Pop star finds ‘7’ theme very lucky and lucrativeSe7en, an artist awarded the 2003 PAVV New Singer Award, is hosting an invite-only showcase concert today in Seoul.
Continuing with the “lucky number seven” theme, he’ll be introducing seven songs from his sophomore album, “Must Listen,” also due to hit record stores today. His management company, YG Family, has invited 777 of his fans, sure to go wild for one of the fastest-rising stars in Korea.
His first album, “Just Listen,” with singles such as “Please Come” and “Once, Just Once,” reached No. 1 on the music charts only weeks after its release. His style and dance moves grabbed the attention of not just music fans, but companies such as Heelys. The sneaker-with-wheels firm signed him on for TV ads that bolstered his image as a singer with smooth moves.
On “Must Listen,” Se7en called upon industry heavyweights for production and songwriting help ― such as Teddy from the group 1TYM; Kim Do-hyeon, who was responsible for Lee Hyo-ri’s “10 Minutes,” and Lee Hyun-jung, who was behind Wheesung’s “Andoenayo.” The result is a smooth mix of 14 R&B and hip-hop songs and a bonus track. Oi Music Magazine has already singled it out as one of the most anticipated albums this year.
It’s only been eight months since his last album, but 2004 has been touted as a “comeback” year for Se7en.
In order to create a strong presence, today’s showcase concert involves backup dancers who have worked with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. National TV stations, as well as Fuji TV of Japan and album producers from Thailand and China, are expected to attend the show.
A relative newcomer to the music industry, Se7en has already won over fans in Asia. Energy, a Taiwanese band, covered one of Se7en’s songs, “Come,” propelling his fame outside the peninsula. Pan Wei Bo also did a Chinese cover version of Se7en’s song “Baby I Like You Like That.”
Se7en has since performed at the Hong Kong Harbour Fest and toured Thailand. The Bangkok Post ran a story on the “Seven Syndrome,” introducing Se7en as Korea’s newest R&B superstar. In one week, 50,000 copies of “Just Listen” flew off the shelves of record stores in Thailand. That album was also released in China and reportedly sold more than 80,000 copies.
Se7en, born in 1984 as Choi Dong-wook, began dancing as a child and saved his allowance to buy music. In junior high school, he watched Seo Tai-ji and Boys and found his calling as a musician.
His break came when he auditioned for YG Family and was accepted. His name stems from “Lucky Seven,” but he also has the nickname “7 Eleven.”
He didn’t record an album right away, so when scouts came calling, they promised him immediate record deals. He decided to stay with YG Family because a former Seo Tai-ji member, Yang Hyun-seok, was the founder.
His patience and loyalty paid off, and he is now being touted as one of the hottest pop stars in Korea, with a personal music collection of more than 1,000 CDs.
In an interview with a Chinese radio station, he said he wasn’t able to sleep when his first album came out. “All I could think was, ‘Wow, I finally made it,’” he said.
by Joe Yong-hee