Artist of the Week – Gummy
Stage Name: Gummy
Real Name: Park Ji-yeon
Date of Birth: April 8, 1981
Debut: ‘Like Them’ (2003)
Education: Dongduk Women’s University
Blood type: B
Hobbies: singing, piano
Gummy is a charismatic R&B singer under M.Boat Entertainment Group & YG Entertainment. Well-known as the "Queen of Soul" for her amazing vocals and burning passion for music, Gummy has often been quoted as saying she had trained for 6-7 years before debuting, and her hard work is there for all to see.
At the age of six, influenced by her mother, Gummy began to learn piano. She was discovered by a scouting agency during her freshman year in high school. She trained for and recorded an album, which was never released due to lack of funds and exposure to the media. Good friend and fellow singer Wheesung – the pair had dated before debuting – then introduced her to M Boat’s president, Park Kyung Jin. In 2001, she auditioned for a spot in a group called Big Mama and would have been the quartet’s fifth member. In the end, Park acknowledged that Gummy had greater potential as a solo artiste and she went solo in 2003 with her first album, "Like Them". The impressive melancholic R&B track ‘If You Come Back’ was a big hit.
In July 2003, Gummy participated in a joint live concert, "Color of the Soultrain", in which popular newcomers such as Wheesung, Big Mama and Se7en came together to present past hits and upcoming tracks from their own albums, and also songs sung by other artistes for their fans. This event has now morphed into a popular annual nation-wide tour, enthusiastically supported by fans all over.
Gummy returned a year later with her second album, "It’s Different", featuring collaborations with singers like Wheesung (track 7, Tonight). Hot on the heels of that was her third album in 2005, "For The Bloom", and then her unplugged album the year after. The unplugged album, arranged by bass player Nathan East, included hits from Gummy’s previous albums and once again showed off her strong vocals.
In between albums, Gummy had also been keeping busy, showing off her versatility in collaborations with other well-known singers. Notable collaborations include those with Jinusean (보이네), Fly to the Sky (사랑해요 우리 – Sarangheyo Uri), Lexy (Hey Everybody) and Lyn (Call Me).
Gummy has made a comeback recently into the Kpop scene with her fourth official album, "Comfort", which is filled with electronica beats and Euro-funk. Her title song, "I’m Sorry", is a hit due to her fantastic voice and the appearance of Big Bang’s T.O.P. Until recently, T.O.P had followed his dear nuna to her promotions of her songs but that ended due to Big Bang’s Japan schedules. Even without T.O.P’s rap, Gummy still manages to inject her own R&B flavour into the song. Other tracks that demonstrate her vocal abilities include track 6 "Let’s Get It Party", a Latin-flavoured hip-hop dance number, and "Yeo Gi Gga Jiman" (track 11) featuring Skull of Stoney Skunk. Fans who have been waiting impatiently for Gummy to return will not be disappointed with her latest offering.
1st Official Album (2003) Like Them: 01 When You Come Back 02 Better Friends Than Lovers 03 Wanna Be 04 Phone Call 05 DO It
2nd Official Album (2004) It’s Different: 01 Gummy Skills (Intro) 02 I Wanted to Do It (하고 싶었어) 03 This Night Where You Fell Asleep Next to Me (내 곁에 잠이 든 이 밤에) 04 Please Just Forget Me Now (날 그만 잊어요) 05 Amensia (기억상실) 06 Love Again (Feat. Ha Dong Kyoon)
3rd Official Album (2005) For the Bloom: 01 Gummitro 02 Holic (feat. Stony Skunk) 03 With The Clarity of Your Hand (손틈새로) 04 No (아니) 05 Kid adult (어른아이) 06 Today was the day we broke up (오늘은 헤어지는 날)
Unplugged album (2006): 01 If You Come Back (그대 돌아오면) 02 We Should’ve Stayed As Friends (친구라도 될걸 그랬어) 03 A Love Done By Yourself (혼자만 하는 사랑) 04 With The Clarity of Your Hand (손틈새로) 05 Kid Adult (어른아이) 06 Please Just Forget Me Now (날 그만 잊어요)
4th Official Album (2008) Comfort: 01 Intro: Work It now (feat. G-Dragon) 02 Clap Your Hands (feat. Perry) 03 I’m Sorry (feat. T.O.P) 04 Dont’ Love 05 As I Look In the Mirror (feat. Red Roc) 06 Let’s get it party (feat. 45rpm)
Credits: Gummy thread in soompi, yesasia for album images