Actor Baek Sung-hyun [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
The boy practically grew up on the screens. He was five when he debuted in the film “I Wish For What Is Forbidden To Me” in 1994. The during his elementary school years he gained attention playing the roles of an adorable son in several MBC series including “Look and Look Again” in 1998 and “Housewife’s Rebellion (/Ajumma)” in 2000. Going past his teenage years, he played the young versions of the main leads in dramas such as “Damo” (MBC, 2003), “The Stairway to Heaven” (SBS, 2003) and “Emperor of the Sea” (KBS, 2004), pulling off acting that is more mature and romantic for his age. And while it is no simple task for a child actors to break away from their pasts, this particular actor, with his fair complexion, walked on his path at his own pace during the past 16 years. Director Lee Joon-ik of “Blades of Blood” (2010) pointed out once that he cast Baek as character Gyun-ja that stands between the two main leads Hwang Jung-min and Cha Seung-won for he was “the only actor who can act as much as he can at such a young age,” attesting to Baek’s strong fundamentals built up since he was young. Having starred as Gu Dae-gu, the young marathoner in “Running, Goo” (A-Shirt) (MBC, 2010) which brought out the excitement of youth, he then gave weight and balance to drama “White Christmas” (KBS, 2011) by acting in his calm voice.
"I had felt that the script was very interesting, the moment I started reading it. I wanted to be in it because it was a mix of Japanese mysteries and Korean thrillers while there was a serious story within the comic book-like set-up , a rare combination." In "White Christmas," a psychological warfare about eight students and a serial killer who are trapped inside the dormitory of a high school which is stranded from heavy snow, Baek plays Park Moo-yeol, the so-called 'manual man' who is a model student chosen by parents as the one they would want as their son-in-law. "Park may seem like the toughest character on the outside but he's also the most fragile because he may look upright and good-hearted but he's actually standing on a tricky line. I put in a lot of effort into using my eyes and expressions to show that he is someone who is extremely conflicted on the inside. Sincerity is the most important thing when it comes to acting." Park then added, "Everyone tells me that I'm like Park. That I'm easy to figure out. (laugh) I actually sort of am a perfectionist, just like Park." That is why Baek said he wants to recommend songs that will light up people's feelings, songs through which you can feel spring.
1. Two Chairs "Vol.1 Romance (Ruby's Juke Box)
"Last year was particularly cold so a difficult time to bear through. So I tried to choose songs that would instill vigor into everyone's hunched up bodies and souls," Baek said. Just like his words, "Romance in Euro" is a mellow instrumental piece which makes you feel as if you are sitting at an outdoor cafe in Europe on a warm spring day. "Romance," the first single by Two Chairs formed of top Korean jazz guitarist Kim Min-suk and singer-songwriter and guitarist Cho Sung-bin, delivers a simple yet beautiful melody and sound merely through the collaboration of two acoustic guitars. "I'm actually learning to play the guitar as well but I have yet to become good enough to play alone. I haven't been able to practice for a while because I've been busy but I'm hoping to be able to play at least one song in about two to three months time. (laugh)"
2. Julie C "Steady Ground"
"I've been learning a lot about music these days. Not because I want to put it to use but I felt that my life would become more rich if I know a lot about music as well as play some pieces. So even if it may be difficult to, I think a lot of things will have changed in the next two to three years if I invest one or two days a week into it." This is what Baek said and recommended "Steady Ground," an album by Canadian singer Julie C who debuted in 2003. "I was surprised upon hearing her uncommon yet attractive and addictive vocals. I recommend the song 'Tomorrow' in particular but the entire album will be good as well."
3. M.Y.M.P "Acoustic Proposal"
"'Say You Love Me,' my favorite song in this album, has a great melody to it but the female vocalist's voice is very attractive as well. Should I say that it puts you in the mood to love someone well because when you listen to her, you become full of emotion and that too of it being a spring day outside where flowers are starting to blossom. (laugh)" M.Y.M.P, a Philippine quartet formed of Chin Alcantara and his friends from college in 1996, has been a quintet after female vocalist Juris Fernandez joined. Her soft yet clean voice is impressive in "Say You Love Me," the remake to jazz vocalist Patty Austin's song from 1976, which was popular in Korea as well. M.Y.M.P stands for 'Make Your Momma Proud.'
4. Bebe Winans "Dream (Bebe Winans)"
"One of the songs my music teachers recommended for me was 'Love Thang.' And you'll see this by looking at the jacket of her album but Bebe Winans has a very soft voice that falls in great comparison to her seemingly strict-looking appearance. My teacher said it's a song we'll practice and sing one day as well although it won't be easy since it's such a classic. (laugh)" Album "Dream," released by Bebe Winans of top gospel duo Bebe & Cece, contains romantic love song "Love Thang" as well as seven minute-long song "I Have a Dream" whose motif comes from Martin Luther King's famed speech.
5. Olivia "A Girl Meets Bossa Nova Vol.2"
"I've been listening to Olivia's songs for a while now because I like them so much. There are a lot of good songs in the album but the last track in particular, named 'Sweet Memories,' is sweet and soft, just like its title, so it's as if it's caressing the listener's heart." Bossa nova vocalist Olivia, born in Singapore and leading her music career in Japan, has been gaining popularity with her sweet vocals and rich sensitivity since her debut in 2005. Her second album "A Girl Meets Bossa Nova Vol. 2," which is composed mainly of remakes of jazz, pop and bossa nova classics, features "Sweet Memories," a remake of Japanese songstress Keiko Matsui's song from the 1980s as well as her version of bossa nova maestro Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave."
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