Regular FeaturesPeople/Yonseian
More than Just an Internet Star
Lee Min-ji Cub Reporter  |  planetz@yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2006.03.01  00:00:00
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리

A MYSTERIOUS woman in red is playing Rimsky Corsakov's The Flight of Bumble Bee. Her hands sweep the piano's black and white keys as passionate music flows in the background. The video of this woman soon became popular online and people started calling her the second ddul-nyu*. Who is she? She is Key's Piano, a young pianist who is soon going to make her debut as a pop artist.

  Annals: You originally majored in classical music. Wasn't it difficult for you to make a debut as a pop artist?
  Kwack:
I attended a middle school and high school that specialized in classical music. However, I like both classical and pop music. I don't think either one of them is much superior compared to the other one. It's just a matter of preference. Whether I play classical or pop, I want to be remembered as an artist whom people can recognize by simply listening to one of my pieces. I want to be unique rather than being trapped in a certain genre or style.

  Then, are there any musicians who influenced you in establishing your own music style?
  Since I'm a singer/songwriter, I am interested in other singer/songwriters, especially Bill Evans, Elton John and Sarah Mclachlan. I was also deeply influenced by the Korean jazz pianist Kim Kwang-min. He told me a lot of stories about music, not only about techniques but also about the philosophy and soul that a musician should have. Before meeting him, I was exhausted because of the fierce competition in this field.  However, he showed and taught me that, "Music is about love and showing love". I still thank him and respect him.

  You won several prizes in a number of national and international music contests. How did you prepare for them?
  I've been writing songs since I was in elementary school and was always curious how other people, especially foreigners, would think about it. As for the Yoo Jae-ha Music Competition, I actually prepared for it for only a week. I was a sophomore and was going through a hard time that all young people experience. So there were lots of emotions and thoughts in myself that I wanted to express. I wrote those all into a song and luckily won.

  What kind of special memories do you have in Yonsei Univ.?
  I wasn't a member of a music dongahree. But I got to know a member of the SA (Student Association) and sang several songs in the Daedong Fete, including the song that won the prize in the Yoo Jae-ha Music Competition. It was a great opportunity for me. Meanwhile, I enjoyed other major courses and elective general subjects too. Most of my colleagues in the Dept. of Inst. Music were friends from middle school and high school, so I enjoyed meeting new people from other colleges through lectures and jomoims. My favorite course was "History of Sexuality". I still remember the lectures vividly.

  Can you share your future plans with us?
  I have a concert in a few months. So I am preparing for it. In the long term, I want to write many songs and be known as a singer/songwriter since there are not many female singer/songwriters in Korea. If I get the opportunity, I would also like to perform abroad.

 Before meeting Kwack You-nee, she seemed like a typical Internet star that suddenly rose to stardom without any effort. But after meeting her, we felt that she was an aspiring artist, who not only had the courage to pursue her dreams but talent that brought her all the way.

*An Internet star who became famous through VODs of her dancing.

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Photographed by Chai Kyu-min