Originally reviewed at From the Intercom.
Hae.zy (Hae Hyun Choi) is a Korean American artist based in Southern California who tells love stories with a smooth and sensual vibe. Her sound merges futuristic melodies with old-school poetic writing to deliver music that “creates healing through words and sounds” and “brings people together into a whole new world of ascension and relation.”
Love letter is an arrival: a self-assured debut EP that took years to create. Much of Hae.zy’s work is grounded in her belief in God and love with a capital L. Through her EP, she seeks to share the message that Love is the “most powerful energy to exist” and reminds others that this energy exists in them too. She wants Love letter to be “about the truth and what people need rather than what they want.” Her art comes from a place of faith and the many “deaths and rebirths” that drive the creative process to the finish line.
Produced by co-collaborator Sunwo0o (Sunwoo Han), Love letter is exploratory in nature and influenced by artists like Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu and Ari Lennox. It draws from a variety of genres: reggae, R&B, neo-soul and more. Yet she transcends genre and makes it her own, adding and mixing elements to craft music in her own unique style.
Opener “Just Sayin’” is laid-back and chill, opening with vibraphone tones to give it a tropical feel. Hae.zy airs her thoughts freely, speaking her truth from her heart. “mong (dreams)” was inspired by a personal story Hae.zy’s mother told her last year about a dream she had when she was pregnant with Hae.zy. Drawing upon her own Korean American background, the track sheds light on some Korean superstitions in an R&B breeze.
“hazy lines (interlude)” carries that dreamy and subdued feeling, finding inspiration in quiet late night reflections. Here, she dives into the labels and words that are used to describe “a true artist” and how those words create tension rather than freedom.
“Love will always be found” dips momentarily into reggae, wholly embodying the message that Hae.zy seeks to communicate through the album. She croons about “what has always been around” and how God has been “working even before our cries” as newborns. Finally, closer “the lesson” is a soulful, R&B-infused track where Hae.zy lays down bars and speaks candidly about the truths of the world.
Love letter aims for the universal and aptly represents the love that connects us all as human beings. Thoughtful, talented and coolly confident, Hae.zy shows us just who she is through these breezy, soulful tunes.