Aanchal Tekriwal, Godda , Jharkhand
Stray Kids member Han Ji-sung, better known as HAN, released a solo track 외계인 (Alien) on 29th January, 2021, on YouTube. This track was written and composed by Han and his fellow Stray Kids member, Bang Chan. It is a comforting song with fairly simple enthralled instrumental music complemented with some drums, some guitar and a little bit of piano in such a way that the lyrics and vocal melodies could resonate deeply and directly with the listener’s heart. The essence of this song is melancholically beautiful and the loneliness most people experience can be felt. I personally see myself in this song. He liked the word “Alien”, and it was stuck in his head so he thought maybe he should write a song about it. He started writing lyrics to this song around the beginning of 2019.
At first he was confused about how to start with the lyrics. Should it be a love song like ‘Close’ or should it have a chill vibe like ‘Sunshine.’ Han tends to talk about himself in terms of his experiences, his thoughts, his struggles and his daily life. So, he thought of making a song that will be about his story, a more deeper look into himself. This song is about his trainee days and how he felt at the beginning, the very first time when he felt that he belonged somewhere, but at the same time, feeling lonely and isolated from others. This is a song for the 16-17 year old HAN who didn’t go to crowded places, who always stayed at home, who during his trainee days felt like an outcast trying to blend in with society, trying to find his worth and place here on Earth. Like an alien trying to blend in with Earthlings.
‘Alien’ is a song musing about loneliness, the concept we so rarely describe in detail. The very first time when I listened to this song, I felt very much connected to it. Han is talking about the loneliness that creeps up on you, nipping at your heels like a shadow on the pavement as you move through the day, reminding you, whispering in your ear that here you felt less alone and those places are now full of emptiness. He talked about the exhaustive feeling of an “otherness”, an alien thing that lives in your heart, that makes you question if there is anyone out there who would have you if they knew about what was on the inside.
The intro line to song is taken from the animated movie named ‘ZOOTOPIA.’ In the chorus, the line where he says “I’m an alien on this Earth”, resonates within the listener. In this song, during the pre-chorus part, he pins one’s hopes on the thought that we can still make it among the stars through the darkest of nights. When he felt the weight of the world drowning him down into the darkness, with a vow, he promised himself that he won’t fall over. Fighting with all that crawling loneliness, he gives us a warm hug by saying “There are countless dreams in the sky, because you have welcomed me, don’t care about depression too.” Through these lines he is awakening us by saying even though loneliness is perpetual with a cycle of vicious darkness, there are countless dreams in your sky so, don’t stop dreaming, don’t stop breathing, even if it’s bitter and painful.
Han shows his lyrical intellect by expressing emotions that he felt during his trainee days. Through this song, he is trying to bring us the comfort that loneliness persists in life, it will always make you feel like an alien, and somewhere in all that chaos, you will find yourself, find your place on this Earth. He gives the listener hope of living and being proud of who we are, as the lyrics go, “And even though I’m not so perfect, I’m proud of myself.”
At some point people will feel desperate and alone about anything or everything but, as time passes by, we will find special things, surrounded by joy or blessings that are reasons to keep moving on. So, in the present or future, if you feel lonely or just struggling to fit in, this song will help you out. As this song gave comfort to HAN himself and many more people including me, I hope this song will do the same for you. You can listen to the song here: