Samuel Seo

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Samuel Seo
Samuel Seo - K-pop World Festival 2016.jpg
Seo at the K-Pop World Festival 2016
Born (1991-05-03) May 3, 1991 (age 28)
Seoul, South Korea
Years active2010–present
Musical career
Also known asSamuel
  • Bigdeal Records
  • Broadway
  • Craft and Jun
  • Stoneship
Associated acts
  • Bigdeal Squads
  • New Block Babyz
  • Guereallaz
Korean name
Revised RomanizationSeo Dong-hyeon
McCune–ReischauerSŏ Tong-hyŏn
Stage name
Revised RomanizationSeo Samuel
McCune–ReischauerSŏ Samuel

Seo Dong-hyeon (Korean서동현; born May 3, 1991), better known by his stage name Samuel Seo (서사무엘; Seo Samuel), is a South Korean singer-songwriter, rapper, and record producer. Born in Seoul, he spent his youth living in his home country, as well as Japan, the United States, and Canada. An aspiring pianist, Seo's exposure to hip hop music in his teens led him to pursue the genre. He released a series of singles before enlisting and serving two years in military service.

Seo released his first studio album Frameworks (2015), which earned him the award for Best R&B & Soul Album at the Korean Music Awards in 2016. He released his second album Ego Expand (100%) in May of that year, which earned him nominations for Best R&B & Soul Album, as well as Best R&B & Soul Song for its lead single "B L U E".

Life and career[edit]

1991–2012: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Samuel Seo was born Seo Dong-hyeon on May 3, 1991, in Seoul, South Korea.[1] He began to learn to play the piano between the ages of four and five.[2] His father, who worked for the Japanese company Hitachi at the time, was transferred to Tokyo; this resulted in Seo and his family moving to Japan at the age of five. He was enrolled in kindergarten there, where he spent the following two to three years in the country and learned to speak Japanese. Throughout his remaining youth and adolescence, he lived in the United States and Canada. He learned English in the former between visiting family and studying at a community center.[3] He attended and graduated middle school in Canada, where he sought to become a lawyer.[4]

Upon returning to South Korea to attend high school, Seo began to focus on becoming a pianist.[2] While exploring his university options, he entered a club and heard "Outta Control" by American rapper 50 Cent, his first experience with hip hop music.[3] Impressed by the genre, the exposure led him to pursue it.[3][5] He came across Bigdeal's "Deal with Us", his first time listsening to Korean hip hop. During this time period, the Bigdeal Squads collective was holding auditions; after successfully auditioning, Seo was signed to the record label in 2008 and became part of the collective.[6][6][7] Unsatisfied with his given birth name, Seo chose his stage name after the biblical Samuel: "His words became truths and people took them as sacred. I liked that position. I mean, not sacred, but I hope people hear my words seriously."[7] In spite of his name, he identifies as irreligious.[2] Encompassing ambient, electronic, and new-age music, Seo released his first single "Raindrop" in 2010.[5] The following year, he released his first mixtape Now or Never before being subject to conscription in South Korea and enlisting in military service.[1]

2013–2016: Frameworks and Ego Expand (100%)[edit]

Seo completed his military service and was discharged in 2013.[1] A member of the New Block Babyz and Guereallaz collectives, he released his debut extended play Welcome to My Zone in October of that year.[6][7][8] The singles "Vibe" and "Ocean of You" followed in the subsequent months.[9] After a year and a half hiatus, Seo released "New Dress Girl" on September 14, 2015, in precedence of his first full-length album.[10] Contributing to the songwriting, composing, and arrangement on the record, as well as playing all instruments with the exception of bass, Frameworks was released on October 2.[11] The album earned Seo the award for Best R&B & Soul Album at the 13th annual Korean Music Awards.[12]

Seo released the digital single "Kafka" on February 17, 2016. Influenced by Franz Kafka's novel The Metamorphosis, the song is a collaboration with rapper Verbal Jint.[13] He released his second studio album Ego Expand (100%), along with its lead single "B L U E" on May 27.[14] After holding a showcase for the album, he embarked on his first series of concert tours in Asia.[15] On October 28, he released the post-album single "Float" featuring C Jamm.[16] Seo was nominated for Best R&B & Soul Album and Song, respectively, for the 14th Korean Music Awards for Ego Expand (100%) and "B L U E".[17]

2017–present: Collaborative works[edit]

Seo released a collaboration single with former 4Minute member Jeon Ji-yoon in March 2017.[18] On June 8, he released the collaborative project extended play Elbow with Qim Isle.[19]


Due to his extensive involvement in his music, Seo has been referred to as a "genius artist".[1][20][21] In addition to singing and rapping, he contributes to the songwriting, composition, arrangement, and production of his material.[5][22] He also incorporates various genres into his work, including R&B, soul, hip hop, funk, electronica, and synthpop.[23][24] He has been complimented on his "unique style".[25][26]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
Gaon Album Chart
Frameworks 94
Ego Expand (100%)
  • Released: May 27, 2016[28]
  • Label: Craft and Jun, Stoneship
  • Format: CD, digital download

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
Gaon Album Chart
Welcome to My Zone
(with Qim Isle)
  • Released: June 8, 2017[28]
  • Label: Craft and Jun
  • Format: CD, digital download


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Sales Release
Gaon Digital Chart
"Raindrops" 2010 "Raindrop"
(with Gray)
2011 Non-album single
"When You Need Me"
(with Daniel Star)
"Just Say Yes"
"The Pink Room (Bubble Gum)"
(featuring 2Tak)
2013 Welcome to My Zone
"C.U.I.O (Count Until It's Over)"
(with High Flies, Dok2, Skyzoo, and Ugly Duck)
Non-album single
"Ocean of You" 2014
"New Dress Girl" 2015 Frameworks
"Make Up Love"
"G O Y O"
(featuring Verbal Jint)
2016 Non-album single
"B L U E" Ego Expand (100%)
(featuring Jung-in)
"S W I R L (Onstage Ver.)" Non-album single
(featuring C Jamm)
"Entourage" Entourage Mixtape
"Cavalia" (카발리아; Kaballia)
(with Bong Tae-gyu and Raw by Peppers)
Sing Street
"Window" (창문; Changmun) Non-album single
(with Jeon Ji-yoon)
2017 Non-album single
"Incheon Port of Farewell" (이별의 인천항; Ibyeoleui Incheonhang) Incheon – Sound of Incheon (Part 1)
"Off You" Non-album single
"greengreengreen" 2018 Sum (Sum∞) Eighth Greenplugged Official Omnibus Album Part.1
"D O W E" 2019 Non-album single

As featured artist[edit]

Title[30] Year Peak chart positions Sales Release
Gaon Digital Chart
"Slide to Unlock" (밀어서 잠금해제; Mireoseo Jamgeumhaeje)
(Kruxx Beatz featuring Samuel Seo and Shin Ho-rim)
2013 Non-album single
"Young & Great" (청춘; Cheongchun)
(Qwala featuring Zizo and Samuel Seo)
Young & Great
"The Monster"
(2Tak in Quantize featuring Outsider and Samuel Seo)
Before Christ
"I Didn't Know Breaking Up Could Be This Easy" (쉽게 헤어질줄 몰랐어; Swipge Heeojiljeul Mollasseo)
(Sang Ji featuring Samuel Seo)
2014 "Jkey Project Vol.01"
"A Dream"
(Damian Kang featuring Samuel Seo)
Non-album single
"Think Twice"
(Cielo featuring Samuel Seo)
"Dancehall Where the Demons Dance" (악마들이 춤 추는 댄스홀; Angmadeuri Chum Chuneun Daenseuhol)
(Nucksal featuring Samuel Seo)
"Everything and More Remix"
(RiLord featuring Samuel Seo)
"E.B.I.T (Every Breath I Take)"
(MGFC featuring Samuel Seo)
"Dot Uh"
(Rawyall featuring Samuel Seo)
"Tell Ya"
(Young Jay featuring Samuel Seo)
"The Crow"
(Jinsol featuring Penomeco, Dowby, and Samuel Seo)
"L O V E A S O N G"
(Mushland featuring Samuel Seo)
Cohail Dream
(Qwala featuring Loco and Samuel Seo)
Monsta Truck 2014
"Red-Colored Night" (붉은 빛깔의 밤; Bulgeun Bitkkareun Bam)
(Still PM featuring Samuel Seo)
Non-album single
"Le Mans" (르망; Leumang)
(Jayho featuring Samuel Seo)
2016 Le Mans
"Fatalism" (운명론; Unmyeongnon)
(Jang Hye-jin featuring Samuel Seo)
"Home" (; Jip)
(H2ADIN featuring Samuel Seo and Nucksal)
2017 High School Rapper Final
"Why, You?" (넌 왜?; Neon Wae?)
(Park Bo-ram featuring Samuel Seo)
Orange Moon
(OLNL featuring Samuel Seo)
2018 All Available

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other performer(s) Release Ref.
"B.B.B (Remix)" 2013 Jayho, Nucksal "American Girl" [30]
"Triple Double" Young Jay, Jayho, Nucksal, Qwala, New Champ No Stress, No Drama [30]
"Who Are You" (누구냐 너; Nugunya Neo) Issac Squab Hotspicyradio : Spicyflava (2/2) [30]
"Just Celebrate" Prizmoliq Spirit of the Times [30]
"Doping Test" 2Tak in Quantize, New Champ, KittiB, Koonta, Innovator, Jung Moon Before Christ [30]
"Finale2013" Scotch VIP, Roydo, KittiB "Day n' Night" [30]
"Lightly" (가볍게; Gabyeopge) 2014 New Champ Sound Providers of Korea [32]
"187" Vasco Code Name :187 [30]
"Oppa" (오빠) All That Trilogy [30]
"Shoulder Gang" (어깨깡패; Ekkaekkangpae) Don Mills Young Don [30]
"Shall We Dance" Riby-J Collabo #1 - Livin' in da Keywest [30]
"F.O.M" Mushland, Cielo Cohail Dream [30]
"Cohail Dream" [30]
"Her in the Mirror" (거울안의 그녀; Geouraneui Genyeo) 2015 JJK Noble Collision [30]
"Sky Walker" Brasco Divin' to Earth [30]
"Good Days" 2016 TK, Young Jay Tourist [30]
"LO:OP" Giriboy Mechanical Album [30]
"Natural" (내가 무슨 말을 어찌; Naega Museun Mareul Eojji; lit. "What Do I Say") 2017 Hanhae, Kang Seung-hyeon Tribe of Hip Hop2 Final I [30]
"Music Is Difficult" (음악은 어려워; Eumageun Eoyreowo) Han Yo-han The Blade Dance [30]
"On" Primary, George Shininryu [30]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Korean Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2016 Frameworks Best R&B & Soul Album Won [12]
2017 Ego Expand (100%) Nominated [17]
"B L U E" Best R&B & Soul Song Nominated
2018 "Off You" Nominated [33]


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  2. ^ a b c Noh, Ji-young; Kim, Ruby (January 26, 2016). 파란 머리, 사무엘. Dazed Korea (in Korean). Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c 連載 SAMUEL SEO/SAMUEL ON DEMAND 『S.O.D』. Hiphop Konvey (in Japanese). Retrieved May 10, 2017.
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  11. ^ Kim, Ye-na (September 14, 2015). 서사무엘, 신곡 '뉴드레스걸' 발표…10월 첫 정규 선공개곡. bntnews (in Korean). Retrieved May 10, 2017.
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  18. ^ Hwang, Hye-jin (February 10, 2017). 포미닛 출신 전지윤, 3월 신곡 발표 '서사무엘과 콜라보'(공식). Newsen (in Korean). Retrieved May 10, 2017.
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  31. ^ 2017년 13주차 Download Chart (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  32. ^ 서사무엘(Samuel Seo) 곡. Mnet (in Korean). CJ E&M. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  33. ^ 장르분야 (in Korean). Korean Music Awards. February 6, 2018. Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.

External links[edit]