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[Interview] Park Sun Ju Says, “‘I Am A Singer’ Is a War for Information”

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2011.09.07 16:18 Mwave Oh, MiJung

The musician Park Sun Ju (40), one of the only female pop musicians still active as an independent composer and arranger, spoke of the obstacles she faces as an arranger in MBC’s I Am A Singer.




Park Sun Ju recently met with eNews and said, “Rearranging for I Am A Singer is like a war for information. You′re always trying to find out how the other team rearranged their songs. But it’s not easy to get that information.”


She added, “Because you have to rearrange a song every week, it’s very stressful. I think this program should be called I Am An Arranger, not I Am A Singer .”

[Interview] Park Sun Ju Says, “‘I Am A Singer’ Is a War for Information”

Park Sun Ju joined I Am a Singer on August 21 as the arranger for Bobby Kim’s team. For her first song, she gave Bobby Kim a shocking rearrangement of Rain’s Ways to Avoid the Sun.

Park Sun Ju said, “I’ve known Bobby Kim for a long time, but I’ve never seen him as nervous as he was on the stage of I Am A Singer . It’s a stage which makes both the singer and arranger nervous.”

Park Sun Ju is well-known as the writer of Bobby Kim’s hit song Love… That Bastard, but she is also a skilled vocalist with her own songs, such as One’s Way Back, Precious You, and Boys and Girls. When we asked Park Sun Ju why she’s arranging for I Am A Singer when she could be on it as a singer, she answered, “Rearranging songs is as fun as actually singing them. It’s very stressful but it’s just as rewarding.”



Park Sun Ju is a one of a kind female producer. There are many female singer-songwriter musicians who produce their own albums, but it’s hard to find a female musician who produces albums for other singers and also writes lyrics, composes, and arranges songs herself. It’s safe to say that Park Sun Ju is the only female producer famous enough to be recognized just by her name.


When asked why female musicians don’t seem to work with other singers’ albums, Park Sun Ju answered it was because “the world of producing is very rough going.” She said, “There are many talented female musicians. But when working as a producer you need to reach agreements with the singer, and sometimes you have to play a war of nerves at the recording studio. It must not be easy for female musicians to go through all that.”


She said she was “currently preparing for” another album. But because she’s so busy with her many different roles, whether she will be able to meet the dates is uncertain.


Park Sun Ju is the music director for tvN’s music program Show Show Show, a professor of applied music at Dongduk Womens’ University and is also the manager of the vocal academy ‘Sand Factory’. Last year she trained the Superstar K2 finalists, but this year she couldn’t take up that job again because she had no time.



Park Sun Ju’s many different career tracks led her to train numerous singers. Kim Bum Su, the ‘visual singer’ of I Am A Singer , also learned how to sing from her. “I trained Kim Bum Su, then introduced him to a producer I knew so that he could make it as a singer,” she said.



With Huh Gak, one of her trainees from Superstar K2 releasing his debut album soon, and John Park, another trainee, also looking to debut as a singer, it seems that ‘Park Sun Ju’s children’ are leading the K-Pop world.

Park Sun Ju cheered on her students, saying, “They all have great potential. I believe they will all do great.”


Translation credit: Erika Kim

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