MOST PEOPLE put aside the dream of their youth after they are grown up and faced with harsh reality. The same goes for those who once dreamt of becoming a big star. Yet Lee Ju-hwan (5th Sem., The Graduate School of Journalism & Mass Comm.), who is currently a producer in Kyung-in Broadcasting, is facing up to the challenge of achieving his early dream to be a musician. With his stage name, "PD Blue," he is a member of the vocal group Pastel Blue and has released five solo albums. The Yonsei Annals interviewed this talented and versatile musician.
My desire to be a musician
When I went to high school, I was so interested in music broadcasting and composition that I once considered entering the school of music and becoming a singer. However, I could not concentrate solely on music because my parents strongly opposed my dream and I was also realistic about the future. After college graduation, I decided to become a PD for a radio music program instead. Although I love music and singing more than working as a proroducer, I must accept that the current state of music industry makes it difficult to earn a secure living as a singer. After all, I had to make many sacrifices to release my own music albums while working as a radio producer. To carry out all these works, I needed to be a little more diligent than other people.
Taking the first step to become a singer
While working in Pyeong-hwa Broadcasting Corporation, I met Kim Kuk-jin, who is now another member of Pastel Blue with me. At that time, I ran a music program which helped high school students, selected through a music contest, produce their own album. Kim helped produce those pieces of music and I suggested to Kim that we form a singing group because I appreciated his ability as a composer and album producer. Besides meeting Kim, I was lucky to run this program since I received "This month's PD Award" from the Broadcasting Producer Association of Korea. After we had produced these noncommercial albums for high schoolers, I got more confident about realizing my dream of making my own album. Kim and I spent an entire year preparing our first album. This album, As I miss you, was produced in September 2008. The main song "As I miss you" hit the first rank in the Cyworld BGM chart a week after its release. This was very encouraging because our song competed with famous singers songs' such as Rain's "Rainism" and Wonder Girls' "Nobody." We received the "Cyworld Digital Music Award" as a new face in the industry. The award ceremony was virtually our debut stage, since we were not able to make any public performances before then due to lack of time. Until now, I have produced five solo albums including the last album Niptick, which was released in January 2010. My present goal is to sing a song that is even more popular than "As I miss you."
Busy life as a graduate school student
I entered the Graduate School of Journalism & Mass Comm. in Yonsei University to learn practical theory that I could apply to my career as a producer. I did not have much theoretical knowledge in mass media because I majored in public dministration as an undergraduate. Mreover, as I dream of lecturing in college one day, I felt the n need to be equipped with more professional and advanced knowledge in addition to my working experiences. As I work for a company regularly, I do not have much spare time either for studying or singing. I work for nine hours and take lectures at the graduate school from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. To get the most of my time, I practice singing in a car while commuting. I study using lunch time or break time at the company. This is the way I manage to support both reality and ideal.