Lesser-known singers finding success through popular TV drama series
From left: a still from the drama “One More Happy Ending” on MBC; “Cheese in the Trap” starring Park Hae-jin on tvN; and singer Kim Jun-su, who sang one of the original soundtrack songs for “Six Flying Dragons” on SBS. [MBC, tvn, C-JES ENTERTAINMENT]
In the fast-changing music scene, songs tend to disappear from the charts within days of release. Even top-ranked songs are subject to this same fate.
But Lee Juck’s song “Don’t Worry” from the soundtrack of hit drama series “Reply 1988” lost its No. 2 spot on the chart of music streaming service Genie Music only recently, after being released in November. This impressive feat is turning heads in the music industry, and it underlines the importance of original soundtracks.
In place of hard-copy albums, the Korean music industry has shifted to online streaming. Instead of releasing a bunch of songs at once, artists now release tracks one by one with significant intervals in-between.
Now, the makers of drama soundtracks are applying this technique to their own businesses.
According to Genie Music, last year about 90 drama series released their original soundtrack songs one at a time instead of all at once.
The ongoing 50-episode series “Six Flying Dragons” on SBS has released six tracks so far over the course of 39 episodes.
Typically, programs first play the songs during major scenes, and then the artists and their agencies send out press releases to promote the songs.
CJ E&M, a leading entertainment company which owns several TV channels including tvN, said that young listeners tend to stream songs, making it more attractive to release songs one by one.
Another trend in original soundtracks songs is seeking out rare and unique voices, because with many drama series being produced each year it is difficult to nab the most popular singers.
For this reason, producers are actively looking for relatively less renowned singers, or indie musicians, to perform songs.
Lee Joon-sang, the head of Chili Music, which produces soundtracks, said contributing to original soundtracks “is considered an opportunity for indie musicians to vindicate their musical prowess”.
Lee’s company is in charge of producing the original soundtrack for the drama series “One More Happy Ending” on MBC.
BY HAN EUN-HWA
Source: Korea JoongAng Daily
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