Donga Ilbo on Park Geun-Tae


GOSH, before reading this interview, I only know him as a very famous composer. Now, after reading this interview, O_O I found out that he’s the CEO of OrangeShock!!! That’s really a shock!

So, Mr. CEO, when wheesung is going to release his extremely overdue album ? 😦

The longer I wait, the higher my anticipation is … sigh! It’s been like N years now 😦

He Helps Even the Wilted Bloom Again


It might not have been a composer that these young women needed. They might have needed more: a savior. Lee Hyo-lee and her embarrassingly low TV ratings in “Three-leaf Clover”; Baek Ji-young’s “Miss B Video” scandal; IVY struggling to shed her sex-symbol image; and Yangpa making a comeback after her 6-year hiatus.

These singers did not just need a new song – they needed to break free of a crisis, a dilemma, and all their footsteps led them towards one direction, towards musical composer and lyricist Park Geun-tae (35).

It is not just music he prepares for his clients. Park configures the “wardrobe” that will become the basis of the artist’s general image. Take for instance, Lee Hyo-lee’s commercial-based music “Anymotion” in 2005, or singer Baek Ji-young’s 2006 ballad, “Love You Not.” Already this year there are two more, “Seductive Sonata” sung by IVY and “Love… What’s That” by Yangpa.

Though it is hard to determine exactly when it happened, Park Geun-tae is now known as the musical genius to go to for female vocalists making a comeback.

“It’s about working with singers who need redefining. Unlike the newcomers to the scene, these veteran singers, especially the females, already have their regular hits. I don’t follow along those lines. I throw that away and try to find a different allure to that artist.”

“I want to use music to find their hidden allure”-

For the past fifteen years, since singer Park Joon-ha’s album in 1992, he has been walking the path of a songwriter. Park Geun-tae knows his musical theory and has a composer’s basic instincts. So, some might guess working for female K-pop artists was “easy as 1-2-3”! But he shakes his head from side to side.

“Actually, there really is no difference between working on music for male or female artists. When I work, I place emphasis on the ‘concept.’ I draw a mental image of the singer’s appearance, voice, actions, and then – one day, I’ll get this feeling. I take out my music sheet and begin to work.”

When asked which artist had been the most difficult for him, he promptly replied, “IVY.”

He said, “The idea for ‘Seductive Sonata’ took six months to transpire.”

Another artist he found difficult to conceptualize was Baek Ji-young. “The public reacted very negatively towards her and I wanted to circumvent that with a ballad, but she was crying and really did not want to sing it,” he stated.

A 15-year Career and 200 Hit Songs-

His first hit song came in 1994: “100th Meeting” for the group Roo’Ra. His early 90s hits also included Eco’s “Happy Me,” and “Live and Die by Pride” for Sechskies. Park Geun-tae was hailed as one of the best songwriters of the 1990s along with Yoon Il-sang, Joo Young-hoon, and Kim Hyung-seok.

Park’s composing prowess did not stop there. It continued into the 21st Century. He went on to write megahits like T’s “As Time Goes By,” and “Your Friend” for singer Cho PD, and many more. Soon these songs added up to 200. When asked about his yearly income, he simply stated, “I don’t deserve the income I received.”

Could that mean he has been adjusting well to an industry that is not always so generous?

“These days, I haven’t been listening to music that often. It has become terse and very similar in style. Also, the topics are deep, if you let yourself become immersed, there is no way to pull yourself out. There is a smaller market, especially now that it has become a digitized era… there is less time to attract your listeners.”

“My musical roots lie in the 1970s,” he confided. Even today, he chooses to listen to music by Stevie Wonder and ABBA. Park says it is because there is a richness in that music that is lacking in the music of today.

He was a guitarist in his high school band. That was one of the first steps that led him to become a composer. Before an audition, he was writing a song when he realized how much he lacked in musical knowledge. He was embarrassed and became determined to teach himself everything, including the basic laws of harmony. Thus, a songwriter was born.

Park Geun-tae is the CEO of the management agency, OrangeShock, and is currently working on albums for Wheesung, Eru, and Goh Yu-jin.

Source: Donga Ilbo

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One thought on “Donga Ilbo on Park Geun-Tae

  1. Ahah… so true… When will Wheesung’s grossly delayed album be released? AND…i just realised he composed the music for SG Wanna Be’s first album songs: Timeless, Saranghago shipeo and Saranghagil jeongmal jalhaesseoyo. Never seen his pic before though, now i have 😛
    You know… when i first listened to Ivy’s Seductive sonata song, i was annoyed the hell out by her voice. BUT… the music grew on me and I can’t get it out of my head >.

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