02/08/2017 Interview > Student
Piano Genius Reintroduced as Band Leader
Choi Ye-geun of 'Choi Ye-geun Band' (Applied Music, ERICA Campus, 3rd yr)
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If you've seen K-Pop Star 2, a Korean music audition TV program for singers and dancers, you will remember a girl who was a so-called piano genius, Choi Ye-geun (Department of Applied Music, ERICA Campus, 3rd year). As a high school student, Choi amazed producers of the biggest Korean entertainment companies with her astounding musical talent, especially with her deep, soulful voice and hard-to-believe song arrangement abilities. After the audition, Choi decided to transfer to an arts high school to focus on her music career. Now, as a Hanyang University (HYU) student, Choi is living both as a band musician and a hardworking Hanyangian.
The band’s first single, ‘Adult’
While Choi’s steps following the audition were highly anticipated by a lot of her fans, she embarked on a new challenge, which was introducing a song with a band session. On January 2nd this year, Choi released the single ‘Adult’ in the name of 'Choi Ye-geun Band'. It has received positive reviews from the public. Her fans have commented how Choi's singing is improving by the years. Choi sings the song with her powerful and soulful voice.
The song 'Adult' is about a man, whom she has a crush on, being more mature and calm than the singer herself, who is contrastingly impatient because of her unrequited love. “I'd had a crush on someone when I was in middle school. He was older than me as the title of the song implies, but the memory was only a motive for the song. Theest of the lyrics are all based on my own imagination,” said Choi.
Before singing in a band, Choi in fact released several digital single albums as a solo artist. “I produced various songs as digital singles as I wanted to try out different genres of music. I didn’t know what kind of music suited me best at the time,” explained Choi.
Choi met one current band member from one of her concerts. “When I was performing in different places, I met a senior from HYU, who is now a proud member of my band. He had asked if I’d want to perform in a band with him and his session, and I'd had no reason to hesitate. It just seemed fun enough to try.”
If you love music, you are already a musician
“I just loved music since I was very young. I loved playing the piano in my house since my kindergarten days. I once tried taking piano lessons but I quit after a short while. I was so used to playing it the way I wanted,” recalled Choi. Alongside the piano, Choi had also enjoyed singing as a child. “I started going to vocal lessons as a hobby. Participating in K-Pop Star 2 was actually a bet with friends at those lessons. We betted on who would survive the longest in the audition program. For me, it was really just a fun tryout, which allowed me to feel less pressured in the competition,” said Choi.
Of course, being on a TV and being presented to the mass public wasn’t solely an experience without hardship. Choi remembered how the competition between its participants got fiercer after every round. “I was able to endure it because of the fellow participants I became friends with. I loved meeting people who had the same passion and interests as me."
One of the reasons why Choi was able to continue on freely, trying out different music genres both as a solo and in a band, was because of the entertainment company she belongs in. “After K-Pop Star 2, I received many calls from different entertainment companies, but I ended up choosing Reve Entertainment as they promised to help me with “music” itself, which was my top priority rather than being an idol or a celebrity. Come to think of it, I think it was one of the best decisions I have ever made."
More musical colors to be filled
To Choi, her band is like a clean, white paper, where she can draw freely whatever she wants. This upcoming spring, she is planning to release a mini album featuring several songs including ‘Adult’, along with a new title song. “There are no constructive plans regarding my band as yet, but I don’t want to rush anything. The band can only go on when my music is ready. Still, I do have a long-term goal. I want to be a musician that HYU is proud of, just like the other seniors who made the school proud,” concluded Choi.
Yun Ji Hyun email@example.com
Photos by Choi Min-ju
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