‘Wannabe’ comes face-to-face with a divaThey may be big stars, but they faced something more imposing than a huge crowd: their idol.
The members of SG Wannabe, an R&B boy-band, sat rigid and quiet listening to the “living legend of the local pop music scene” who was speaking in front of them.
“Okay, so I can see what the ‘wannabe’ in your name means, but what’s the SG stand for?” asked a smiling Patti Kim, the famous singer.
Kim Jin-ho, 20, the youngest member of the group, was the first to open his mouth to answer.
“It stands for Simon and Garfunkel. We admire them so much that we named our group after their initials,” he said blushing after his voice came out trembling a little.
“Oh, they’re my favorite artists, too!” Kim exclaimed.
Seeing her happy, the 20-year-old smiled and seemed to relax.
Chae Dong-ha, Kim Yong-jun and Kim Jin-ho, the three members of the group, were at the Mnet music channel station in Cheongdam-dong to do a rehearsal for a big upcoming show ― a typical day for the up-and-coming stars. But their partner this time was Patti Kim, one of the first Korean pop musicians, whose debut 45 years ago was the start of a musical sensation.
She is considered the best singer of her time ― something SG Wannabe can only hope to emulate. The promotion company CJ Media suggested that the two acts hold a concert together during the upcoming “relay concert event” the company is sponsoring with Mnet and Korean MTV next week.
“I thought they were really good,” Kim said. “So I didn’t hesitate to agree to sing with them.”
“A singer is a singer only when he sings well, of course. But looking around the entertainment scene these days, it’s not always like that,” she said, adding that some young singers seem to only care about “showing their belly button on stage.”
“In that sense, I think there were better singers in the 1990s,” she said. “So when I see young singers [like SG Wannabe] singing live on stage, I’m relieved.”
The members of SG Wannabe said they wanted to sing Ms. Kim’s most popular songs, such as “Ibyeol” (Parting).
“I know that song because my mother used to listen to it all the time,” Kim Jin-ho said.
But Ms. Kim suggested that SG Wannabe try singing “Light and Shadow” or “Love Forever,” the songs she thought were more difficult. “I know they’re capable [of doing them well],” she said.
Ms. Kim plans to sing SG Wannabe’s “Saldaga” (As You Live), one of their newest hit songs; the album carrying it pre-sold 90,000 copies. The four also plan to sing “Yesterday,” by The Beatles, together at the end of the concert.
“We have to meet at least twice to practice before the concert,” she said sternly.
“I think rehearsals are more important than the actual concert,” she said. “No matter how good a singer you are, you can’t move the crowd if you don’t practice.”
The concert will be broadcast on television at the end of this month.
by Jung Hyun-mok
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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