May 23, 2006

By Park Chung-a
Staff Reporter

"The love that we trusted so dearly became a sad memory just in one day … just in one day, the heart that only knew you, the heart that would only beat for you is rusting useless with tears… ”

The above are some of the lyrics of singer Tim’s "In One Day (Harusae)” from his third album which was released late last month. The singer shot to stardom with a ballad number "I Love You (Saranghamnida)” in 2003, and since then, Tim has become known for his great vocal ability and clean-cut looks. His songs are sweetly sorrowful, mostly about unrequited love or parted lovers, and his third album does not much deviate from that sentimental melancholy.

"I think I do not do well with dance music. I feel more comfortable and natural when I sing sad ballad songs. Through them, I can express my inner emotions as much as I want to,” the 25-year-old said in an interview with The Korea Times.

Tim has come back with his third album "Traces of Sensitivity (Kamsong)” about two years after his last album. Before its release, a new digital single "In My Dream (Kumsogeso)” featuring dreamy synthesizer effects was released in mid-February on the Internet, attracting a lot of attention.

The album is composed of seven new ballad songs, one remake of popular song of Park Jin-young’s "Behind You (Noui Tuieso)” and two instrumental pieces. Participating are top musicians like Yoon Sang, Jeong Jae-il, Kang Soo-ho and Han Sang-won. From his very first album, Yoon, who is known for being stingy with giving his songs to other singers, has been contributing his pieces to Tim. The title song "In One Day” is also Yoon’s.

This time, other than singing, Tim has participated as a producer and also an album designer. The cover of the album is a photograph of white tissues.

"I first thought about what could best express the theme of the album, which is the sensitivity of the human being. Then the white tissues that piled up around me when I had a hard time last year suddenly popped into my head,” he said. "A white tissue is just like a white canvas. Think about a white canvas. When a painter puts paint on it, the canvas comes to have its own story. Similarly, when a tissue meets someone’s tears, it has its own story, its own message.

"I wanted my album to be a tissue that could wipe away people’s tears, something that could truly listen to the story of each person.”

What overcame the fragile sensitivity and tears in Tim’s life were time, music and religious belief. So inside the album cover, pictures show tissues lying side by side with a clock, a guitar and a Bible.

Born in Philadelphia, Tim grew up in the United States until his freshman year at Temple University. The singer’s name, Tim, comes from his English name Timothy Hwang. His Korean name is Hwang Young-min.

Until he was picked up by an entertainment agency, he never thought of becoming a professional singer. However, music was always something that came naturally to him. From childhood, he pursued musical activities in both schools and churches. He was a member of the church choir, and also a saxophonist in a jazz band. When he was offered the chance to become a singer, he left his family, came to Korea and spent more than two years training before debuting as a singer in 2003.

"I feel very lucky to be a singer as I can have music as permanent part of my life,” he said.

Tim is a devout Christian. His father is a pastor. While taking a rest just before making his comeback, he went on a mission to Cambodia with his family. One of the songs in the new album is a gospel composed by his older brother.

"I would like to work as a singer as long as time permits. I want to ultimately become a singer who can console and give encouragement to people. That’s all I want,” he said.