The godmother of soul music, black music diva, Asia’s best rapper… Waiting for a solemn queen worth all these serious nicknames, this interview would feel like a trap. Instead, I believe this should be a great time for someone who perceives how natural and down-to-earth she is through insightful evidence. This is the story shared by a woman called Yoon Mirae who is incredibly talented and unbelievably close.
“When I’m having a hard time, I make music, when I’m happy, I make music. Music is my everything. There are times when music is a source of stress, there are times when I’m upset, but when I love, I really really love. The biggest crisis of my life was when I had to stop doing activities for 4 years because of the conflict with my previous agency. At that time, a lot of people like Drunken Tiger and Bobby Kim helped me. They called me to the recording studio. I couldn’t make money while doing music activities, but I feel like I got to have a lot of good people by my side.”
“The song “Get It In” is hip-hop. I wanted to do something completely hip-hop this time. When I say hip-hop, it’s not the emerging hardcore or pop hip-hop kind of thing. It’s hip-hop, but there’s a dance atmosphere. It’s a bit of a new style. So I wanted to make music for me. I’m thankful to the fans who show me their love, but even if they didn’t, I’d still be proud of this song.”
The godmother of soul music, the Black music diva, Asia’s best rapper… She seemed to have no ambition to the point these nicknames are pale next to her name. Is she closer to a Korean Seon master who reached nirvana? Is she close to the tactician hiding her claws? I wonder if she’s isn’t a product of the Korean music industry or if she isn’t an electron.
A few years ago, I suddenly felt angry after watching TV. There was a scene of Tiger JK and Yoon Mirae working in a recording studio. They said their albums were created completely in this studio. And this was exactly what made me angry. Indeed. Their recording studio was a shabby basement in the suburb of Uijeongbu and looked like a practice room poor college bands would use. There was also a worn-out cotton comforter on the wall to absorb the noise. Who is this couple? Aren’t they the godfather of Korean hip-hop and the godmother of Korean black music? In an instant, my delight to see them turned into anger and disgust toward our society. Fortunately, they seemed like they couldn’t be happier. The music that will be recorded and come out from this studio won’t be unsatisfying. And so? It means to try one more time to believe in this damn irrational society.
“The digital single that will be released at the end of October was also created in the Uijeongbu recording studio. I’m working over there on my next full album that will be released next year. Of course, it’s nice to use the recording studio of my teenagehood. And it’s good enough for today too.”
She said that a bad workman quarrels with his tools, the ugly woman blames the mirror, there’s nothing to leave out among the words provided by the ancestors. Although his dream was to be a firefighter, Tiger JK’s younger cousin has been an engineer trapped in the recording studio for the past ten years. Since he leaves 5 minutes away from the studio, he can work 24/7. Being able to make music when you want to and as much as you want to, isn’t this happiness?!
All through the interview, she kept smiling from ear to ear. It’s not a calculated or a coy smile. It’s a honest smile to the point it seems extremely naive, that everything is great. When asked if she has always been the smiling type, she says she usually smiles when she’s asked questions. “She’s nice when she’s in front of someone nice, but she’s mean to those who are mean,” someone from her staff says as a deeper explanation. Yoon Mirae is a woman who is endlessly weak to the weak and endelessly strong to the strong.
So maybe that’s why she’s the only tender-hearted jury in Mnet “Superstar K 3”. When she talks about the lacking points, she seems to be even sorrier and reveals her heart as she tries her best not to hurt the participant. Since the early stage of the season, the criteria she constanstly underlines is the “soul”. What on earth is this “soul”? Most of the comments are all “your soul is very beautiful”, “it was good because there was some soul”. And if the sould of the participant is good, her shoulders start dancing and she nods her head. “The soul is the emotion, the feeling I get from this person. When you sing out of key or when you miss the beat, I don’t think these mistakes are a problem if the soul is here.” She hopes this is the way people receive her music. “Be it a good emotion or a bad emotion, I hope that when people listen to my music, it can pull out emotions from people’s hearts. Feeling various emotions, isn’t this exactly what makes life tasteful?”
You might feel it when you watch “Superstar K 3”, but her Korean doesn’t improve, although she has been living in Korea for many years. There was a bit of a criticism, so she acknowledges it too. Although she wants to write her lyrics in Korean as she raps in Korean, her vocabulary is lacking, her confession that it would just be like peas in a pod isn’t a confession. Still, she plans to put a few songs she personnally composed on her next album that will be released next year. She also mentions that the older she gets, the more nervous she gets before going on stage. “Really. I think I go to the bathroom about 10 times before going on stage. When I’m going on stage with JK-oppa or other artists, I feel less nervous. When I’m on my own, I’m really stressed.” So she shows explosive charisma when she’s on stage, yet she had this kind of worries that no one would imagine… How can she be so shy whenever someone looks at her to the point that she says it’s stressful and be so wild only when she’s on stage? This is truly just a mystery.
Let’s change the subject and talk about Jordan. There are 2 super babies whose future is anticipated by Korea. Jang Min Joon, Jang Dong Gun and Go So Young’s son and Seo Jordan, Yoon Mirae and Tiger JK’s son! If expectation is shown for the former’s looks through computer, the latter is expected to make the music of the century.
“I hope Jordan wouldn’t make music his profession. But who knows? If he says he wants to do it, he should do it.” The vision of parents who walked down the hard path of musicians is completely understandable. On his first-birthday party, Jordan grabbed a mic, he was the youngest in the world to make a featuring through the sound of his laughter used on his album’s father. Just for the sake of great things, disgarding his parents’ wish would only be to hope for him to grow up as an extraordinary musician who embraces the world. “People around us are trying to get Jordan to marry the daugther of Dynamic Duo’s Gaeko.” It is hard to develop an excellent seed, even using a laboratory incubation to develop a good breed, it is hard to develop an excellent seed. The fans genuinely hope for the birth of a super hip-hop family.
A few years ago, there was this one time when I met Han Dae Sun in front of a small restaurant in Jungdong-gil as I was wheeling a baby carriage. He was taking a leisure walk and I regret just brushing past him. “Hello, how are you?” Why couldn’t I properly greet him? This can be the behavior of the stubborn and shy girl who purposely keeps walking looking at the ground when she suddenly meets the boy she likes. So if by any chance you meet her in the neighborhood or at the convenience store, I hope you will greet her with sincerity and not walk away with regret.
“People greet JK-oppa sometimes. It never happens to me. Maybe they don’t recognize me, I don’t know.” Her expression is sullen somehow. She doesn’t know if she’s feeling less loved than the love she’s actually receiving.
“Hello, Yoon Mirae! I’m very glad to meet you. I love your music!” Maybe if you make this kind of confession, she’ll grin from ear to ear as she will reply “thank you” in a shy and barely audible voice. I’m talking about the shy smile she shows all through the interview as she says a quiet “thank you” to sincere compliments.
When this interview is out, there will be people to think “she’s definitely a celebrity”, others will think they want to acknowledge her first and greet her if they meet her in the street one day. She says it’d be good if she could earn money because [they have to take care] of Jordan. I listened as if it were my younger cousin speaking. As she wore her baseball cap backward and sat, talking about her husband, I thought it was like meeting my married little sister after a long time.
[I didn’t translate the two last sentences because it’s more about the writer’s feelings than something Yoon Mirae says]
Original article: Mlounge