Artist of the week – Kim Dong Ryul



Date of birth : 1974/03/15
Education : Hwimoon High School, Yonsei Universtiy, Berkley College of Music
Debut : In Dreams (Grand Prize, MBC College Music Festival, 1993)
Physique : 177cm, 58kg
Place of birth : Seoul
Hobbies : Watching movies, reading books, skiing and swimming
Motto : Live your best in every moment




Our featured artiste this week is Kim Dong Ryul, one of the most respected musicians in Korea. Kim  is also one of the few true singer-songwriters in Korea capable of writing lyrics, composing, arranging and producing albums. Kim started his musical career back in 1993 when he formed a team called “Exhibition” with his buddy Seo Dong-wook and competed in the MBC College Music Festival. The team received the Grand Prize at the song contest with their song “In Dreams” and made their debut in the local pop music world. Since their debut, the team released two official albums and recorded hit numbers like ‘An Etude of Memories’, ‘High Above’ and ‘Truth in Wine’. However, in January 1997, the team suddenly wrapped up their musical activities with a farewell album.


In October the same year, Kim formed a project group called “Carnival” with Lee Jeok, a member of “Panic”. Displaying perfect harmony between the low tone of Kim’s voice and Lee Jeok’s high key, the project team received great response for their songs “That’s how it was then” and “A goose’s dream”.


In 1998, Kim made his solo debut with the album ‘The Shadow Of Forgetfulness’ and has not looked back. The title song of Kim’s first solo album “Consideration” is a sad ballad in a jazzy style that played a leading role in bringing about a ballad resurgence to the local pop music scene. In April 1999, Kim flew to the Berkeley College of Music in Boston. Although he was studying in the US, Kim released his 2nd and 3rd albums during his time off from school. In April of 2004, Kim returned to Korea after his studies and released his 4th album, entitled “Revealing my true heart”.


Last year, Kim released a best-hits album "Thanks" with a collection of his hit songs from 1994-2004. In early 2008, Kim released his 5th and latest album "Monologue", his first studio album in four years. Depsite overall declining record sales in Korea, Kim’s 5th album was consistently selling over 10,000 copies each week on its first month of release. This album is still ranked in the top 10 every week on the sales chart even after nearly five months of release. With sales approaching 90,000 copies, "Monologue" is easily becoming the top seller so far in 2008. Backing up the strong sales, "Monologue" produced three top-20 hits in "Let’s Start Over", "Like A Child", and "Departure". This is even more amazing considering that Kim has not come out to perform on gayo shows to promote this album.


Kim’s music does not have broad commercial appeal. It is the kind that you have to listen more to appreciate. Perhaps that is the reason his album is still going on strong after months of release, as more and more listeners discover the great songs. Recently, Fly To The Sky also remade Kim Dong Ryul’s "Saying The Truth When Drunk" (originally from Exhibition’s 2nd album in 1996) and reached the top 10.





EXHIBITION (1st album of Exhibition, 1994) : An Etude of Memories, High Above, My Thought About You


EXHIBITION 2 (2nd album of Exhibition,1996) : Stranger, Saying The Truth When Drunk, Testament, Bird


Graduation (3rd album of Exhibition, 1997) : Graduation, First Love, We


Lee Jeok + Kim Dong-ryul A Project Album – Carnival (1997) : That’s How It Was Then, Don’t Let Her Go, A Goose’s Dream



The Shadow Of Forgetfulness (1st solo album, 1998) : Consideration, Miracle, Companion


Hope (2nd solo album, 2000) : Walls, After 2 Years, A Christmas Gift


Home-coming (3rd solo album, 2001) : Should I Say I Love Her Again, The Words of Love, A Song for Love


Revealing My True Heart (4th solo album, 2004) : Letting Her Go Once Again, Because I Don’t Love You, Not Until Now


The Second Concert – 招待(초대) (Concert Album, 2005)


Thanks: The Best Songs 1994-2004 (Best Hit album, 2007)



Monologue (5th solo album, 2008) : Let’s Start Over, Like A Child (feat. Alex), Departure, Well, I Mean.., Old Song, Jump, The Concert, Nobody, Back View, Melody





Sources: KBS World,, YesAsia