Sitting down trying to pick good names for this exercise I realized that most of my favorite artists do not possess the kind of vocal skills that would warrant a chance to compete on “I Am A Singer”, something which is part of the charm that made them my favorites to begin with. As such, much like The Korean’s suggestions, my picks are not intended to reflect the best Korean indie music have to offer, but rather my own expectations as to which artists would be more interesting to see on the show also considering that they should be able to stay on for more than one round.
Pick #1: Cherry Filter (체리 필터)
I learned about Cherry Filter at the very same time I first learned of Jaurim, both being successful enough to at least have been heard of in the mainstream already a decade back. Because of this I’ve always considered the two bands to be at the same level. Perhaps they would not be able to provide the same diversity as Jaurim, but the band can put on a good show and Youjeen has the powerful vocals to boost. The band also has a cover album behind them that seemed to go over fairly well among fans.
Pick #2: Nahm Sang Ah (남상아)
She may primarily be active in 3rd Line Butterfly now, but it was thanks to Huckleberry Finn that I first came to know and respect the deep vocals of Nahm Sang Ah. She’s recorded a few solo songs for various soundtracks and I’d like to hear what more she’s capable of when not constrained by a band.
Pick #3: itta (있다)
Never have I been more amazed by a voice than when itta made a small room in the cellar of Duriban seem like it had the acoustics of a cathedral. Not only does her vocal skills impress, but she’s also got a very diverse reportoir. From beautiful piano compositions to avant-garde experimentation to some of the best hiphop albums Korea has ever seen. A few years back she talked about doing something in the pop realm and I’m confident she’d be able to wow a mainstream audience as well, should she feel like it.
Pick #4: Yeongene (연진)
I don’t think I’ve ever heard Yeongene use the full capacity of her voice, but it’s so sweet and lovely that with her musical abilities she should be able to charm any audience. Before she became known for the cheerful twee pop and light jazz tunes of Linus’ Blanket she crafted plenty of melancholic, somewhat rock oriented songs of great quality. I’d be very curious to see her bring out some of those qualities again and try another few styles while at it.
Pick #5: Kim Ban Jang (김반장)
Both in music and vocal style he could be described as a more extreme version of Bobby Kim. He’s got the reggae, he’s got the soul, and to top it off he’s got some dub. He also knows how to put good energy into a live performance, at least one that doesn’t go on for hours.
Like both Widhi and The Korean I’d be happy to see Nell on the show, if nothing else to force Nell to finally try something new. And like The Korean I would love to see Lee Sangeun on there for pretty much the same reasons. I would absolutely love to see eAeon on “I Am a Singer” considering how much I’ve liked his/Mot’s covers in the past but fear it wouldn’t be varied enough to keep the audience entertained for long. Outside of the indie realm Shin Haechul would be my top choice–he may come off as a bit too full of himself sometimes, but he’s both written and sung so many fantastic songs throughout the years in multiple genres that he can be excused.
Agree with a pick? Feel like we’re missing somebody? Leave a comment on our Reader’s Choice page with your top three indie choices for “I Am a Singer”!