Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated Cho EK
At a certain point, K-pops and drama soundtracks equally started to dominate the charts on Korean music platforms. Productions usually release their soundtracks before their launch, and among those soundtracks, the ones sung by the main leads adds special excitement to the already stunning music. It’s because we can enjoy their performance both as a vocalist and actor at the same time in one work. Nowadays, it is common for actors to pursue their musical and acting careers at the same time. They not only play the main character in a drama but also participates in the soundtracks as one of the singers. So, let’s take a peek at some of the great drama soundtracks sung by singer-turned-actors from the shows released this year.
OCN’s Voice 4 is a thriller drama that revolves around an emergency call center and the employees who attempt to fight crime using the limited information they get from the urgent calls they receive. A former IT agent Han Woo Joo, played by Kang Seung Yoon, is the first character to appear in the series. He is a free-spirited man who also has some quirky qualities. The track “Your voice,” he participated, adds to the tight tension of the drama. Being a member of the boy group WINNER, he released his solo album PAGE this year and is actively pursuing both his acting and musical activities. Even before Voice 4, he sang numerous songs in pieces like High Kick 3, Prison Playbook, and Kairos.
The abandoned real estates in KBS’ Sell Your Haunted House are possessed by evil spirits and entities. Oh In Beom, played by Jung Yong Hwa, is a fake exorcist and conman who does not know about his hidden spiritual power. When Oh meets Hong Jia, an authentic one, he slowly realizes his mysterious ability as an exorcist. And he becomes a warm-hearted man in the process of listening to the unspoken stories of the ghosts who hold their undissolved grudge and resentment from their former lives. “I Got Ya,” which played at the end of the work, was sung by Jung, the main vocalist of CNBLUE. The song perfectly brings out the drama’s setting while reminding us of Michael Jackson’s song “Thriller.”
tvN’s Doom at Your Service depicts the romance between god Myul Mang, an intermediary between the gods and humans, and Dong Gyeong, a human who signed a contract with him, risking her everything. Myul Mang is an existence whose exact age cannot be determined, and Seo In Guk excellently portrayed his cold personality and the boredom of the infinity. The song “Distant Fate,” which plays during the first kissing scene, is the work of Seo In Guk. Seo In Guk started his career as a singer-songwriter and has actively participated in numerous soundtracks in High School King of Savvy and Master’s Sun. This time, he participated in not only singing the song but also in writing the lyrics and composing the melody of the track. With this piece, he perfectly captured the longing heart of Myul Mang, who deeply loves Dong Gyeong.
tvN You Are My Spring is the story of adults who each live on with their seven-year-old selves in their hearts. Together, they form a heartfelt bond when they become entangled in a perplexing local murder case in a mysterious hotel.
Seo Hyun Jin played Kang Da Jeong, a hotel concierge manager. She stayed at an inn in Gangneung as a child for a short time, but she considers the inn to be a home of her heart. Da Jeong has a warm heart that makes the youngest guest open his heart to her. She is also very kind to her friend with a scar on his heart. “Peacock (Dajeongi Ver.)” is Dajeong’s main theme song, which well represents Da Jung, who comforts others while she herself is the one who needs consolation. Seo Hyun Jin covered the song originally sung by Yang Da Il, and the song gives off a different vibe from the original piece.
OCN’s The Uncanny Counter is a drama based on the webtoon of the same name in which demon hunters chase down evil beings living on earth. Sejeong played Do Ha Na, a woman with a hyper-sensitive spiritual power who can detect evil spirits. Her action performances where she gently knocks down the gang in an alley with a kick or battling evil spirits in an elevator received favorable reviews. Sejeong participated in creating the track “Meet Again,” which has a calm and mysterious vibe. She also took part in writing the lyrics, composing and rearranging the music for the track.
Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.
Translator Cho EK: I’m a big fan of Korean dramas and movies.