[Herald Review] Musicians from South Korea and ASEAN harmonize thanks to “Round in Korea”

Musicians from Korea and nine ASEAN member states perform at the “Round in Korea” online music festival on Sunday. (ASEAN-Korea Music Festival)

The COVID-19 pandemic may restrict travel, but the power of music to connect and bring people together across borders was evident on Sunday night during the ASEAN-Korea music festival’s “Round in Korea”.

The six-hour online festival featuring 15 Korean musicians and nine of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was hosted by public broadcaster KBS and sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Seoul, the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund and the ASEAN Secretariat. Myanmar musicians were unable to participate due to conditions in the country.

The musicians, performing in their respective countries, created a festive atmosphere by presenting eye-opening performances that drew some 250,000 viewers from around the world.

Under the theme “Hello to the New Normal”, “Round in Korea” aimed to strengthen the cultural bond between ASEAN member states and Korea through the power of music to connect people. The festival was a melting pot of different musical styles, ranging from avant-rock inspired by traditional Korean music to Pinoy pop, featuring 15 of the best musical groups from 10 countries.

The online music event began with a performance by South Korean ambient pop group Lucy. The 2019 JTBC “Superband” music competition finalist seemed nervous at the start of the show, but the group’s melodic vocals performing “Hero”, “Irrelevant Answer”, “Rolling Rolling” and “Stove” quickly caught the attention of the band. public. .

Laotian singer-songwriter Taiy Akard then performed “See Vid Lung Khuam Tai”, “Jao Bor Man Akard” and “Pharb Kheurn Wai”. The performances of the ASEAN musicians were pre-recorded and broadcast via YouTube.

Malaysian rapper Sophia Liana mesmerized audiences with punchy beats, powerful raps and a loud voice, performing four songs including the mashup “Sophia Rap Time x Panas x Raja Gelek”, “Bunga x Amboi” and “Dulu”. The artist fused hip-hop tunes with Malaysian culture to create his own style.

The five-member Korean crossover group Jambinai has forged close ties with music lovers, mixing traditional Korean gugak and contemporary avant-garde. The group created universal sounds by playing gugak instruments including geomungo, haegeum and ajaeng, as well as drums and bass guitar. The group performed three songs: “Onda”, “Sun. Tears. Red “and” Extinguishing time “.

Musicians from Korea and nine ASEAN member states perform at the “Round in Korea” online music festival on Sunday.  (ASEAN-Korea Music Festival)

Musicians from Korea and nine ASEAN member states perform at the “Round in Korea” online music festival on Sunday. (ASEAN-Korea Music Festival)

Bruneian singer Bila Junaidi performed five songs with the band The Stars, while Cambodian singer-songwriter Kesorrr took the stage with powerful performances with other performers, including the five-member dance group D- Man. Korean boy band N.Flying also wowed K-pop fans with their songs “Flowerwork”, “Video Therapy”, “Stand by Me” and “Songbird”.

Vietnamese pop star My Anh performed several self-composed songs and presented her R&B song “Look Easy” which will be released at the festival soon. His father joining as a guitarist for the performance also caught the public’s attention.

Korean synth-pop band Adoy and Indonesian band Barasuara heated the scene, while Korean singer-songwriter Sam Kim, Singaporean singer-songwriter Linying, and singer-songwriter and producer Thai Two Popetorn wowed audiences with their soft and mellow vocals. The Thai singer filled the stage by performing with Jakkawal, a member of the festival’s music committee.

As soon as Filipino boy group SB19, one of the Billboard Music Award nominees for Best Social Media Artist with BTS, Ariana Grande, Blackpink and Seventeen, arrived, fans of the five-member act left behind. endless messages encouraging the group in the live chat. Almost 13,000 viewers watched the boy group’s performance via YouTube channels for KBS Kpop and Round Festival.

Korean duo Peppertones, calling themselves “musicians who play joyful and hopeful music,” concluded the festival with “Long Journey’s End”, “A Cowboy’s Ocean”, “Everything is OK” and “Good Luck” to You “. The duo also expressed their enthusiasm for performing in front of music fans around the world.

Burmese reggae singer-songwriter Wai La was supposed to perform as well, but due to the protracted crisis in Myanmar, the pre-recording of his performance was delayed and could not be completed in time to participate. at the festival. The event, however, has hinted that his performance will be unveiled when KBS and KBS World air the festival next month.

Although there were minor technical issues during the show, the 2-year-old musical event skillfully handled the situation. The event also performed her campaign song “Will You Come See Me Again”, which was produced by Korean singer-songwriter Kim Hyun-chul.

Yoon Sang festival singer-songwriter’s live interviews with two artists from Southeast Asia brought a sense of intimacy to the online event. During the interview with My Anh, Yoon asked to collaborate with the Vietnamese musician, raising expectations for collaborative performances among Korean and ASEAN musicians once the pandemic is over.

By Jie Ye-eun ([email protected])

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