Sunday, March 4, 2012

KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS's K-Pop Star (2)

케이팝 스타이하이 (Lee Hayi, or Lee Ha Yi, or Lee Hai)

She chose to sing Kim Gunmo or Kim Geonmo (김건모) on K-Pop Star's first "live" TV competition (aired a few hours ago in Korea).  All I can say is "wow."  For it was none other than Kim Gunmo, one of these legendary Korean Gungmin Gasu or Gukmin Gasu (국민가수, "Nation's Singer").  He's got the killer voice which is simply unique, divine yet down-to-earth, with his natural groove mixed with reggae, soul, blues and a hint of Korea's own music, Pansori (판소리).  Accordingly, all his songs - especially ballad songs - are easy to listen but just tooooooooooooo hard to sing.

But Lee Hayi did it again. Even though her understated performance of the night failed to get the most votes from the TV audience or the judges she needed to place first, I bet it will grow on you as you listen or watch it.

Kim Gunmo's "Miryeon" (Regrets) (aired on 3/4/12)

BTW, she revealed that her father named her Hayi, wanting her to be "happy for a long, long time" as ha (하, 遐) means "remote, distant, long" and yi (이, 怡) "joyful, delightful, happy."  She added she doesn't look as delightful as she really is because she's not good at expressing her emotions.

Screen captures from SBS's "K-pop Star" (aired on 3/4/12)

KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS's K-Pop Star (1)
KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS's K-Pop Star (3)
KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS's K-Pop Star (4) 
KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS's K-Pop Star (5)  
KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS's K-Pop Star (6) 
KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS's K-Pop Star (7) 
KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS's K-Pop Star (9)


  1. During the broadcast performance, I thought she sang well. But the program moved so fast that I didn't question the scoring, etc. Listening to it again, I quickly realized that it was a masterpiece--one of the most emotionally moving songs I've ever heard.

    It should have gotten 100 points across the board. The "critiques" made by the judges made no sense. It was like they had a pre-determined response in mind.

  2. Not to get all conspiracy theory-ish, but Hayi's cover of Gunmo Kim's 미련 ("Regret") was very beautifully done. It doesn't get any better. So.....

    What was the deal with the judges comments??

    The song made them sleepy? Made them lose interest toward the end? Not enough high notes? My guess is that there are very few people who actually listened to her song who would agree with those bizarre comments from the judges.


    The conspiracy theory-ish thing is that it makes you wonder if they had already decided to increase the rivalry and competition drama by giving Hayi a lower score than she really deserved. She came into the live show fresh from a series of very strong performances (Mercy, For You, Mama Do). Then in this first performance in the live show, she sang a sad ballad with perfect emotion, tone and everything.

    I guess if they had given her the score that she deserved on this first live performance it would have started to look like "Hayi and those other contestants." If they did do any intentional downscoring to bump up the competition drama, YG needs to be extra, extra nice to her now to make up for it. ;o)

  3. Whether there was or wasn't a conspiracy, the thing is I really, really liked Hayi's rendition of Kim Gunmo's Regrets. :)


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