Wielding her songs as a vehicle for spirituality and healing, Susie Suh is an independent singer-songwriter who views music as a source of self-knowledge.
After traveling the world to learn from professionals about spiritual practices that inspire healing, Suh’s exploration of herself as a songwriter and human being was transformative and impactful to say the least.
Her latest album, Invisible Love, was released in 2021, and demonstrates this perspective through natural sounds like stripped down acoustic guitar, piano, and crystal bowls paired with lyrics that speak to the restoration of the body, mind, and soul.
Suh’s authenticity and vulnerability in her music stems from her independence in the music industry. She achieved sole control over her creative process and creations through the development of her record label, Collective Records, and used this authority over her writing and music to produce meaningful and emotional songs.
She was featured on Today in Nashville earlier this summer, performing her newest single, “Blood Moon,” out west in what looks like Joshua Tree. This song – like Invisible Love and her previous album, The Bakman Tapes – contains the imagery of nature as a metaphor for love and transformation.
We got to ask Suh a few questions about what she’s learned from her unique spiritual quests, new music, and much more.
What can you tell us about your background and who or what got you into making music?
I’m a Korean-American singer-songwriter born in Los Angeles. I started writing songs when I was 13 years old and have been making music ever since. I was inspired to get into music as I always loved to sing and writing songs helped me process my emotions.
I see where you lived with Buddhist monks in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village, and studied meditation and herbalism whilst traveling to sacred sites around the globe. Can you discuss these experiences and how they might’ve shaped your music and perspective?
I’ve been on a pilgrimage of sorts, and all of these experiences have helped me rediscover the deepest parts of myself. I found the more I went inward, the more calm and connected I became. I’m a big advocate of meditation, and I also feel that being in nature is one of the most balancing and grounding things we can do.
I was hoping you could talk about your latest album, Invisible Love. What’s the inspiration and influence behind it?
This collection of songs was inspired by what I’ve experienced in my own personal journey. I’m really influenced by nature and different forms of healing, like sound healing. You can hear the sound of crystal bowls in the beginning and ending of the album.
I see you’ve recently released an official music video for your song, “Blood Moon.” What can you tell us about it?
‘Blood Moon’ is a symbol for the solar eclipse, a time spiritually of heightened feelings and emotions. Written on piano when I lived in Ojai, the song alludes to a time of great change. It was written to help process the major transitions one experiences in life. The music video was shot in Hawaii, where I pay my respects to the land and the people who live there. It is part of a visual story I created to help us connect more with nature.
Do you find determining the order of songs on an album like this to be a challenge, and how important is that to you?
I grew up listening to albums front to back. And so when determining the order of songs, I hope that each song fluidly moves to the next if you listen to the album as a whole.
Is there a song on the album that was the most difficult to write/record for one reason or another?
Some songs come quicker than others, but they are all like puzzles to me, and I find creating them to be challenging but rewarding at the same time.
What has been your favorite/the most rewarding part of making this album?
My favorite part of making the album is always the part when I’m recording in the studio. You come in with an idea and finish with something tangible that didn’t exist before you created it. I find that process really magical, and have always loved being in the vocal booth with headphone on recording a new song.
What messages or feelings do you typically try to convey in your music?
I try to convey my innermost emotions and truths. I hope people find comfort and are uplifted when hearing my music.
If you could tour and/or collaborate with any present-day artist, who would it be and why?
If I could tour/collaborate with any present day artist it would be Sia. I am a huge fan of hers ever since her Zero 7 days. Her song ‘Breathe Me’ is incredible. I love her artistry and her heart.
What might you have planned for summer, and frankly, the rest of the year?
I plan on releasing more visual content from Invisible Love, and doing more live performances.