K-pop star Youn Seok is in love with Malaysia

6 December 2012 / 3 years 10 months ago

Source: The Star/Asia News NetworkHe may not understand a word of Malay or have any inkling what goes into the making of our local foods, Korean K-pop star Youn Seok confessed he is in love with Malaysian food and Malay songs.The 32-year-old celebrity, in town recently for the third time in four years, was promoting his latest album, The Birth - 5. His favourite Malaysian foods? Roti Canai, Nasi Lema and sambal. And his favourite song is Kau Ilhamku by Man Bai."I'm definitely going to record the song because the melody is simply too beautiful to ignore. In fact I can hum the tune and sing the melody now," said Youn Seok who has picked up a few Malay words and plans to record a few Malay songs in his new album.He said the three weeks he spent in the country was a great experience and says he felt at home here. "I love how warm the people here are. My fans here have been so welcoming, friendly and supportive. I often get a dozens of annyeong haseyo (hello) and saranghaeyo (I love you) where ever I go and even from men too. I hope to impress the Malaysians further," he said.He adds, "The spicy food here is simply irresistible especially the chilies and the after taste. In fact, the spicier the food, the better it is. The food reminds me of Korean food in a way. There are quite similar in certain ways," said the singer who is also a popular composer and an actor.His visit here was rather timely with the Korean craze for K-pop, Korean dramas, and of course the famous Gangnam Style, not to mention the hot Korean fashion many youngsters are into. The impact has been phenomenal and has made all of Korea proud, he said of the craze.Of the Korean popularity, he said: "It's just very unique and fun and has something for everyone. Everyone will fancy a certain K-pop star, Korean fashion style, and certain Korean drama actors. Though I know this is just a phase, I think it's been a great development not just for the Korean economy but also for Korean talents. Our culture will be recognised globally."As Koreans, we feel very lucky to be given the chance to bring so much joy to people around the world. I believe that nothing lasts forever but I'm confident this Korean wave will run on strong for the next few decades. Just like any other trend, there will be a different music genre or different dance but the K-pop craze will never be forgotten," said Youn Seok who is the younger of two siblings.As for Gangnam Style, popularised by Korean pop star Psy or Park Jae-Sang, Youn Seok shares the success with much pride. "Gangnam Style has been amazing and I'm so proud of its success. Firstly, the song and dance moves appeals to everyone of all ages and races and it puts people in a happy mood. Secondly, Psy has not just done the Koreans proud but also introduced what an Asian man is capable of. This is why I always feel that music is the best language to unite the world," said Youn Seok who is better known as a rock ballad singer back home.According to him, rock ballads will never go out of style. "I don't think rock ballad is a seasonal genre. Singers like me might have to look into getting a new image or new sounds and new technology or instruments," explained the still single Youn Seok.Ironically, before he plunged into show business, Youn Seok never gave any thoughts to becoming a singer. He aspired to be a composer but a chance meeting with veteran director Seo Se-Wan who visited the Northern Illinois University, where he studied vocal training changed his career path. It was Seo Se-Wan who Youn Seok said set him on the path of becoming the singer he is today. In 1994, Youn Seok decided to cast aside his degree course to instead cut his debut album, The Birth - 1.Like most androgynous-looking Korean male celebrities, Youn Seok said he acquired a certain style too. "I know what people say about Korean male celebrities. But I'm normally dressed more GQ and smart when I'm working but outside the office, I dress differently. I prefer to dress for comfortably. I like being in casual t-shirt, jeans, beanie or sneakers. It works best for me," he said.This soft-spoken singer, who has an amazing vocal range, said he has enjoys a rather a good rapport with his fans and the media. "The media have always projected me as a cool quiet character. When I'm not rushing because of work, I'm actually a rather talkative and playful person. But I have to admit that I probably feel more relaxed with the media when I'm out of Korea because I feel more at ease. However, I do have some close friends from the media and we often go out for casual dinner or drinks back home," he said.As for fans, he interacts mainly on Facebook. Since he launched his Facebook fan page less than three months ago, almost 34,000 fans have signed up and the number grows by the minute. "I try to keep in touch with my fans. I try to get to know each one. I need their constant encouragement to keep me motivated with my work. Every time I read their comments about my songs, I'm reminded of their expectations and I just want to do better," said the singer who is working on materials for his new album which he explains will be interesting and fresh.The album will include some cover version songs from Malaysia and other parts of South East Asia. "The songs will be from this side of the world. It would be what I've wanted to do all this while but never got a chance to do it. It will be something new and exciting," said Youn Seok who has been making waves in both Malaysia and Indonesia.

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