Sibling duo rising as musical darlings
By Baek Byung-yeul
Successful sibling partnerships have been rare in Korean pop music, but Lee Chan-hyuk, 16, and her younger sister Lee Soo-hyun, 13, are off to a promising start.
The Duo, who call themselves the “Akdong Musicians,” quickly became household names after impressing audiences with their vocal harmonies and light-hearted approach on SBS television’s reality singing contest, “Survival Audition K-Pop Star 2.”
The pair’s performance of “Officially Missing You,” a song by Canadian R&B artist Tamia, on the show Sunday drew more than a million hits on website Daum (www.daum.net) just a few hours after it was posted following the live broadcast.
It also seemed that the show’s three judges – JYP Entertainment President Park Jin-young, YG Entertainment head Yang Hyun-suk and SM Entertainment singer BOA – couldn’t get enough of them. The Akdong Musician was easily the highest scoring performers on the stage.
“Maybe I am getting old. I have never shed tears over any song before while I was here,” Park said, wiping his wet eyes.
Akdong Musician have been garnering a following since last year. Their debut song, “Don’t Cross Your Legs,” went to No. 2 on the Gaon Chart, which tracks music downloads on different websites, in December. Their follow-up, “You Are Attractive,” written by Chan-hyuk, made it to the top in following weeks, beating a slew of opportunistic Christmas carols.
Soo-hyun can really sing and Chan-hyuk is showing creativity as a songwriter. In their version of “Officially Missing You,” Chan-hyuk rewrote the lyrics in Korean, expressing his respect for his competitors who were eliminated, and adjusted the music accordingly. The end-result was convincing.
In a K-pop scene populated by formulaic music and bleached-out personalities, the Akdong Musician is clearly a breath of fresh air. It probably helped that Soo-hyun and Chan-hyuk were less exposed to the manufactured K-pop culture than their counterparts, having spent their childhood being home-schooled in Mongolia.
The winner of K-Pop Star 2 will receive an opportunity to join one of Korea’s main three entertainment agencies – SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment or YG Entertainment. The winner can choose the agency, with which he, she or they release an album.