Thursday, 11 May 2017 02:55

Going the Extra Myles

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Singer Myles Kennedy on Alter Bridge, Slash and Led Zeppelin


Myles Kennedy is a stellar vocalist with one of the most unique voices in rock today. Born Myles Richard Bass, he is the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Alter Bridge. While on hiatus with Alter Bridge, he sang for one of the greatest guitarists in rock today — Slash, as part of his backing band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, and to top it off, he has even jammed with members of one of rock’s most hallowed bands — Led Zeppelin. Seoul Journal talked with Myles Kennedy about his early introduction to music, bands that he has worked with and the rock music industry as a whole.

Saturday, 15 April 2017 07:21

Scotland to the World: KT Tunstall

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A Musician Sharing Her Music Globally Through Performance and Film


KT Tunstall is a Scottish musician best known for her 2004 song “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” Her passion for music began at a young age. Since her first performance of her original song.Tunstall has gone on to become a successful singer. She is currently living in L.A., composing original film scores for movies. Her most recent release is the 2016 album KIN. Seoul Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with her during a break in her very busy schedule to discuss her career and her origins.

Friday, 07 April 2017 16:12

Lumineers Light Up the Charts

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American Folk Rock Band Tours the World with Long-Awaited Second Album


It was back in 2012 that the Lumineers, an American folk rock band from Denver, made a dashing debut with their self-titled album The Lumineers. Among the many refreshing and inventive tracks in the album, “Ho Hey” became a massive hit and went on to drive the album up to the second spot of the Billboard 200. In 2013, the New York Times described the Lumineers as a “young band." Now four years later, the band has become a major player in the American music scene and has recently released its long-awaited second album titled Cleopatra. The band consists of three members, Wesley Schultz (vocals, guitar) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums, piano) who are the founding members and co-songwriters, with NeylaPekarek, the cellist and backing vocalist. The band is currently on its world tour, taking on the globe with their original music and showcasing their growth ever since they released their debut album. Seoul Journal conducted an interview with Jeremiah Fraites, who talked about their new album Cleopatra and his experiences of being a member of the Lumineers.

Sunday, 05 February 2017 05:27

Sumi Jo Singing with Seoul

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An Interview With Grammy Award Winner Sumi Jo

Sumi Jo was born Jo Su-gyeong. She is a lyric colotura soprano opera singer, which means when she sings she will often switch between very high notes. Sumi Jo began taking music lessons as a young child; she was put on a strict regimen and would practice for hours every day. She later went on to study at Sun Hwa Arts School, Seoul National University and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. She made her European debut in 1986 in Rigelletto, and continued to preform operas throughout the European continent. She has also appeared on the small screen; in 2011 she provided the singing voice for Veda Pierce for Mildred Pierce on the HBO mini-series, Mildred Pierce. Sumi Jo has also appeared in the movies, she was nominated for a 2016 Academy Award for her performance of David Lang’s “Simple Song Number 3” in the film Youth. She currently lives in Rome and has two dogs.

Monday, 30 January 2017 17:05

Indie Group Thornapple

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An Indie Group With a Unique Image

Thornapple is an indie band from Seoul that began in 2009. Their first album was an overnight success that helped to cement the boy group in the small niche of Korean indie music. While their music is not as popular overseas as their K-Pop counterparts, the band stays committed to writing and creating new songs and to their fans. The band focuses on music and lyrics that allow the listeners to feel and connect with their emotions and are heavily inspired by band-member Yoon”s struggles with mental illness. The Seoul Journal managed to sit down with them recently to discuss their latest songs, their inspirations and their listeners.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 02:59

Jabbawockeez to Kinjaz: Ben Chung

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Taking Dance from One Generation to the Next

From dancing as a hobby to performing on the big stage in dance crews, Ben Chung has made a name and a place for himself in the dance world. Chung started out practicing and performing with friends in local competitions around 2000 to 2001. Several years later in 2007, Chung joined the Jabbawockeez dance crew and shined on the stage and screen when the Jabbawockeez won the America’s Best Dance Crew T.V. competition in 2008 and 2010. His successes did not stop with those victories though, as he later moved on to the Kinjaz dance crew and helped bring them to prominence when the crew made it to the finals in Season 8 of America’s Best Dance Crew. With Kinjaz, Chung has traveled around the world teaching and learning about dance moves from dancers of other cultures. Back home in the United States, he works on developing and maintaining the Kinjaz dance studio where he hopes to pass on his techniques and experiences to a new generation of dancers. Chung still dances himself, but he looks ahead to a future where he can more strategically help Kinjaz make its mark on the dancing world just as the Jabbawockeez did years before. If anything, he wants Kinjaz to be even bigger than his old dance crew to the point where Kinjaz dazzles audiences across the globe with fantastically choreographed moves. Seoul Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Ben Chung about Chung’s origins in dance, his transition from the Jabbawockeez to Kinjaz and how he wants to make dance a positive creative force that benefits future generations of dancers.

Friday, 25 November 2016 02:30

Marvel Concept Artist Andy Park

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Bringing Comics to the Big Screen

After debuting in the 90’s with his artwork in the best-selling comic book series: Tomb Raider, Excalibur,Weapon X, and The Uncanny X-Men, Andy Park made a name for himself in the entertainment industry. Currently working as a professional concept artist for Marvel Studios, he has provided illustrations and designs for top-tier projects such as The Avengers, Thor, True Blood, God of War and Iron Man. Park talked to Seoul Journal about his career in the unique developing field of concept art, his love for comics and his Korean heritage.

Sunday, 04 September 2016 00:00

Linkin Park’s Joe Hahn

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From DJ to Director


Joe Hahn is not only the DJ for band Linkin Park, but also directs music videos and movies. Linkin Park, formed in 1996, rose to fame with their debut album Hybrid Theory in 2000. Since then, they have won two Grammys and came out with six studio albums with hits such as “In the End” in 2000 and “Numb” in 2003. Hahn co-directed many of Linkin Park’s hit music videos, and most recently directed 2014’s “Until It’s Gone.” Hahn also directed the 2014 full-length feature film Mall. Hahn became the first Korean-American to win a Grammy in 2002 for Best Hard Rock Performance with band Linkin Park. Seoul Journal talked with Hahn about his start in the music industry, balancing his many projects, and his connection to his Korean heritage.

Sunday, 28 August 2016 00:00

Operation Chromite

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A special screening of the Korean film Operation Chromite, hosted by CJ Entertainment, the Korean Cultural Center, and the American Legion Hollywood, was held on August 4th before its American box office release. People poured into the Hollywood American Legion Post 43, including many veterans who had served in the Korean war and their companions. Though the Korean War is quite memorable for the Korean people, it is often called the Forgotten War by Americans, as many veterans who served are unrecognized for their part in defending the South Korea that exists today. The night served as an opportunity to remember and commemorate their sacrifices.

Thursday, 25 August 2016 00:00

KCON 2016 LA

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Walking into the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, one is immediately met with crowds of people, waiting in line for tickets with palpable excitement. This year, KCON LA saw over 76,000 attendees - the largest turnout since KCON’s beginnings five years ago. All fans of Hallyu - the Korean wave of traditional and pop-culture - could enjoy different pop-up shops at the exhibition hall, which included everything from Korean beauty products, to cafes where customers could be whisked away in a fantasy straight out of a Korean drama as they are served coffee and tea by beautiful flower boys. KCON goers eagerly received makeovers to look just like their favourite K-pop stars, while next door there was a dance floor where everyone could show off the choreography of famous Kpop songs. At the same time, Youtube stars such as LeenaDproductions, JREKML, and Clothesencounters conducted meetups with fans. The entire hall buzzed with energy. Outside of the hall, fans with premium tickets lined up to high-five famous K-pop singers; the smiles of their favourite idol groups provided them with the energy to beat the LA summer heat.

Saturday, 23 July 2016 00:00

Henry Cho

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Clean Comedy: Henry Cho’s Break from the Norm


Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Henry Cho began his career in stand-up comedy in 1986, dropping out of college in order to pursue his passion. In 1989, he moved to Los Angeles but made sure to keep in touch with his Tennessee roots, especially in his stand-up shows. As a practicing Christian, Cho values and performs clean, adult comedy, avoiding racial jokes that may create a negative influence on how the ethnicity is viewed. Cho has appeared on such television programs as Bob Hope’s Young Comedian Special, MTV’s ½ Hour Comedy Hour, and VH-1’s Stand-Up Spotlight. He has also been featured in films like McHale’s Navy, Say It Isn’t So and Material Girls. Eventually, Cho had his own Comedy Central special in 2006 called Henry Cho: What’s That Clickin’ Noise?.In 2011, he had his own show on Great American Country [GAC] called The Henry Cho Show, which was filmed in Nashville, Tennessee. Cho has been given the nickname “Mr. Clean” for his clean comedy, a distinction that sets him apart from other comedians. Seoul Journal spoke with Cho about his experiences as a comedian and what plans he has for the future.

Monday, 29 February 2016 00:00

Classical Pianist Yoonie Han

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An endless cycle of practicing, networking, traveling, and concertizing.

Not many classical musicians can debut at the age of 13 with an orchestra of the likes of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Following Yoonie Han’s 2001 grand-prize award in the Korea National Music Competition, the Korean Ministry of Culture named her its “most promising young artist.” In 2009, Han was honored with the Gawon Music Award as the “most brilliant pianist aged 17 to 31 of any nationality who possesses the most promising potential for global prominence,” and placed first in a multitude of competitions such as: the Washington International Piano Competition, the World Piano Competition, the Fulbright Concerto Competition, Juilliard’s Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition, and Music Teacher’s National Association Competition. Han has performed around the world with the Berliner Symphoniker, Buffalo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Banff Festival Orchestra, and I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milan. She has performed in globally renowned venues such as the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Berlin Philharmonic. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, Han went on to earn her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and, in addition to currently completing her doctorate at State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook, she is also on the faculty of Piano at the Bilkent University, Turkey. Han, also a Steinway Concert & Recording Artist, has also enjoyed special sponsorships from the Paris-based international retailer of fine furniture Roche Bobois, Switzerland’s leading maker of luxury timepieces Breguet, and the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, which has supplied gowns for her concerts. Seoul Journal's Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with the successful pianist about her roles as an artist and a teacher, her current projects, and her goals for the future.

Sunday, 14 February 2016 00:00

Margaret Cho

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Comedic Shock and Awe for Social Awareness

Korean-American queen of comedy Margaret Cho unleashed her unique brand of no-holds-barred comedy on the world, starting with stand-up comedy and expanding into the worlds of film, television, books, music and theater, earning her three Grammy Awards and one Emmy nomination. No topic is taboo in her socially aware brand of comedy, and she has shared with the world her personal experiences with molestation, rape and work in the sex industry. She has been recognized for her charitable work with gay rights, anti-bullying campaigns and the homeless community, which grew out of a tribute to her friend, Robin Williams. Her latest stand-up comedy concert special “psyCHO,” which premiered in September 2015, is available On Demand on Showtime. Seoul Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Margaret Cho during her U.S. “psyCHO” tour.

Tuesday, 08 December 2015 00:00

Pop Opera Diva Rose Jang

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Crossing Cultural and Artistic Borders

Rose Jang is an award-winning New York-based Korean-America pop opera artist, crossing musical genres and bridging cultures. Known for her operatic arias as well as musical and classic pop songs, she has performed for world leaders including the inaugural ceremony of South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and an event celebrating U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Legendary R&B vocalist Patti Labelle said that Rose has, "an absolutely beautiful voice and is an amazing performer” after the two performed together. Jang’s recording of “You Raise Me Up” broke the record for the most weeks at #1 on the Korean classical chart, and her cover of “Memory” from the musical “Cats” topped versions by Barbara Streisand and Celine Dion on the domestic and international music charts. In addition to her spectacular musical career, she has served as a PR ambassador for many organizations, including the Korean Tourism Office, UNESCO of Korea, and for the National Committee for Jeju-do Island, being credited as one of the reasons why Jeju Island was voted to be a “New7Wonders of Nature.” Korea's Cosmopolitan Magazine featured Rose Jang as one of the “10 Most Powerful Korean Women in New York” in September 2012. Seoul Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Rose Jang about her remarkable rise in the music world.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 00:00

KCON 2015 USA

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KCON is the annual K-pop (Korean pop) convention held by CJ E&M, Koreaboo, Mnet Media and Powerhouse Live. This year the event was presented by Toyota and spanned three days at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, with about 58,000 attendees. KCON allows fans to gather and share their love of everything Hallyu (the Korean cultural Wave) through discussions such as “Shower Scenes to Wrist Grabs: The Best and Worst K-Drama Tropes” and K-pop dance lessons.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 00:00

Actor James Kyson

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From Heroes to MMA Fighting

Voted by TV Guide as one of “Hollywood’s 25 Hottest”, James Kyson is a South Korean born American actor with a promising career ahead of him. He is most famously known for his role as “Ando” in the Heroes cast that was named in Time Magazine's Person of the Year 2006 issue under "People Who Mattered.” Kyson began his acting career on CBS’s JAG and has appeared on television shows such as CSI, The West Wing, Daybreak, Hawaii Five-O, and the upcoming School of Rock. In addition to television shows, Kyson has appeared in such feature films as The Livingston Gardener and Shutter. Raised in New York City, he studied communications and broadcasting at Boston University and the New England Institute of the Arts. His entrance into the world of entertainment began with a hip-hop rap group in college followed by trying a stint in improv comedy, all before moving to Los Angeles where he began training in music, dance and acting. He actively promotes health and fitness and supports various charity organizations including UNICEF, USO, and the Global Green eco campaign. Seoul Journal sat down with James Kyson in L.A. to talk about his career, his Korean roots, his experience with Japan and his upcoming projects.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 00:49

Iron House

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Iron House

Taipei’s three-piece indie-rock band Iron House explores a diversity of beats and sounds while preserving a sense of radiant darkness in their down-tempo musical style. With Cheng Han on drums, Kao-Man on vocals and Harry on guitar, the trio take their listeners on a journey of eclectic dream-like sounds and hauntingly beautiful vocals. Iron House formed in April 2014, and has played around 41 shows in Taiwan and Japan. Their latest EP was released in July this year, and the band is now looking to tour China and Japan as well as festivals outside of Asia next year. It captures Iron House’s rock and electro influences, which are channelled into a deeper tunnel of ambient sounds by the dreamy vocals of Kao-Man. Their dark, hazy music is of a similar nature to bands such as Mazzy Star, Daughter, Warpaint and The xx. Seoul Journal intern Paula Dunne talked to Iron House to find out about the band’s history, their music and their plans for the future.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 00:00

Rockin' Out with Rock 'N' Roll Radio

Rockin' Out with Rock 'N' Roll Radio

Rock and Roll is an incredibly diverse genre of music. Even with the exponential growth in its ever expanding number of sub-genres, a defined musical category can rarely ever satisfyingly describe the sonic subtleties each unique band possesses. But occasionally a band comes along that so precisely matches a specific musical genus; you might as well put it in the band’s name. Enter Rock ’N’ Roll Radio. The four piece band, whose recent meteoric rise is a testament to their expert musicianship and professional commitment to their craft, fully encompass the Rock and Roll pathos. The only thing missing is the occasionally intolerable, occasionally hilarious swagger that often comes with the territory. These are the nicest guys you could ever meet, but don’t let that fool you. They are Rockers with a capital “R”.

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