Monday, April 9, 2012

KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS’s “K-Pop Star” (9)

케이팝 스타: 이하이 (Lee Hayi, or Lee Ha Yi)

As SBS’s “K-Pop Star” is heading toward season’s end and as one of my blog readers asked me in comments – “Suppose that you are one of the judges and that you cast Lee Hayi. What song would you let her sing?” – I thought it’d be fun to share my picks with you.  This anonymous reader picked Michael Bublé's  “Feeling Good” or Ella Fitzgerald‘s “Summer Time,” which I also think would perfectly suit Hayi’s vocal technique and her unique vocal style.  And now, here’s my pick:  The greatest Nina Simone (1933~2003).
Simone’s musical style ranged from classical to pop: a crossover of classical music, jazz, blues, rhythm and blues (R&B), gospel, and folk; and she was best known for her uniquely deep, low-pitched, resonant, vibrant, divine voice that was characterized as female tenor or low tenor.  Yes, just like Hayi even though Simone’s voice was deeper, richer, more mature, and more soulful than Hayi’s.  And of course, considering her age, it’s no wonder – I have no doubt age will ripen her voice and soul.

I hope Hayi sings one of Simone’s songs someday on SBS’s “You & I,” or KBS’s “Sketch Book,” or on any stage, if these songs are not suitable for the competition.  Of course, these songs need a face lift, i.e., rearrangement, to flavor them with a contemporary spin and modern edge.

Nina Simone: Feeling Good

Nina Simone: Everything Must Change

Nina Simone: I Shall Be Released


  1. Those are great song choices!
    I don't know if you follow the official twitter but here's a video of the kpop stars practicing Fame

    Hayi's really funny. She dances but her expression stays completely blank. Also it really shows how she can't be in a team (at least not yet). In the practice and also the Fame live, she sometimes misses the dance/hand gestures. It's a wonder but she actually did pretty good with the Please don't stop the music

  2. Thanks! I really want her to sing any of these songs someday.

    I don't follow their official twitter, so thank you much for the link. Unfortunately, it's really difficult to watch any of Daum video clips, so I searched Youtube and voila! I found it: Hayi's so cute and adorable especially from 00:37. I think Michelle really likes Hayi.

    And about "Don't Stop the Music," don't you remember she kinda messed up her rhythm? - she missed the timing on the first note, distracted by the choreography. Anyway, I really enjoyed watching her and her signature blank face. Thanks!

  3. Firstly, thanks for providing such an elaborate answer to my hypothetical question!
    Secondly, I feel as though Boa is always in a state of disbelief whenever Hayi is on stage (as in she does not want to believe how good Hayi is at singing). I just have this feeling that Boa does not like Hayi.
    What do you think?

  4. I've never thought BoA doesn't like Hayi. I'd rather think Hayi's style simply doesn't fit in "SM" music. As you may know, SM is known for their own brand of music (SM-Pop) while JYP is producing R&B-ish singers. And YG itself has become a home for Korean hip hop. I think this is why Park Jin Young seems to show favoritism toward Hayi.

  5. First & foremost, and for the time being, thank you for being so kind and translating all of this for us lazy Americans who refuse to learn the Korean language. Secondly, i have an old request. Can you, will you be so kind as to provide a translation for the judges comments during the TOP 10 battle, between Park Ji Min vs Lee Hayi - Feb.19,2012. I would greatly appreciate it.

  6. You're welcome! And... if you learn Korean, then you'll be able to get the subtle nuances lost in translation. Fancy, isn't it? I'll have to find and watch again the video clip including the judges' comments on Hayi and Jimin's performance, so please bear with me. :)

  7. kpopantz, I just updated the post with a translation of the judges' comments about Hayi & Jimin's one-on-one battle.

  8. She sang as time goes by tonite.. i think she sang this song in a competition in 2009 as well.. anyway cant wait for your translation .. thanks in advance :)

  9. It's Sunday, my busiest day of the week; so please bear with me. Translation will be posted soon!

  10. You got to it before me, Widya, but yea im waiting to see what the conversation was between her and T.O.P. Im so proud of her. Though she was nervous, she didn't seem all that star-struck when she meet him! Father's like to see that strength in their daughters!...LOL I believe she made her parents proud...

  11. I thought the exact same thing!!! I really hope she sings a Nina Simone song one day...

  12. Judy. glad to hear it! Great minds think alike! Just kidding. :)


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