Lee So-ra Ready to Bare Her Life AgainFew Korean stars willingly share with the public their personal love life or breakup experiences, much less write songs about them. Not true of singer Lee So-ra, who says that in the past, the times when she released her albums coincided with separations from romantic interests.
Last Saturday, while overcome with emotion, Ms. Lee shed tears singing her song, "Jebal" ("Please") on the TV show that she hosts, "Lee So-ra's Propose." "Jebal," off her latest release, is about a woman begging her sweetheart to come back, and is based on her real life experience.
This outspoken 32-year-old is known not only for her candidness, but for her musical talent as well. With a powerful yet soothing voice, she sings mostly ballads coated with an attractive crooning similar to blues singers of old. Ms. Lee holds an unusual position as a ballad singer in the Korean music industry, which is overly preoccupied with dance music.
Though she made her debut as a member of the vocalist group Joeun Saramdeul (Good People) in 1993, she shied away from public appearances until releasing her first solo album, "Nan Haengbokhae," ("I'm Happy") in 1995. Through the release of this album, the mysterious singer attracted a good deal of public attention and the media spotlight as a new diva endowed with marvelous vocal abilities.
From then on, Ms. Lee has become a household name with hit songs such as "Gieok-haejwo" ("Remember") and "Cheonghon" ("Proposal") from her second and third albums, released in 1996 and 1998 respectively.
In 2000, Ms. Lee released her fourth and latest album, "Kkot," ("Flower"), an album with very jazzy overtones. Despite her status and reputation in the music industry, the latest album has not been a huge success and only about 280,000 copies have been sold thus far.
Starting this week from Thursday to Sunday, Lee So-ra will perform in a series of long-awaited concerts in Seoul.
Each concert is to be performed in the form of a musical titled "Everyone Says 'I Love You'" (no relation to the Woody Allen film). Ms. Lee's performance will be accompanied by groups of tap and ballet dancers for maximum stage presence. "I'd like to express every detailed emotion with emotive dancing," Ms. Lee remarked.
She will sing songs from her latest release, such as "Bye Bye," "Comedy" and "Dancing With You." She will also sing former hit songs like "I'm Happy" and "Remember" and for a grand finale she will finish with the song "Proposal."
These concerts are to be held in the Oratorium at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in Seoul, where the ASEM summit talk took place last year. For further information, call 02-575-3003 (Korean service only).
by Choe Jae-hee, Chun Su-jin