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[The Korea Herald] Modern folk duo delivers freshness of Jeju
관리자 2006-02-10 3265
Modern folk duo delivers freshness of Jeju By Lee Yong-sung 
  
What if John Denver had grown up in the ghetto? Would he still have written songs about the beautiful Rocky Mountains? Or would he have ended up being a rapper like Snoop Dogg?
One doesn't need a social theory like "environmental determinism" to realize that people are influenced heavily by their environment. One example from the K-pop scene is Jaejoo Boys, a modern folk duo who found their musical inspiration while living on Jeju Island.

The pair, Park Kyung-hwan and You Sang-bong, will perform at Baekam Art Hall, southern Seoul, on Jan. 14 and 15.

The 21-year-olds have been friends for more than 10 years. They first met as schoolmates, when both of their families moved to the newly built town of Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, but what made the boys even closer was their common interest in music.

 
Park Kyung-hwan (left) and You Sang-bong
"We got together once again as classmates when we were seniors in middle school," You said in an interview with The Korea Herald. "I saw Sang-bong playing the guitar pretty well, so I decided to play the drums to form a band." From their shy smiles to unsophisticated outfits, the two seem to have nothing special to prove that they are big stars of the independent music world.

Since the release of their first album "Jaejoo Boys" two years ago, the duo enjoyed popularity among people of various ages, especially young women, with easy melodies and good old-fashioned honest storytelling in their songs.

Like many other teenagers, they were drawn to rock music. "We admired Nirvana and, among Korean rock bands, NEXT at the beginning, but we found we were gradually fascinated by simpler and quieter acoustic guitar sounds," Park added.

What influenced the musical style of the two was, however, Jeju Island, the largest island of the country located about 100 kilometers off the southern tip of the peninsula. Park moved to the island first to study at Cheju National University, and in the following year, You, who failed in the previous year's entrance exam, joined his friend to study at Halla University, which is also on the island.

As well as "Rainy Day, at the Room near Jeju City Hall," a hit song from their second album "Peace," their other songs evoke the clean and scenic nature of the island. In fact "Jaejoo," the name of the duo which sounds far from being trendy and cool, originally means "talent" in Korean, but it was chosen because the word sounds almost the same with Jeju, the name of the island.

"Our songs are the records of our past moments, and our future songs will be those of present moments," You said. "Tangerine," a hit song from their first album, is about memories from their school days, while songs of their second album "Peace," including "New World" and "Bungalow," are about their life in Jeju Island.

For the concerts, which could be their last before they are drafted into military service, the two have prepared much to see as well as their songs. "You see there's a 'boy' in our name, but I hope that we can communicate to a broader fan base through our music for a long time," You said.

Tickets for the concerts are 45,000 won. For more information, call (02) 559-1333.

[2006-01-10]  (danlee@heraldm.com)


[국민일보] 재주소년 콘서트 관리자 2006-02-10
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