The first time acquainting oneself with a relatively silent, but talented, artist is often by mistake, or it is when they gain some sort of acclaim for spurring vogue, speaking words of harsh honesty, or having an extremely unique forte. In trot singer Hong Jin-young’s case it is the latter paired with a beautiful appearance and a strikingly sugary persona that has garnered her attention in recent years.
Aside from her urbanity and hilariously frank appearances on variety TV, there is a special dynamism in Hong Jin-young’s musicality that is bound to take her further into the world of Korean entertainment and help her forge her mark as a unique performer.
But first, let us unpack her past and the roads she has traveled. She began her music career in 2007 debuting with the girl group SWAN with their catchy tune “Call Me When You Hear This Song” from their studio album Booming Swan. In 2009, as an affirmation of her blossoming career as a trot singer, she released her first digital single “Love Battery.”
Hugely popular for its animated melody fused with a distinct trot flavour, “Love Battery” culled attention for Hong Jing-young and established her as an orator of traditional trot in the musical domain of neon-headed K-pop singers, OST queens, and remarkably original solo artists. Shortly afterwards, in August of 2010, she returned with her digital single “My Love.” With a typical theatrical display of young women abandoning their hopes of a real romance, the MV for “My Love” morphs the average into a comedic and adult display of the idealism involved in love at first sight. Hong Jin-young’s pleasant voice lends nuances of maturity to the overall theme of the MV.
Two years later, the influence of the K-pop scene and pop culture could be seen in her digital single “Boogie Man,” but were not influential enough to displace the distinctly trot destiny of her music. “Boogie Man” is a quick pick-me-up with its bound-to-be-blown-up office setting, cute choreography, and a pretty in peach Hong Jin-young.
Luckily, 2014 was a year of mellowing progress for Hong Jin-young, with her most profound and fitting of the traditional trot release yet; her first mini-album “Life Note.”
The title track “Cheer Up” made me a fan for life with its stunning wind instrument accompaniment, humane lyrics, and unforgettable vocals. A special cameo was made in the MV by actor Choi Jeong-woo who played her disenfranchised father, and her We Got Married virtual husband Nam Goong-min played her caring lover in the MV. “Cheer Up” is a masterpiece that overflows with the poignancy of common people and everyday life. Hong Jin-young needs a standing ovation for using her heartrending vocals to give a song like “Cheer Up” a soul.
Hong Jin-young went the extra mile to add drops of epic hilarity to the already successful year that is 2015. She teamed up once again with composer Cho Young-soo and released a sequel to “Love Battery” titled “Love Wifi.” The union of the song and MV is a brilliant combination that will give purpose to anybody living a moody misaeng sort of life. Ironically enough, the MV draws attention to a monochromatic setting with various workers loitering around depressed in their workplaces. They lack motivation, but when a wifi signal is located from a TV set emanating Hong Jin-young’s catchy song, they bust out their most colorful happy dances. “Love Wifi” is artistry that cannot be missed!
To commemorate her success as a trot singer, Hon Jin-young received the 12th Republic of Korea Traditional Music Award for Best Singer in 2012, and the Mnet Asian Music Award for Best Trot in 2009.
As far as variety TV goes, this diva is not a lady left in the dust. She appeared on Running Man many times, and Happy Together throughout 2014. However, the most substantial way in which variety TV fans have gotten to know her personality and character is her pairing with actor Nam Goong-min on We Got Married. Sweetly spicy, their interactions emulate those of a real married couple in how well they understand and care for each other.
Hong Jin-young is an impressive entity among the flowers that recently began to bloom in Korean entertainment and she is among the most loved musical artists and variety TV personalities. Her presence as a popular Korean trot singer is clear in the fact that her appearance, attitude, and interactions are what the younger generation of Koreans like, and her music, palate, and vocals are what the elder generation of Koreans enjoy. With this twofold specialty she deserves a special place in our hearts, on our television screens, and on our playlists!