‘The Voice of Korea’ Brings the Spotlight to Unknown Singers
Singers that have great skills but never managed to step into the spotlight are making big comebacks on Mnet’s The Voice of Korea. Those contestants released their own albums and participated in OST albums but never got to fully promote due to their looks or problems with their agency. Now, they’re gathering interest while making the program more interesting at the same time.
The contestant that gathered the most attention was Kang Mi Jin, who appeared in episode two. Kang Mi Jin was a trainee with the other members of Brown Eyed Girls in 2006, but she left the group just before it was to make its debut.
In 2007 she was in a band called Sprinkler, but after it failed to become a success, she released a solo album under the name Yoari. Ever since her debut, she was signed with Nega Network, which also holds Brown Eyed Girls. Kang Mi Jin was chosen by all four coaches when she first appeared.
Jang Eun Ah from the same episode also made her debut before her appearance in 2006, with an OST. She released two singles under the name J-Smine, and was a guest vocalist for the band Loveholic.
Lim Jin Ho from episode three is also a singer. She sang Maybe We from the OST for Alone in Love, and was featured in Kim Jin Pyo’s Grand Slam Home Run.
Kang Mi Jin, Jang Eun Ah and Lim Jin Ho didn’t get much recognition after their fairly long careers as singers, but after the preliminaries of Voice of Korea, they said, “We weren’t recognized very much even when we had been in music for a long time, but we’re happy that we’ve managed to gather popularity so soon on Voice of Korea.”
Jun Cho Ah, who appeared in the preview for the next episode at the end of the third, was previously active in 2006 as the first Ran. After leaving her name of Ran behind, she was active as Yein. She soon changed her name to Cho Ah, and again sang under that name.
Despite these much considered name changes, however, her influence was weak. Jun Cho Ah said on the show, “I didn’t think the name of a singer was important, but people don’t know my face although they know my voice.”
But after Voice of Korea, Jun Cho Ah brought in the press to cover her as a cast member of the musical Healing Heart on February 28, before the fourth episode was to air.
Oh Kyung Suk left a big impression with Etude of Memories, but he also was a previous member of a band called Burntout House, which released two albums. He even appeared on KBS’ Top Band.
Jeong Seung Won was singled out by the famed American producer Quincy Jones, and released an album and performed for the main stage on a global jazz festival. His career from there, however, wound down, and so he came to knock on the doors of Voice of Korea. This also isn’t Jeong Seung Won’s first time on an audition program, as he appeared on Superstar K2 in 2010.
Lee Seung Chul at the time recommended Im Jae Bum’s songs to Jeong Seung Won, and asked him to improve on his ability to manage his dynamics. Jeong Seung Won took up the advice, and sang Im Jae Bum’s When the Night Goes By on Voice of Korea.
If you only take into consideration album releases as debuts, contestant Jang Jung Woo is the biggest senior. He released Was It You in 2003 as an OST for the drama Screen. He also released two singles before, and was the vocal trainer of Shayne on MBC’s The Great Birth.
Huh Gong, Huh Gak’s twin brother, never released an album, but he started preparing for his debut with a small agency after Huh Gak became famous.
A rep from Voice of Korea said, “Every week new issue-making contestants are waiting to appear. Even the producers and coaches were surprised during the preliminaries. We’ll be giving you something to listen to every week through Voice of Korea.”
Photo credit: Voice of Korea
Reach reporter Oh MiJung on Twitter @isyutar!
- The Voice of Korea 20120229