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Pop Music Icon Holds Rare News Conference

Posted August. 04, 2008 03:09,   


“When asked about Seo Tai-ji, teens say, ‘Who is that guy?’ The name represents an icon for Korean teens… That means I’ve gotten old enough; still, I should know better.”

Korean pop music icon Seo Tai-ji held a news conference at a Seoul hotel yesterday morning to promote his eighth album ”Atomos Part Moai” released July 29.

As part of Seo Taiji and Boys, the singer enjoyed monster popularity in Korea in the 1990s. The progressive group was a pioneer of Korean hip hop, and its influence on the Korean pop scene is still felt today.

Seo, 36, has held two concerts despite his aversion to the public eye unless he releases an album. Thus speculation is growing over whether his lifestyle is a staged part of his “mysticism marketing.”

“When I got the spotlight, I was young and not prepared to face the public,” he said. “I chose not to hang out and stayed home instead. This has become part of my personality. It has nothing to do with marketing strategy. These days, I can hang around without getting much attention. I like it.”

The four songs on his new album have easy melodies and the sounds of nature, a sharp contrast to the content on his previous two albums. He had experimented with new genres and put social messages in his songs.

“The theme is travel. I’ve traveled to many corners of the world. I felt myself dwarfed in front of Mother Nature, and experienced many emotional moments,” he said.

“I tried to reflect the feelings in my music. The genre of nature pound stems from such feelings. It slices beats into smaller units in a mystical melody. One might feel the melody as familiar, but the rhythm might feel like a heartbeat.”

The singer is said to employ “mystery teaser” marketing by arousing fan curiosity with a UFO or abandoned house to boost sales.

“I don’t sit at desk buried under papers to work out marketing strategies,” he said. “It’s like a game I share with my fans to double the concept and feelings of my music in preparation of an upcoming release.”

On how he maintained his youthful appearance even in his mid-30s, Seo said, “I don’t wash my face a lot. I once thought that was why. Rather, I’d like to attribute it to my easygoing lifestyle without much stress.”

Over his four-year break from music, he said he traveled throughout the United States and Chile. “My only wish is to die while traveling,” he said.

On marriage, the bachelor said, “I don’t think marriage is a necessary condition for a happy life. I think I’m afraid to deviate from music due to marriage. I am losing more interest in marriage because I don’t like companionship.”

“When things come, then I will fall in love and might get married. If I really want something, I do it.”

The singer will meet fans through ETP Fest slated for August 15 at Jamsil Baseball Park in Seoul. Toward the end of the year, he reportedly plans to release his second solo album, and embark on a national tour of 10 cities.