German rock group Krypteria leaves local media tongue-tied
But the local media walked away disappointed.
Lead singer Jin-in Cho, 28, was expected to scream on stage, “I’m so proud of being Korean!” When she didn’t, the reaction was mixed to this ethnic Korean whose story had been played up by the local press.
Raving previews introduced her as a coal miner’s daughter who left Korea with nearly 8,000 emigrants seeking new homes in Germany between 1960 and 1980. The migration was part of former president Park Chung Hee’s plans to mitigate overpopulation while earning foreign currency. Back then, miners and nurses (like Cho’s mother) were “exported” to Germany while farmers were sent to Argentina.
Despite having a hard life, the local press recounted, Cho went on to study singing and piano at the prominent University of Cologne. She later won first place in a German TV talent show, “Fame Academy,” and joined Krypteria as vocalist, alongside stalwarts Christoph Siemons on guitar, Frank Stumvoll on bass and S.C. Kuschnerus on drums.
The band was in Korea last week to showcase a few songs from their album “In Medias Res,” which was released here this month.
Cho was quiet for most of the Q&A session while other band members replied earnestly about their music ― loud rock spiced with classical elements such as their trademark Gregorian chants.
Nevertheless, many questions were posed to Cho, in an attempt to link the Korean-German singer with Korea in any way possible. It seemed as if the Korean media were just drooling over the chance to quote a sexy rocker spewing nationalistic views.
One reporter asked whether she knew Cha Du-ri, the 26-year-old Korean soccer star who was born and raised in Germany.
“I knew him,” she replied though an interpreter.
“How did you know him?” the reporter asked back.
Cho frowned but then quickly smiled again. “His sister and I went to school together.”
Meanwhile, the local media declined to report that Cho’s father is no longer a miner, but actually works as a researcher at a major German drug company, or that Cho grew up in a highly musical family, and wasn’t the poor miner’s daughter of popular lore.
Regardless, the group pulled off an impressive show, and the fans loved them. But when a few verses of “Victoriam Speramus” and “Concordia,” were sung in Korean, the crowd’s reaction was electric, proving that not just the reporters are nationalistic.
by Lee Min-a
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