Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Life of Gray Paper: A Memoir

"Gray Paper" took the Kpop scene by storm upon it's release in February of 2013. A song produced by veteran musician and composer, Kangta with vocals by Yesung, it was bound to capture the hearts of Kpoppers. With his last contribution as the King of OSTs before his enlistment, Yesung's fellow group mates and loyal fans have not forgotten him in his absence...

It is no secret that one of the greatest voices of South Korea comes from the vocal cords of Kim Jong Woon or as most Kpoppers know him as Super Junior's Yesung--which literally translates to "art-like voice". His deep timbre combined with his powerful lungs, his gusto and his heart-felt performances all join to create one of the best singers I've ever heard. I've talked about him several times [1] in my blog and more than likely will continue to do so in the future.

Because of his voice, he has actually been dubbed the "King of OSTs" [OST: Original Sound Track]--or Prince, in some cases--and has lent his voice to over twenty Kdramas since 2006 which is an incredibly feat for any musical artist. In 2013, Yesung once again contributed his voice to the Kdrama "That Winter, The Wind Blows" which was his final OST before enlisting in the military that same year. The song "Gray Paper" [2] garnished a lot of attention almost immediately [3] and soon became a fan favorite--so much so that upon his enlistment and subsequent 22-month absence from Super Junior and Super Junior-K.R.Y., his fellow group mates Kyuhyun and Ryewook performed "Gray Paper" in his honor. 

My reaction to the performance began--as I assume it did for most fans--as mildly "aww"-worthy meaning I was proud of Kyuhyun and Ryewook (and SM Entertainment, of course) for coming up with the concept for their friend. But I can't lie, I was mostly pleased to see Kyuhyun perform Gray Paper more than anything else but nothing prepared me for the surprise that takes place during the last quarter of the song...

The concept was simply brilliant. The montage of Yesung during the musical solo was amazing in-and-of-itself but then to hear Yesung's powerful voice emanate from the speakers had me instantly tearing up and grabbing for the tissues. If I hadn't been so touched by the sentimentality of the performance, I may have felt embarrassed by my reaction. However it's the closing out of the song that did the most emotional damage--to hear them all singing together again for one of my favorite Yesung songs--ok, I can't lie here either...Gray Paper is my favorite Yesung song--was priceless. 

The gesture touched my heart, as well as many others, and further proved that Yesung's fear of being forgotten during his enlistment will never be an issue. 예성-오빠, 보고싶어요! 건강하세요!

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