Although Suh has lived in the United States her entire life, both of her parents are immigrants who moved to Southern California from Korea in the '60s. Suh's involvement with music began when she was only eight and joined a Korean children's choir, whose repertoire ranged from traditional Korean songs to American pop. At 13, Suh left Los Angeles for New Hampshire, where she attended a boarding school and did her share of songwriting during her adolescent years; Suh was around 17 when she recorded a six-song EP, pressed 1,000 copies onto CDs, and managed to sell about 700 of them to her schoolmates.
After reaching adulthood, Suh attended Brown University in Rhode Island (where she obtained a degree in English), but spent as much time as she could visiting New York City and performing in Lower Manhattan clubs. A career in music is not something that Suh's ambitious parents encouraged -- in fact, they tried to talk her out of it and encouraged her to go into a more stable, less volatile line of work. Music, they asserted, should be nothing more than a hobby for Suh. But her parents' lack of support didn't discourage the L.A. native; if anything, it inspired her to persevere and work even harder at having a career in music. "Your Battlefield," one of Suh's songs, was inspired by her career-related disagreements with her parents.
In 2003, Suh signed with Epic
; she ended up working with Glen Ballard
, a well-known producer/songwriter/arranger whose long list of credits ranges from No Doubt
to Paula Abdul
to Alanis Morissette
-- it was Ballard
who produced Morissette
's 1995 blockbuster, Jagged Little Pill. At first, Ballard
only agreed to produce a few songs for Suh, but he was so impressed with her work that he ended up producing her entire debut album (a self-titled work that Epic
released in April 2005). ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi