Nell has 4 members: Kim Jong Wan (vocal, guitar, keyboard), Lee Jae Kyung (lead guitar), Lee Jung Hoon (base guitar), Jung Jae Won (drums). This band was created by real friends who came together to share their love of music. The most unique trait about this band is that, all of their songs are composed, produced, and sung by vocalist Kim Jong Wan. He focuses his musical style on bringing out emotions with powerful lyrics. They currently have 4 official albums out. The band members just completed serving their military duty, and you can check out their official comeback stage at the Grand Mint Festival, aka GMF, on October 22nd and 23rd.
I have been a fan of Nell since their debut. The reason I was even interested in the first place was because they were the first group to be signed by Goesoo Indigene, the entertainment company that Seo Taiji created. Being that Seo Taiji is a “legend” of K-pop, I wanted to know what kind of band he could possibly have been interested in. When they finally debuted in 2001, they were amazing. But soon I found out, there were living in the shadow of Seo Taiji’s title. From their debut to even now, people know them as “Seo Taiji’s creation.” To get away from the title, they moved on to a different entertainment company, WOOLLIM Entertainment, in 2006 to show that their talent didn’t come from Seo Taiji, but from themselves. And, they did. After their new album released, they made a hit with the song, “The Time of Walking on Remembrance.”
This song had a lot to do with announcing their band to the public, but still it wasn’t enough to make them famous. Why? I think it’s because their use of deep, profound lyrics is commonly mistaken to being depressed and miserable, and you know how much Kpop audiences like their hook choruses and catchy dance moves. But, that’s Nell’s style of music and it’s totally cool if you’re not into that. It’s just a different K-pop style that we should consider because they are super talented and it’s been 10 years since their debut and no one seems to know that they exist.
One of my favorite songs by Nell is called, “I’ve lost my heart.” Because Nell uses really descriptive words, I want to translate part of the song for you guys. Overall this song is about not being able to let go of his ex-lover. In his lyrics he says, “Even though time has passed, and he should be able to forget, but he can’t because of the living memory of her inside of him. His heart and time has stopped after she left and he can no longer make a new memory cause he can’t be freed from the memory of her and the love he received from her.”
Nell are such good lyricists that they really have little competition from other groups, in my opinion. Their lyrics are incredibly thoughtful and I love that they can express their emotions in such a beautiful way. And, if you ever experienced heartbreak, relationships, and true love — you’ll be able to relate right away. Their talent needs to be respected more than we give them credit for.
Any other Nell fans out there?