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05/12/2020 Interview > Alumni Important News

Title

Choi Ye-gun, From a Keyboard Prodigy to a Shining Musician

A proud alumna of Hanyang shares her story and her love of music

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If you have watched Immortal Songs: Singing the Legend, Yoo Hee-yeol's Sketchbook, or the popular Korean audition program K-pop Star, you may be familiar with the name Choi Ye-gun. This famous singer was one of the top 8 competitors of season 2 of K-pop Star and took first place in the singing competition Your name hosted by the popular music channel Yoo Hee-yeol's Sketchbook. Choi Ye-gun, an aspiring musician and a proud alumna of Hanyang University's Department of Applied Music ('19), shared her story of how she fell in love with music and succeeded as a popular indie musician. 
 

Choi Ye-gun (Department of Applied Music, '19) shared her story of how she fell in love with music and succeeded as a popular indie musician.

Choi dreamt of becoming a musician from the age of five. As a little girl, she always had a keyboard next to her, a trait she carries till now. “There was always a piano in my room since I was little. My mother used to say that I got along with it since I could barely walk!” She remembers that even then, she was interested in expressing melodies through instrument, trying to express the tune she heard from her church.
 
At 20, she applied to the Department of Applied Music at ERICA Campus for a professional musical education. “During my time at school, I was able to study music which transcended the boundaries of genre, from K-pop to jazz and classical music,” said Choi.
 
Choi was one of the top 8 competitors of season 2 of K-pop Star.


Along with her studies, Choi also endeavored to develop her own musical ideology and establish her own methodology in composing and arranging music. Her hard work earned her the image of a good storyteller, acknowledged by the media as a singer-songwriter, magnificent in delivering her own stories in songs. Choi considers her ability to deliver someone’s story, transcending the limits of a single genre, as one of her strongest suits. She said, “Since I always consider how a story could be told from a different perspective, I think many different people can relate even to the same song.”

When asked to share her secret, Choi explained that she always focuses on how to best deliver a story. “First, I choose a character. Then I write the lyrics in his or her verbal tone. The last thing I do is combine it with a befitting melody. During the process, I begin to naturally arrange the song in the character’s mood and create the dynamics which enable a strong delivery of the story.” 
 

Choi also took first place in the singing competition Your name hosted by the popular music channel Yoo Hee-yeol's Sketchbook.

Choi said other people’s stories become the cornerstone for many of her songs. “These days, I am especially inspired by the stories of young people.” Naturally, her songs explore stories on diverse topics. Self-reflection, social issues, and interpersonal relationships were all on the chart. “After I establish someone’s story in my mind, I design a character who can deliver that story well – reconstructing the story from another perspective,” explained Choi.

Choi also tells some personal stories on her most recent album Even If It Gets Lost, It Can Flow Anyway, introducing two title songs, Lucid Dream and Scarecrow. “The first song, Lucid Dream, is a story of somebody who could not fall asleep and a world where dreams come true. To me, making this very album was exactly that,” said Choi. “Scarecrow is an outcry to the world that wants me to be, so to say, cool. To be recognized, one has to be cool and people want that too. But to that I say, ‘I have done enough!’” Choi jokingly added, “By the way, the chorus part is very addictive, so you better not listen to it before an important exam.”

Choi's first original album Even If It Gets Lost, It Can Flow Anyway was released April 22, 2020, introducing two catcy title songs Lucid Dream and Scarecrow


“To me, your story becomes music, and that music becomes a medium which enables others to relate with your tale,” said Choi. “When I produce music, I consider myself as dust. Dust can only shine where there is light. To me, your story is the illumination. Your stories are never little or meaningless.”



Lee Yoon-seo        cipcd0909@hanyang.ac.kr

 
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