“My skin color was particulary black when I was a kid. People pointed out their fingers at my mommy. My dad is a Black US soldier. Here and there, people whisper again about this and that. My eyes always filled with tears. I was young, but I could see my mum’s sadness. I thought everything was my fault. Every day, I’d wash my face a dozen times a day.”
Under the name T, Yoon Mirae (26) is currently promoting her 9-track 3rd full album and the words above are from the lyrics of “Black Happiness”. It’s not rare for artists to fill their albums with songs about their real life experiences. There are many singers who present their songs by saying “It’s a break-up story.” “This song contains the emotions I have experienced in my life”. However, telling their life story in a straightforward way like Yoon Mirae does in “Black Happiness” is quite uncommon. That’s because Yoon Mirae isn’t introducing her experience on simple emotions such as love and break-up. She talks about the roots she developed her own “identity” on. As fresh and firm her vocal skills are, her confession cannot be anything else but honest and straightforward. She released her 3rd full album after 5 years of absence. We met Yoon Mirae who is coming back to the music scene and discussed her music her life.
● The happiest person when doing music
She said that she was in a “going back and forth” situation during this five-year hiatus due to issues with her previous agency. “Honestly, I kept wondering if I should keep being a singer or if I should just quit. It was very hard,” Yoon Mirae said. “While I was resting, I read a lot of books and I studied music. Since I debuted at a young age, I couldn’t attend school properly. So during this break, I passed my GED. However, I realized that I was the happiest when I was doing music,” she said to explain the reason behind her comeback.
● The harmony between her musical insistence and the public’s taste
Title track “Did You Forget” is a calm ballad with an easy melody that appeals to the public. It carries this sensitivity of her previous ballads that were hits such as “Day by Day” and “As Time Goes By”. Yoon Mirae is considered as the most skilled hip-hop/R&B female singer, but she showed almost no technique this time and sang in a way that could even give this “dry” feeling. “I purposely put the technique aside to sing comfortably. I think it’s so much better to sing to match the feeling of the song and the lyrics instead of singing with the perfect technique,” she explained.
The songs she enjoys are songs full of this Black music feeling. “Black Diamond” and “What’s Up! MR. Good Stuff”, the first and second tracks of this album, are her representative songs. “I love the 60’s and 70’s feeling. I think I was able to naturally learn about this music because my father has made me listened to singers like Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, James Brown since I was 3 or 4 years-old,” she added.
If you listen to the song “Black Happiness”, you’ll hear a narration made in English by an old gentleman. This is the voice of Thomas J. Reid, Yoon Mirae’s father. He’s currently working as a civilian employee on an US army base in Daegu. Knowing that he used to DJ as a hobby when he was young, Yoon Mirae was the one to ask help to her father. “I told my father “there’s a song I want us to sing together” and he said “okay”. Riding the bus together on the way to the recording studio, I was smiling a lot,” she said as she remembered the day of the recording session. However, her smile soon changed into tears. “My father wrote the narration himself and when I listened to the lyrics, I cried a lot,” she said with tears in her eyes.
“I think my life (as being a mixed person) has become an issue. I’m not talking about being the made-up “hot issue” that get people talking. What I mean is that some of my songs like “Life Scent” or “Wonder Woman” also talked about my life. Since I’m coming back after a long time, I think that these things are turning into an issue again,” she explained.
Hines Ward. Daniel Henney. Denis Oh. We asked her if the fact that biracial stars are getting popular didn’t show that the problem of biracial people had improved a lot. She shook her head. “The road is still long. Only part of the biracial people are treated well,” she said as she revealed her wish. “I have no concrete plan, but I want to participate to the efforts made to help biracial people.”
Original article: sportsseoul