Get Ready to Bask in Jiwon's "Sunshine": A Song About Longing and Belonging

Jiwon's "sunshine" is a poignant exploration of vulnerability, desire, and the complex power dynamics within an intimate relationship.‍

Written by

Leslie Jensen

Photographed by

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Styled by

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Growing up in the heart of New York City, Jiwon Lee Simpkins was exposed to a diverse musical landscape from an early age. His father introduced him to influential bands, while his mother's disciplined approach led him to master various instruments. Despite initial reluctance, music became an integral part of Jiwon's life, serving as a refuge for self-expression.

Jiwon's musical journey was a personal exploration, driven by an innate passion for creation. He describes music as a natural talent, allowing him to immerse himself without overthinking. Through experimentation with instruments and genres, Jiwon developed a unique sound that defies easy categorization, blending diverse influences into a cohesive sonic tapestry.

During his time at Harvard, Jiwon's commitment to music deepened, leading to industry validation even amidst the pandemic. While open to collaboration, he remains steadfast in his solo pursuits, seeing music as a deeply personal endeavor. Jiwon's debut album, "album 1," garnered critical acclaim, and his dedication to pushing creative boundaries continues to establish him as a compelling voice for his generation, a work that he continues with his newest single release, “sunshine”

"Sunshine" is a poignant exploration of vulnerability, desire, and the complex power dynamics within an intimate relationship. Through vivid imagery and a hypnotic, repetitive structure, the song delves into Jiwon's emotional turmoil and longing to escape and connect simultaneously.

“I wrote this track my junior year of college. I was pretty miserable, lol, so I wanted to make something that I could bump on the way to class and not feel super depressed. I love how I made it one night (pre-mixing) so it felt very spontaneous and fun. It’s a reminder to not take things too seriously, so I hope people can enjoy it for that :)” 

The lyrics of "sunshine" paint a vivid picture of Jiwon's restlessness, expressed through evocative metaphors like the sunshine on the window sill. His desire to simply "exist" rather than engage in conversation underscores a pervasive sense of unease. This feeling is juxtaposed with a deep yearning to be "taken away" and to finally "know" the other person - a tension that speaks to Jiwon's grappling with a history of not belonging.

Interestingly, this emotional turmoil is set against a musically chill, upbeat backdrop that invites the listener to bop along, almost as if to underscore the dichotomy between Jiwon's internal and external experiences. The laid-back, summer-tinged production, blending acoustic alt/indie structures with a forward, urban-inflected vocal delivery, evokes a modern take on classic sublime-esque vibes.

This seamless fusion of elements that are -on the surface- at odds with each other is what makes "sunshine" so compelling. Jiwon's willingness to vulnerably explore the complexities of desire, vulnerability, and a search for belonging resonates powerfully, elevated by a musical approach that deftly balances restlessness and relaxation. The result is a track that demands repeated listens, encouraging the audience to truly immerse themselves in Jiwon's emotional journey.


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Jiwon, sunshine jiwon, single, alternative, indie, pop, acoustic