Some of the biggest names in Korean music have teamed up to create a “unification song” to mark the 70th anniversary of national division.
The song, to be released on Aug. 15, the National Liberation Day, will be composed by Kim Hyung-suk who will also codirect the project with musical director Kolleen Park.
Kim is a renowned composer who has written over 1,000 songs and has worked with such giants as Park Jin-young, singer and chief of JYP Entertainment, and Sung Si-kyung.
“My mother’s side of the family was displaced by the Korean War,” said Kim at the press conference in Seoul on Thursday. “I vividly remember my grandparents crying when they watched the unions of separated families on TV. I will compose the song with that sentiment.”
The song is dubbed as a Korean version of the 1985 star-studded charity song “We are the World,” as it is envisioned to be sung by an ensemble of 33 A-list celebrities. So far, only the five-member K-pop group B1A4 has finalized their participation, though.
“This project, as far as I know, encompasses conservatives, progressives as well as all religions,” Kim said, referring to the makeup of the New Generation’s Unification, a group founded specifically for the song project. It is comprised of different civic groups, seven religious denominations and groups of overseas Koreans.
“Reunification is something we all want. While the song won’t propose a solution to the reunification, I wish it will have an echo like ‘Arirang.’”
Arirang is Korea’s best known folk song, and is beloved by both South and North Koreans.
Kim Eana, who will write the lyrics of the proposed song, said the word reunification has become more symbolic and less relevant, especially for younger generations.
“The sense of longing, and wanting to become one, is something that transcends age,” said Kim who is one of the hottest lyricists in the K-pop scene and wrote the words for “Good Day” by IU and “Abracadabra” by Brown Eyed Girls.
“I will write a song that can resonate with people of all generations and different perspectives.”
Following the Aug. 15 unveiling of the song and a music video, a series of reunification-themed concerts will be held across Korea and in other countries, including the U.S., China and Japan.
Any profits from the project will go to NGOs involved in reunification issues, organizers said.
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com)