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Singer Kim Bum-soo reflects on his 25-year musical journey

Singer Kim Bum-soo / Courtesy of Young Entertainment

The distinction of being the first Korean artist to enter the American Billboard chart does not belong to the biggest K-pop acts, but to Kim Bum-soo, a 45-year-old singer who humbly reflected on his early achievements upon the release of his new album.”Compared to the current achievements of K-culture, it seems rather insignificant,” the singer said during a recent interview with The Korea Times at a cafe in Gangnam District, Seoul, Feb. 16.”I consider it a fortunate honor to have earned the name simply for being the first to attempt such a feat.”In 2001, Kim made his mark on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart, entering at No. 51 with his song “Hello Goodbye Hello.” Although not a major chart breakthrough, being the first Korean singer on Billboard remains a significant milestone for Kim.

However, this Billboard entry pales in comparison with Kim’s illustrious music career. Debuting in 1999, he now celebrates his 25th anniversary as a dominant force in the Korean music scene. From the 2000s to the early 2010s, Kim captivated Korean audiences with heart-rending ballad hits like “I Miss You” (2002) and “Last Love” (2011).He is also recognized for singing “Appear” for the soundtrack of the 2010 hit drama “Secret Garden” starring Hyun Bin and Ha Ji-won.Despite being one of the nation’s representative ballad singers, Kim revealed that he still approaches every album release with a mix of anticipation and caution.”Making music and releasing albums always requires courage,” he said. “It’s not feeling insecure about the music itself at all … Whenever I release an album, there’s always a fear lingering about whether the songs will receive enough recognition compared to the budget and effort invested.”As a musician who has witnessed the shifts across different generations, Kim also addressed the trend in the music market where visual aspects have become increasingly important, sometimes overshadowing the music itself.

“I tried out a bunch of viral marketing tactics to get my songs out there, but none of them felt quite right for me … Then it hit me that just going along with the trend might not be the best move. Instead, I want to show people how much I’ve evolved as a singer in my own way,” he explained Kim’s latest album, “Journey,” which was released Thursday a decade after his last studio album “HIM,” marks a new phase in his career.In line with his mindset, the album’s title track depicts Kim’s path as an artist metaphorically as a “journey.” While Kim was previously known for his exceptional vocal techniques, he plans this time to showcase a more relaxed style.”Up until now, I’ve been known for belting out emotionally charged songs with a lot of power. But with this album, it’s different. The sadness is there, but it’s not as overt. It’s more about tapping into memories and reflections that evoke that sense of melancholy,” he said.”Listening to the song, you might feel sadness, but there’s also the potential for finding solace or encouragement. ‘Journey’ is filled with these intricate emotions. Perhaps it’s because it embodies my 25-year musical journey.”

The singer also revealed that he’s not the type to revisit his own songs. However, this album is an exception and he expressed his intention to listen to it again and again.”I’m usually quite indifferent about my own work. So, once I release a song, I usually don’t listen to it again. But strangely, this album seems to be the only one I’d find myself seeking to listen to. I hope through the songs, the comfort I received can also be felt by listeners. I guess it’s a gift for both myself and for listeners,” he said.Kim’s passion in music extends to live performances, with plans for a concert series titled “2024 Kim Bum-soo Concert ‘Journey, The Original'” beginning in Seoul on April 13-14, followed by eight cities including Busan, Daejeon, Jeonju, Gwangju, Daegu, Suwon and Changwon, as well as overseas.”Throughout my lengthy career, I’ve often revamped my original songs. However, for this tour, my aim is to showcase aspects of myself that stick more to the 카지노사이트킹 originals,” the singer remarked.

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