Top Five Kpop Ballad Singers You Haven't Heard
So the title may be sllllllightly exaggerated...let me explain. Rather than discussing the well known ballad singers such as Kyuhyun, Yesung & Jonghyun (<< you should watch the vids) which I could do all day if I truly wanted too cause they leave a lot to be
oogled discussed...so much talent packed into those three HOWEVER...their infamous claim on the ballad scene is already set and it defines them as singers but the following singers should have some limelight shed on them as well for their talents.
This first one I just found out about rather recently...
1) Lee Seung Gi - The Steady Singer
|Look at that smile...|
This ballad singer has actually been around for awhile (since 2004) but seeing as I've been in the Kpop world for almost a year and have never heard of him until recently tells me one of two things; 1: I obviously still know next to nothing about Kpop and; 2: his popularity is limited--at least compared to the three previously mentioned. He debuted at age 17 and won many awards soon after. This sweet-looking gentleman was also an MC for both Strong Heart and 1 Night 2 Days. A few years later after debuting as a singer he delved into acting and has a pretty notable career in it, his latest being Gu Family Book (which I haven't seen yet but has very good reviews). Since debuting in 2004 he has released five Korean albums along with two mini-albums, two remade albums and one Japanese album. His voice is very smooth and soothing. He's the kind of singer you put on if you're going to sleep or want to enjoy a very quiet moment in the bath. Not many ballad singers can pull of the tranquility he can through music. So definitely give him a chance!
The second one is taking the Kpop scene by storm (or I hope he will anyway) but is notable in his own right...
2) Yoo Seung Woo - The New Kid on the Block
|Don't you just want to pinch those cheeks!|
Just in case you needed something to make the general populace feel more inadequate, we've got this kid who--at the age of 16--has just debuted as a singer after appearing on the show Superstar K4 which is the Korean version of American Idol. He was eliminated eventually but he made it into the top six which means he beat out half of the contestants. He is being termed "The Musical Genius Kid" and it is no wonder why. Not only has his first album already been released but he wrote the lyrics for all the songs himself. (Plus he plays guitar, and when isn't that great?) I first heard his voice after watching an episode of Mnet MCountdown where he sang "Hello" and I just knew I had to have his music. His music has a fun pop-like feel to it and still manages to be ballady and makes me think of days spent at the park with friends. His voice range is also pretty impressive and I will be more interested to see what he does in the future. He's got a lifelong fan in me...he's a bit quirky but give him a chance!
This next leading lady did actually take the Kpop world by storm...
3) Lee Hi - The Prodigy
If you didn't feel inadequate enough...Lee Hi at number three is here to make us feel even more so....Born in 1996 (one year before #2 Yoo Seung Woo in 1997), she shot--quite literally--to fame after appearing on K-Pop Star which is another show much like American Idol. The difference between this show and Superstar K4 is the judges (3) each belong to one of the major music companies in Korea (SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and YG Entertainment). Sadly, she came in second which is still utterly amazing and knowing her voice, I would LOVE to know how Park Ji Min took the spot at number *makes a note to check out Park Ji Min* Nevertheless, this young beauty signed on with YG Entertainment and subsequently released one full album in two separate parts--all within a year, I might add. Her voice is particularly appealing to me because it's got a raspy quality to it that belays her young age. Not raspy as in she smokes a lot but rather...it gives her an old time feel to it. Her songs make you want to crank the music up in your car and belt it out even if you can't sing (which is me *tear*). If you watch the video I provided for her, you'll realize what I mean and the MV is pretty entertaining inasmuch as her voice is amazing and the teddy bear, for whatever reason, is pretty comical. Don't let her young age fool you, she's worth a listen too...or two or three... I'll be rooting for her as time goes on!
The following man has a goofy innocence to him but his voice is definitely top notch...
4) Kim Ji Soo - The Unexpected Talent
Kim Ji Soo...Kim Ji Soo...this kid... or man I suppose? He's younger than me so I'm going to refer to him as a kid although he is already 23...He took me by pleasant surprise with his voice. I was discussing this blog with a friend and when describing his voice all I could say was this--his voice seems weak until it's not. I first took notice of him while watching Dream High 2: Kim Ji Soo plays a character who doesn't really stand out and I'm not sure if this was purposeful or accidental but the first part of the drama you note that he's got a good voice, but nothing spectacular until he hits the stage with Sunflower (the above-linked video). At first the song starts off slow but then, almost by accident, you find yourself drawn into it and his voice shines throughout his solo. As a singer he has released two mini albums and a handful of singles all of which have been bought by me on iTunes. I'll be definitely waiting to see what else this kid does in the future. Go Kim Ji Soo!!
Last but never least is the following notable ballad singer...
5) Choi Jin Hyuk - The Deep Voice
Although he hasn't really debuted as singer--he has actually Said he's not a very good singer--but if you listen to the video I attached above, we can all be honest and say this man's voice is surprisingly beautiful! That particular song is from the Gu Family Book OST and it's worth several listens too. His voice isn't built to sing anything BUT ballads but I would be interested to see more out of him. So far he's sang three different single's for three of his dramas so I will be earnestly waiting if he keeps up his tradition and sings for any future dramas as well. I'll be waiting to hear that fan service album, Choi Jin Hyuk-Oppa!
This blog was exceptionally difficult to write considering most of the ballad singers I know are fairly well known to most people in the Kpop scene so I definitely had to dig deeper into my iTunes Library to find these notable ballad singers so I hope I enlightened future listeners of Kpop to some new singers they may not have heard about.
I hope everyone stays in peace! Until next time...Stay Calm and Love Kpop!!