Guitarist Sungha shares his impression of Philippines, dedication to music and future plans
From millions of YouTube channel views and a lot of awards, Sungha Jung has become a household name both to Kpop and non-Kpop fans. Hours before his Manila concert at the Newport Performing Arts Theater last June 15, 2013, hellokpop had the chance to get up close and personal with him. Although he has accomplished a lot at such a young age of 16, there was no sign of conceitedness as he warmly greeted us with a big smile.
Impression of the Philippines
It is his second time in the Philippines and he laughed as he described it as “hot”. He then added, “I am really impressed of the audience. I really like to play in front of fans and I really look forward to play for the Filipinos.” In the past, he played a famous Filipino song, Anak by Freddie Aguilar, using his first guitar. He shares, “My father told me to play the song. He liked the music. I listened to it and liked it as well so I played it.”
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Dedication to Music
Sungha started playing the guitar and uploading his videos in 2006 when he was just 10 years old. There were a lot of guitarists who inspired him to play the instrument. He shared, “There’s a Japanese guitarist named Kotario Oshio. I actually started to play the guitar because of him. After watching him play, I started to play as well. And the other guy is from Germany. His name is Ulli Boegershausen. He is like my mentor. I recorded my first album in his home studio.”
Millions of his YouTube subscribers witnessed not only his physical transformation but also his improvement in playing the guitar. He puts dedication in practicing every piece, taking about 2-3 days to practice before he uploads them. Ever wondered what was the most difficult piece to practice for him? It’s Laurence Juber‘s All of Me. According to him, “It has really fast techniques so it’s really hard.”
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Interestingly, he has also expressed his eagerness to learn playing other musical instruments. He says, “I learned once to play the piano and drums. I want to play more not only the acoustic guitar. I’m learning now to play the electric guitar and bass guitar and other instruments.” When asked if he will consider to be an idol, he shyly shakes his head and said, “No. Most Kpop stars are singers or dancers. But now, I’m an instrumental player. I don’t think I’m a Kpop star.” Although he doesn’t consider to be an idol, he would usually watch tv shows or music programs and think “Sometimes, I would like to sing in front of millions not just playing on instrument. I plan to learn singing. I want to exchange lives for one day with singers.”
Collaborations and Future Plans
Because of his hard work, Sungha has collaborated with a lot of artists like G-Dragon, 2NE1, Narsha, Lee Seung Gi and Jason Mraz. Most of the Kpop acoustic pieces he uploaded are songs of BIGBANG. He told us, “I think everybody knows that I like BIGBANG. I had a collaboration with G-Dragon. I like their music. I can say my favorite group is BIGBANG.”
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Who does he want to collaborate with in the future?
“Actually, that was Jason Mraz and it came true…”
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“…I also want to collaborate with this guy from Superstar K. His name is Roy Kim. I met him in Jason Mraz’ concert since he was also a guest. We met each other. One day I hope to collaborate with him… I don’t have a specific favorite song. But there’s a song that I mostly like to play recently. That would be Roy Kim’s Bom Bom Bom.”, he added.
Check out his acoustic arrangement for the mentioned song:
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Busy but Grateful
Sungha surprised us with his answer to the question, “What would you be doing if you’re not a musician?”. He answered, “I don’t know. I heard that question a lot of times but I really have to think about that. I don’t hate to study so maybe I will be studying.” He is currently homeschooling. Given the time, he would like to play basketball with his friends. Even though he is unable to do a lot of things because of his busy schedule, he expresses his gratitude for being able to share his music worldwide because “not all musicians are given this chance”.
Paint It Acoustic promotion
Sungha Jung is currently having an international tour to promote his third album, Paint It Acoustic, containing 14 tracks. His favorite track is Nostalgia, his original song that he describes as “beautiful and has a good melody”. He leaves a message to his fans saying, “Hi! I’m Sungha Jung. I just finished some of my tours in Asia… Please continue to support me”. He just recently concluded his Cebu and sold-out Manila shows and is set to perform in Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong.
Special thanks to Ms. Marsha of Pinoytuner and Sungha Jung’s manager, Ms. Dee, for granting us the interview.