Artist of the week – Seo Young Eun

Our featured artist this week is one of my favorite female singers in Korea – Seo Young Eun. She is a very underrated artist – her album has always been selling quite well, and her songs have often hit the top 20, yet she is still not very well known among the general public. It may be because she did not have many TV exposures to promote her songs. Every album she released she only came out once or twice on gayo shows to sing her title song. She has a high-pitched voice which is easily recognizable and good for powerful ballads which are what she is singing. Let’s find out more about her:

Birth of date : July 22nd, 1973
Education : Catholic University
Hobby : Internet chatting, skiing, watching movies
Motto : Experience everything and make it mine.
Favorite food : Fresh seafood
Favorite musicians : Sarah Vaughan, Lee Sang-eun, Ella Fitzgerald

As an ardent fan of pop music, Seo Young-eun first encountered jazz music while she was participating in her high school broadcasting station. Out of curiosity about jazz music, she visited a club where musicians gathered to play live jazz. Then she created a jazz band with her schoolmates. After performing as a member of a jazz band called ‘Two-Five-One,’ she began her career as a professional jazz singer. With her uniquely sweet voice and great ability to express emotion, Seo Young-eun easily was recognized by the public as having great potential as a jazz vocalist. Seo Young-eun frequently appeared on various events related to jazz music. Taking part in the 1st Campus Jazz Class held at Yonsei University in 1994, and participating in the IAJE, International Association for Jazz Education, were only a couple of Seo Young-eun’s activities in the early days of her career as a jazz vocalist. Seo Young-eun led a busy life as a jazz singer performing in clubs like “All That Jazz,” and “Monk” where she met with many fans of her jazz music. In 1996, Seo Young-eun was selected among the “5 Jazz Artists Who Represent Korea” by a local magazine, GMV. She also put great effort into spreading knowledge of jazz music by completing the ‘Summer Jazz Workshop’ held by the Manhattan School of Music in 1996.

The next year, Seo signed a contract with an entertainment agency and transformed her musical style into a more pop-oriented one. Her debut album “Softly Whispering” released in 1998, included songs that sounded familiar to the ears of the general populous along with some jazz numbers. She also started appearing as guest performer at concerts by Jang Hye-jin, Park Sang-min and Weather Forecast in order to make herself more widely known among the general public. However, until she released her third album “Kiss of Breeze” in 2002, there weren’t many people who knew about singer Seo Young-eun. It was in 2003 when Seo Young-eun began to be recognized by the public. Seo sang the main theme song for the television drama “Snowman” in 2003 and listeners began to wonder who she was. With her 4th album released in 2004, the title song from her album, “Angel,” received a good response, putting Seo on the top of various local charts.

Seo Young-Eun continued her success in her 5th and 6th albums, scoring a top 20 hit each with "Addition" in 2005 and "Let’s Smile" in early 2006. She has also released 2 remake albums, including the recent release "Romantic 2" with the hit song "I Like It", remaking a Weather Forecast song.

Seo Young Eun (1st album, 1998) : Winter Sea, Happy Together, Someone To Love, Blue Moon
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Seo Young Eun (2nd album, 1999) : Because I Love U, Summer Breeze, His Wedding, Don’t Give It Up Now
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She Made Etc. 1 (2.5 album, 2001) : Various TV and movie theme songs
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Kiss of Breeze (3rd album, 2002) : Change, Always With You, Cat, Like This Eternally
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Gift (4th album, 2004) : Graduation, Angel, Just One Night, I’m Not Alone, His Wedding
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Romantic 1 (remake album, 2004) : 너에게로 또다시
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Sunny Side of My Heart (5th album, 2005) : Sunny Side of My Heart, Father, Lovers of May, The Song Only For You, Addiction, More Than Lemonade
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Be My Sweetheart (6th album, 2006) : Be My Sweetheart, If It Snows in Summer, While You Were Asleep, I’ve Got You, Let’s Smile

Romantic 2 (remake album, 2006) : I Like It

Credits to KBS World and Bugsmusic