Shin Hyesung still gets stage fright despite his 11 years in showbiz

The unassuming efforts of singer Shin Hye Sung. Debut in 1998 with group Shinhwa and has been active as a solo artist for 4 years. He spared some time for us in the midst of his efforts to speak of the color of his music and describe his methods.

Towards the latter part of last year, he presented 3rd Side 1 “Live and Let Live.” On the 16th in a cafe in Seoul, we met with Shin Hye Sung who looked conspicuously at ease. 3rd Side 1 was an album that showed other possibilities of solo singer Shin Hye Sung. “Ballad Singer” Shin Hye Sung came out with and challenged alternative, british rock, swing, big band, and various other genres. The result appears to be satisfactory and gratifying.

“It seems there is no sense to just singing ballads, though you are a ballad singer. Going out of the realm of ballads into new realms, new point of views may develop. Challenging other genres of music will broaden the range of my own music. I enjoy releasing albums that have a concept.”

Through 3rd Side 1 Shin Hye Sung gained some foundational know-how for the ballads only Side 2 “Keep Leaves,” which will be presented on the 17th. The album is coming out 2 months later than originally slated. Wanting to complete an album of high standard, they continued work through the latter part of last year, and thus had to delay. Knowing that it is easy to become bored while listening to ballads, the songs were arranged to give a sense of suspense and strain.

“From the start we planned to divide the 3rd jib into 2 and release them as mini-albums, and that’s how we worked on them. It was a big factor to give the fans good songs to listen to.”

Currently there is a slump in the gayo world and releasing a formal album is not easy. Taking the course of releasing mini-albums is worrisome but for the returns of encouragement from the fans who have waited a long time, the album is being released.

“In the past, if a singer you liked came out with an album, with a restless heart you would sit down and listen to the music from beginning to end. However, nowadays, the situations is often that only the first few tracks or the title track is listened to and thus releasing a full length album is quite meaningless. However, if for this album they listen to the end, that would be great. I put great care and efforts into all 10 tracks.”

On the 12th the title track, “Why Did You Call” was released and since then the response has been hot. About this, Shin Hye Sung laughed “Since my debut as a solo artist, the hottest response.” The song “Why Did You Call presents a touching story of two lovers’ mutual yearning after separation. The main point of the song is the control of the greatest of feelings and speaking without words.

“Inserting the narration etches more deeply the feeling of loneliness. Like the heartline, the refrain, as the song goes by, rises suddenly and bursts. We also made the lyrics simple so that they are easy to apporach. For those who have experienced separation, they can sympathize with this song.”

On the album, there is also “내가 죽어가…” (I’m Dying) which showcases the lyrics of Kim Jae Suk (of group Wanted), composed by Choi Kap Won, and the touching voice of Shin Hye Sung. The song “그 자리에서” (In that place/seat) exhibits the collaboration of noted composers Kim Do Hoon and Kim Ki Bum who worked on the piano melody and touching lyrics which catches the attention of the listener.

Shin Hye Sung also considered the sense of balance among the songs. To double the touching feeling of the music, the intros were put in which the breath broke off at every measure. “Part 1” and “Part 2” of the intro are divided in which the piano and cello play a lonely melody.

It has been over 10 years since Shin Hye Sung debuted as a singer and as a solo artist he has a renewed, hardened resolve. “In the earlier days my heart was never at ease and it seems like I sang like a machine. Now I’m more at ease. But still today, when I’m on stage I’m nervous (and tremble) and become tense. Especially on a solo stage my nerves are high and I am very tense. The path of a solo artist is long but I will continue to make steady efforts.”

In the album Shin Hye Sung left words of thanks, though the are short they are sincere: “To those who have always made me happy, While always looking at the same place, Please wallk together with me. Like this, always”
The ones who he is always thankful to, wanting to look at the same place with, these people are, directly, the fans. For these fans who have waited, Shin Hyesung is hoping for the approach of the meaningful gift that is 3rd side 2.

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