deserve your attention.
Thama remains mostly an enigma to much of the music scene. Devine Channel’s R&B/Soul singer-songwriter, whose real name is Cho Jungmin, is blessed with a thick distinct voice that can convey emotional sentiment with ease. Rather than venturing into mainstream pop/R&B, he leans comfortably into the deep R&B, despite the fact that it isn’t as popular to mainstream Korean audiences. His Soundcloud discography dabbles in different genres, however, so it’s easy for everyone to find a track appealing to their tastes. Thama has also shared a few covers of other R&B artists including H.E.R, Jooyoung, and Musiq Soulchild. We hope he sticks to his body roll-inducing beats that suit his chocolatey vocals.
If you like: Jooyoung, Primary, Giriboy, Frank Ocean, H.E.R, Bryson Tiller, Jeremih
His latest solo single “Nuuh,” is a passionate love song perfect for the bedroom. The flexibility of his vocal color matches the variegated backgrounds and graphics. It’s unclear if he’s a native English speaker, but his pronunciation will definitely make its way to your heart, whether it be English or Korean.
“Like That” feat. Giriboy
“꿈에" is a piano-driven track that brings his roomy vocals to the forefront. The ballad strongly utilizes silence to emphasize the space in the song. While it’s short and sweet, it shows the singer doesn’t need to pull off elaborate vocal tricks to captivate listeners.
“Yours” (Prod. by Sister Chill)
Sung completely in English, “Yours” could easily become mainstream popular with Western audiences. It is definitely in line with trendy R&B artists’ releases in the States. The minimalist track has the beat and vocals down to be a huge hit.
“Dreaming” is definitely Thama’s most “pop” R&B track in his catalog, in the way Frank Ocean meshes pop elements into his predominantly R&B sound. This summer sound is as dreamy as the title, radiating sunshine and beachy vibes. It’s a personal, heartfelt serenade from the singer himself.
Find more of Thama here: