Yi Sung Yol & Kiha and the Faces: Bringing Korea to London
After an interview with Korean artists Yi Sung Yol and Kiha and the Faces, it was not difficult to realize that the night would be one about the Music. Forget the dramatic pulsing lights, multiple outfit changes, booming bass and sharp dance moves you would have normally seen at a Korean music event in the UK; on Thursday 20 June, everything would be purely about the Music.
Anyone who walked into the Scala that night would be able to sense the anticipation in the air as Yi led the event. Although quiet and somewhat coy, Yi is a well-respected and popular veteran in the Korean music industry. It never gets too exhausting with Yi’s music as he played gentle rhythmic beats, which worked harmoniously well with the other instruments. The guitar or the piano, each chiming in at the right tempo along with everything else, for a reason.
During the concert, the faces in the audience were engaged by not only his voice, but the way he in fact said not much at all. From the photos, Yi was mainly captured looking down, involved in his own musical world to care about anything else. Only a few times did he talk to the crowd, which was mainly to ask them to wait as he tuned his guitar for the next song or to introduce his next song. It didn’t matter. The audience seemed to be mainly made up of older Koreans, or people who have known him before the Hallyu boom in the late 1990s. It only mattered that they could see this music magician performing magical sounds right in front of their eyes. Sure to some new age K-pop fans, his music may sound strange, earthy, and dark, but that is what life is all about too. Yi’s music reflects real life and his performance at the Scala only shows how much sometimes music fans need to listen to this sort of genre. This melancholic, entrancing and hookless music will be sure to open up that small, hidden part of us.
Watch some of his music videos below and listen for yourselves:
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Not forgetting the energetic band Kiha and the Faces, they were simple, fun and playful. Seemingly flippant because of their lyrics and Jang Kiha’s way of singing, audience was enjoying these moments. The band work hard for their critical success from scratch, and there was no word to describe their stage presence as the night went on. Judging the reaction from the crowd, Kiha and the Faces were a success not only because of their great music, but also of Jang’s ability to sing as if he was talking, and talking as if he was singing. Jang did not try any crazy notes or lyrics, and it worked well. His vocals was charming and his attempts at speaking English even more so.
It’s not only Jang Kiha in the band, but there are also Jung Joong Yub, Lee Min Ki, Jeon Il Joon, Lee Jong Min, and Yohei Hasegawa. The band members were all lovely. There to have fun in the UK as well as work, and they were not even shy to talk about wanting to meet pretty women and drink ale!
Kiha and the Faces are the epitome of a youngster’s dream, to have a successful band untouched by massive entertainment companies and no pressure to act in a certain way.
Be sure to check out some of their music videos below:
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The night was amazing overall. Two different genres of artists worked together, who not just create an evening of fun, but also get people to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee. There is more out there, so much more.
Make sure to stay tuned for our upcoming articles on the interviews with both Yi Sung Yol and Kiha and the Faces!
Special thanks to the Korean Cultural Centre for the media invite!